We recently heard from a member whose listing photos and information were used by someone posing as a landlord offering the property for rent.
This person responded to a “Wanted to Rent” ad on Kijiji, and sent listing photos and a lease agreement to the prospective tenant. Luckily, the hopeful tenant drove past the property, saw the “For Sale” sign and contacted the listing salesperson before signing a lease agreement and paying anything to the pretend landlord.
This is not the first time listings have been used by scammers posing as landlords or property owners. Unfortunately, there is nothing a REALTOR® can do to stop this from happening. There are, however, some precautions you can take that may make your listings less attractive to scammers:
Occasionally check your listings’ addresses in a search, or on real estate sites like Kijiji, just to make sure they haven’t been posted for rent – or even for sale – by someone fraudulently claiming to be the owner.
Be cautious about the kinds of information you put in your listing description – notations like “vacant”, “motivated seller” or photos of a vacant property might make it more appealing for someone to use the information for fraudulent or illegal purposes.
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