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RCMP: rental fraud resurfacing

Tenants issuing fraudulent cheques



October is housing crunch time in Whistler and the scammers know it. In the past week the RCMP has received two complaints of attempted fraud regarding places that were advertised online for rent.

This type of fraud has been reported before in Whistler: a person will make contact with the landlord and agree to send the first month's rent and damage deposit. The landlord then receives a cheque from the individual or a company for a far larger amount then they agreed on, at which point the renter will then contact the landlord claiming to have made a mistake and request a partial refund.

It later turns out that the cheque was fraudulent, sometimes after the landlord has sent the money.

On Oct. 21 the RCMP received a complaint from a Whistler resident charged with renting a house in Squamish. The agreed on rent and damage deposit was for a few thousand dollars, but the cheque that arrived was for over $10,000 from the U.K.

An agency then called the landlord and asked them to use the money to make various purchases on their behalf with the difference.

The man was suspicious and brought it to the attention of the police. The banks also verified that the cheque was counterfeit, and are conducting an investigation of their own.

On Oct. 24, the RCMP received another report regarding a house in Whistler, with the request originating in France. Again, the amount sent was too high and the landlord was asked to wire the difference overseas.

The RCMP remind residents never to send any money unless they're sure of where it's going and it's credible. Never send money out of country or to a non-certified financial institution.


Man walks away from rollover

An 18-year-old male, newly arrived to Whistler, walked away from a vehicle rollover just after 6 p.m. on Oct. 21. According to the driver and witnesses, one of his front tires blew out while going around a corner and the vehicle lost control on the gravel and flipped into the ditch. The driver managed to crawl out on his own, and did not require any medical assistance.


Males arrested after trying to break into a nightclub

The RCMP received a call just before midnight on Oct. 21 from employees at a nightclub after they caught two men trying to break in whom they had earlier ejected. During questioning by police, one of the males gave a false name.

Both men were arrested for public intoxication. The male who gave the wrong name, a 23-year-old from Maple Ridge, was charged with possession of a controlled substance (steroids), obstructing police officers for giving a phony name and for breach of conditions regarding a previous offence. The other male, a 22-year-old from Surrey, was released when sober with no charges.

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