Don’t be scammed while searching for a rental property online

Burnaby, Public Alert

2022-08-03 08:35 PDT

File # Public Service Announcement

Burnaby RCMP is warning the public of rental scams after a Burnaby resident had their personal identity stolen and now their ID is being used in fake Craiglist ads.

In late 2021, an adult male reported that his identity was stolen possible through a ransomware attack and then leaked onto the dark web. Since then, his identity has been used in various scams but most recently posing as a landlord seeking tenants in Vancouver. 

This victim is doing everything in their power to prevent further identity scams, but it keeps happening, said Corporal Alexa Hodgins of the Burnaby RCMP. Once your information has been leaked, shared or stolen, it is very hard to get back. We want the public to know the dangers of sharing their personal information online and to use the appropriate safeguards to prevent it. 

The victim continues to report fake driver’s licences, a fake passport, and fake Craiglist ads listed in his name. 

In three separate instances, the identity theft victim was contacted directly by potential renters regarding his Craiglist ads. One of these potential renters even sent copies of a fake driver’s licence and a fake passport which had been sent to the potential renter as part of the Craiglist scam. 

These potential renters did the right thing. They became suspicious and reached out to the person directly, instead of continuing communication through the Craigslist platform, said Corporal Alexa Hodgins. By doing this, they not only prevented sending money to the scammer but alerted the original identity theft victim of what was happening online in their name. 

Here are some warning signs to look out for when shopping for a rental: 

Here’s what you can do to avoid being scammed: 

To protect yourself please find review and familiarize yourself with the Residential Tenancy Act. The Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre and Provincial Government websites are great resources for tips and safety measures.

Released by

Cpl. Alexa Hodgins

Media Relations Officer
Burnaby RCMP
6355 Deer Lake Avenue, Burnaby, BC, V5G 2J2
Office: 604-646-9696

Website: (English only)

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