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

UPDATE: Morrison wins Kootenay-Columbia by more than 7,000 votes

Elections Canada is reporting a 72% voter turnout

Warning issued after several overdoses in Castlegar

Interior Health says the overdoses appear to be the result of cocaine contaminated with fentanyl.

Dream come true: sleep centre opens in Castlegar

Castlegar centre offers consultations and sleep lab tests.

How local candidates are using Facebook to advertise directly to you

Liberal campaign is the biggest spender on Facebook ads in South Okanangan–West Kootenay

VIDEO: Is the stethoscope dying? High-tech options pose threat

World-renowned cardiologist believes the device is just a pair of ‘rubber tubes’

VIDEO: Chill with polar bears through an Arctic live cam

Cam reopens just ahead of Polar Bear Week

Aquilini companies deny negligence in U.S. vineyard fire that killed two kids

Fire occurred at Red Mountain Vineyard, located in southeast Washington State

Surrey cop killer gets new parole conditions

Surrey RCMP Constable Roger Pierlet, 23, was shot dead on March 29, 1974

Former Kelowna Hells Angels associate could be deported, court rules

David Revell has lost his fight against deportation from Canada

Alcohol available onboard BC Ferries starting Thursday

Beer and wine sales begin at 11 a.m. on select Tsawwassen-Swartz Bay sailings

‘Find Trevor’: B.C. man’s dog leads searchers to rescue him after fall during hike

‘I’ve had lots of intelligent dogs, but Purple is in a class herself’

15 Canadian youths to sue Ottawa for not acting on climate change

They say young people will be more affected than other groups

Most Read