RCMP investigate Vancouver Island rental scam
Officers say suspect posed as homeowner, collected cash from would-be tenants in Colwood
West Shore RCMP is looking into two separate cases of rental fraud at the same home in Greater Victoria.
Police investigate rental scam <a href="https://t.co/mmJWEalCe6">https://t.co/mmJWEalCe6</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/Westshore?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#Westshore</a>—@WestshoreRCMP
Police allege a male suspect collected cash deposits from would-be tenants after agreeing to rent out a residence on the 2800 block of Pickford Road in Colwood.
When the victims of the fraud attempted to move in, they were informed by the real owner of the property that the residence was not available for rent and that they had been scammed.
Police said the suspect uses the alias Jason Leblanc and had previously lived at the property. RCMP would like to speak with anyone else defrauded in a similar manner by someone who identifies himself as Jason Leblanc.
RCMP advise renters to protect themselves to avoid rental scams.
Officers say to only use a reputable rental website and to search the residence's address on the Internet to see if anything suspicious pops up.
The police say renters should also never provide personal financial information and should avoid paying in cash or through wire transfers, which are difficult to trace.