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

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

CHIME finds four days of noise, twelve days of silence from space

The radio telescope picked up the first recorded pattern in radio signals from space

Summerland’s Justin Kripps picks up back-to-back bronze medals in weekend racing

Canada’s two-man bobsleigh is third in the rankings heading into the World Championships

Mink farm once operated in Summerland

From 1967 to 1973, the Nielsen family raised mink

Prepare for possibilities of spring flooding in Okanagan, RDOS warns

High snowpack and rain may cause flooding in areas of the South Okanagan - Similkameen

Hundreds expected for Spirit North Indigenous cross country ski fest

The Spirit North Indingeous cross country ski program wraps up March 9

VIDEO: Minister reports ‘modest progress’ after blockade talks with First Nation

Wet’suwet’en hereditary chiefs say Coastal GasLink does not have authority to go through their lands

#FoxForFiver: Support grows in B.C. to put Terry Fox on new $5 bill

Terry Fox’ Marathon of Hope raised money for cancer research

Registration opens soon for BC 55+ Games in Richmond

2020 55+ Games have been officially scheduled for Sept. 15 to 19

Trudeau confers with cabinet ministers as rail blockades continue

The Trudeau government has been criticized for not doing more to end the blockades

Canadian nurses’ unions warn national standards for coronavirus protection too low

President says safety protocols nationwide are inadequate compared to those in Ontario and other countries

What’s in a name? The story of Revelstoke’s Mt. Begbie

It’s likely the iconic peak had several Indigenous peoples’ names before settlers arrived

Murder of sex worker exposes Canada’s hypocrisy on prostitution: advocate

A 2014 law made purchasing sex or benefiting from the selling of sex illegal

Wet’suwet’en return to northern B.C. forest road pipeline workers move through: First Nation

Opponents of a pipeline who support the Wet’suwet’en hereditary chiefs have reoccupied camps at centre of arrests

Most Read