Halifax Regional Police are cautioning people to watch out for a new scam in the city's south end involving an online ad about a parking spot on Kent Street.
The parking spot located on the 5000 block of Kent Street is real, but the person who was offering to rent it is not the owner of the spot.
Police say the victims communicated with the fraudster online and by text but never met face-to-face. Rent money was all sent through e-transfers. As of Monday, three victims of the scam had been identified.
"An ad was placed on a reseller site and the complainant responded and actually came to the site and looked at the parking spot, which was actually a legit parking spot," said Det. Const. Dave Comer, with Halifax Regional Police's integrated financial crime unit.
But a sticky note on the victim's car window revealed the spot wasn't available for rent.
"It wasn't a legit parking spot for sale by this individual. It actually belonged to the landlord of that particular building who notified that individual that it was a fraud, that these parking spots were for tenants and not for general parking," Comer said.
3 known victims so far
The online ads for the parking spot started appearing on Aug. 28 and were recently taken down, Comer said. He said so far three people have come forward to police to report they had been scammed, but he thinks "there will probably be more."
Comer said the fraudster made between $70 and $450 from the victims, for a total amount estimated between $700 and $800.
"When something seems too good to be true, it probably is," said Comer. "Do your investigation, do open source checks like on Google just to run the names or the emails. If you are a victim of fraud, I suggest you call us … and report it so we can start our investigation right away."