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

COVID- 19: Ucluelet encourages visitors and residents to mask up

“Put your ego aside, this is what needs to be done,” said Ucluelet mayor Mayco Noel.

Frustration grows in Ucluelet as locked gate puts school garden in peril

“You walk by there and it’s just dead. Everything’s dry and yelling for water,” Liisa Nielsen said.

QUIZ: How much do you know about British Columbia?

On this B.C. Day long weekend, put your knowledge of our province to the test

Ucluelet fire crew extinguishes residential blaze

Ucluelet’s fire chief is praising his crew for making short work of a residential blaze on Tuesday.

B.C. would not send students back to school if there was ‘overwhelming risk’: Horgan

Plan has left many parents across the province worried about their children’s safety

Face masks will be mandatory for customers at all Walmart locations

Requirement goes into effect on Wednesday, Aug. 12 across Canada

Masks to be mandatory on BC Transit, TransLink starting Aug. 24

Both BC Transit and TransLink made the announcement in separate press releases on Thursday

Penticton homes evacuated due to wildfire northwest of city

Emergency vehicles are at the scene near Sage Mesa, evacuation centre set up in Penticton

British Columbians worried as end of COVID-19 rental supplement looms

Single mom struggles as supplement was her saving grace

B.C. fish harvesters receive long-awaited details on pandemic benefits

Applications to the $470-million federal assistance programs will open Aug. 24

Arson suspected in several wildfires lit near Kootenay town

RCMP making progress in arson investigation of Marsh Creek fires

Three screening officers at Vancouver airport test positive for COVID-19

The public is not believed to be at risk of exposure

VIDEO: B.C. conservation officers free not-so-wily coyote with head stuck in jar

Poor pup was found with a glass jar stuck on its head in Maple Ridge

Most Read