West Shore RCMP are investigating two separate incidents of rental scam involving the same residence in Colwood.
Both cases involved a male suspect who posed as the landlord of a residence on the 2800 block of Pickford Ave in Colwood.
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The suspect offered to rent out the residence to both victims and proceeded to collect security deposits from them.
However, one the victims arrived at the property to move in, they were met by the real owner who informed them that the home was not for rent.
According to police, the scammer had once rented a room at the property and therefore had intimate knowledge of the home.
Authorities also believe the suspect is using the alias ‘Jason LeBlanc’.
“We are asking for anyone who may have been defrauded in a similar manner by someone using the alias of Jason LeBlanc to please come forward and speak with investigators as we are continuing to collect evidence in this investigation,” said Cst Nancy Saggar.
In the wake of these incidents, police also released a list of tips on how to keep yourself safe from fraud:
- Use a reputable renting website or go to the property management office itself
- Do an internet search on the address and see if anything suspicious pops up
- If the rental price is too good to be true – it’s likely a fraud
- Don’t make a deposit in cash, cash is not traceable
- Don’t wire money, wire transfers are extremely hard to cancel and trace
- Don’t give out personal information like your S.I.N number, bank account or credit card
- Make sure you are speaking with the landowner or property manager
- Ask the surrounding neighbours about the landowner and property history (neighbours should be able to tell you who lives next door and if they are the owner or not).
Anyone with information about this particular investigation is asked to contact West Shore RCMP at 250-474-2264.