Beware Fraud Rentals

Be careful that you only rent from legitimate companies. Over the weekend we found fraud was getting very close to home when we were informed of a bogus ad for a suite on Craigslist. A suite for $700 is not very likely in downtown Vancouver is  it? And, get this, the address of the so-called suite was the address of our company offices! We own the space and are not renting!

A helpful reader responded to an ad on for a 1 bedroom listing for $700.00 and then sent us this email she received from the “owner”.

Thanks for your email response.. The Apartment is still available for rent on #247-515 West Pender St., Vancouver, BC, V6B 6H5 , ready for move in at $700monthly. ready for move in. I inherited the Apartment from my late father.. I lived in the Apartment with my younger sistser, i but presently now i am in West Africa and i will reside here for some time due to my current assignment. I just need someone with an open heart, love and clean to occupy the Apartment and put all my worries off concerning the maintenance of the Apartment for, since i am not residing there for now. …(and so forth)

Recalling a similar incident, Lisa Taylor in our office said, ” I encountered a fraud rental in Vancouver last fall, for a fully furnished 1 bdrm in False Creek…  the building existed but not the suite…”

We have never had any problem in using Craigslist for our rentals and they have good advice about what to watch for. Below is their list of who to contact in case of a scam. See more on their About Scam Page.

* FTC toll free hotline: 877-FTC-HELP (877-382-4357)
* FTC online complaint form (
* Canadian PhoneBusters hotline: 888-495-8501
* Internet Fraud Complaint Center (
* Non-emergency number for your local police department.

If you suspect that an item posted for sale on craigslist may be part of a scam, please email the details to “”. Be sure to include the URL (or eight-digit post ID number) in your message.

It goes without saying that at Downtown Suites we have direct relationships with all our clients, and we are scrupulous to ensure that we meet and screen all prospective tenants face to face, on site at the actual suite.

This is in keeping with Craigslist #1 scam preventer: “DEAL LOCALLY WITH FOLKS YOU CAN MEET IN PERSON – follow this one simple rule and you will avoid 99% of the scam attempts on craigslist.”