Dwain and Lillian Seymour discovered their Murrayville home was listed for rent without their knowledge as part of a scam. (Dan Ferguson/Langley Advance Times)

VIDEO: Renters keep showing up at B.C. couple’s home after it was listed in online scam

One said she’d given an $800 deposit to someone she met in a coffee shop

When a woman with four children arrived on their doorstep, Murrayville residents Lillian and Dwain Seymour had to let her know she wouldn’t be moving in.

“She had already given notice,” Dwain recalled. “I told her, it’s [our house] not for rent, never has, never will be.”

Shocked, the woman told the Seymours she had handed over an $800 deposit to a person she met in a coffee shop, believing they were behind an ad on the Craigslist website that displayed genuine photos taken of the exterior of the Seymour’s property in the 3600-block of 224th St., but fake interior photos taken from some other source.

“Her bags were packed,” Lillian recalled.

“She was homeless.”

Four different people have showed up at the Seymour’s home in less than a month, lured by the online ad.

There have been others, who the retired couple have noticed stopping to have a look, then leaving.

As it turned out, the online ad – which has reportedly been taken down – told would-be tenants not to knock on the door or go onto the property, so as not to disturb the “current tenants.”

READ MORE: B.C. woman has hundreds show up in $500 Craigslist rental scam

Lillian said it all started with a phone call in early September from a woman who claimed to be with a real estate company.

She asked if their house was for rent, and when Lillian said it wasn’t, the caller kept asking questions until Lillian hung up.

A few days later, a man drove into their front yard, and told the couple he was looking to rent a place for a friend.

That was when they learned about the online for-rent ad.

The couple reported the incident to police, who told them to contact Craigslist and the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre online.

Lillian said they tried, but it was a frustrating experience, because the anti-fraud centre and Craigslist could only be reached by email.

As of Wednesday, the fraud line has posted a message apologizing for “intermittent disruptions with our toll-free telephone line that may cause your call to be disconnected.”

“You can’t phone anyone any more,” Lillian said.

They decided to go public to warn people about the scam.

READ ALSO: Langley photographer stung in $4,200 overpayment scam

Langley RCMP Cpl. Holy Largy said people need to take basic precautions when responding to a rental ad.

“Don’t rent a place sight unseen,” Largy advised. “Don’t hand money over before viewing a property.”

“If it seems to be good to be true, it probably is,” Largy added.

Better Business Bureau reports this type of scam has been going on for several years across all provinces on websites like Craigslist and Kijiji.

The agency recommends searching online for the listings, or the scammer’s email address or phone number.

If you find the same ad being posted and located in other cities then you can be sure it’s a scam, the BBB says.



dan.ferguson@langleyadvancetimes.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Just Posted

Winner chosen for first ever Yellow Point Drama Group playwriting contest

Michelle Deines has won $2,000 and her play, The Night Hawks will be produced in fall 2020

Aid a priority for idled Vancouver Island loggers, John Horgan says

Steelworkers, Western Forest Products returning to mediation

Waterfront Gallery ends 2019 with Christmas themed members show

Over 70 artists are on display for the Christmas exhibiton at Davis Road School

Paul Manly votes against first Liberal confidence vote ‘based on principle’

Manly was the only opposition party member outside the Conservative party to vote against Bill C-2

VIDEO: Success of wildlife corridors in Banff National Park has advocates wanting more

Demand for more highway protection escalated after seven elk were killed by a semi-trailer near Canmore

B.C. VIEWS: Hunger does not end with the season

Despite innovations in food distribution, the need is still there in B.C. communities

Sharks beat Canucks 4-2 to snap 6-game skid

Vancouver visits Vegas on Sunday

Fans sing Canadian anthem after sound system breaks at BMW IBSF World Cup

The Canadians in attendance made sure their team and flag were honoured on the podium

VIDEO: Fire destroys Big White Ski Resort chalet

Social media eulogies peg the property, nicknamed “The Pharamacy,” as both loved and hated

Prince George RCMP use bait packages to catch porch pirates over the holidays

First-in-Canada program with Amazon looks to combat parcel theft

Nanaimo mechanical engineer creates thief tracking program

Nanaimo Thief Tracking lets users plot and share information about thefts online

Mayor wants B.C. to institutionalize severely mental ill people who are homeless

Those suffering from mental health conditions, such as schizophrenia, need specialized care, mayor says

Most Read