Hamilton

Concert, rental ticket scam: Hamilton man convicted 56 times gets charged again

The east-end resident faces a new round of charges. His first convictions happened when he was only 20.
Hamilton police have charged a 27-year-old man with fraud. (Dave Beatty)

A Hamilton man who has already been convicted 56 times, has been charged again with selling fraudulent vacation rentals and concert tickets.

Jacob Miranda, 27, is charged in connection with selling bogus cottage and apartment rentals online. Police say they were investigating the online sale of fraudulent tickets to events in Toronto and Montreal.

In these cases, police say, unsuspecting renters would forward payment, then the seller would cut off communication.

Since 2011, Det. Sgt. Greg Doerr said, Miranda has been convicted with fraud 56 times. Doerr, who is investigating the new charges, says Miranda's first conviction happened when he was 20.

The frauds deviated slightly. In 2017, Doerr said, Miranda was convicted of selling phony Hamilton Tiger-Cats memorabilia.

But the convictions have largely been related to fraudulent rentals and ticket sales, Doerr said.

"Everyone in our office is well aware of Jacob Miranda."

Miranda is charged now with identity fraud, fraud under $5,000 and failure to comply with probation.

Doerr urges anyone who's been victim to a similar scam to call him at 905-546-3841.

Here are some things to watch for:

  • In some fraud cases cases, the ad doesn't give the exact address of the rental and the same property is listed several times with different contact people.
  • Payment is requested via wire transfer, money order, or cashier's cheque. Credit cards are not accepted.
  • Police say people should ask to see the property before they pay for it. If not, verify the property exists.
  • Doerr urges people not to send money to people they've never met.

About the Author

Samantha Craggs is a CBC News reporter based in Hamilton, Ont. She has a particular interest in politics and social justice stories, and tweets live from Hamilton city hall. Follow her on Twitter at @SamCraggsCBC, or email her at samantha.craggs@cbc.ca