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Several rental scams reported in Waterloo’s University District: WRPS


Waterloo regional police are sounding the alarm after receiving several reports of rental fraud in the University District this month.

According to police, in one instance on Aug. 14, an individual sent an e-transfer to a person who advertised they had an apartment to rent within Waterloo’s University District.

Once the money was sent, the would-be renter told police they were cut off from contact and were never able to view the apartment or rent it.

Police said the victim later learned that the rental property was a scam and reported the incident to police.

Police are offering the following tips for renters to consider before sending money:

  • Schedule a viewing of the property and confirm that the property exists
  • Be suspicious if asked to transfer money electronically or wire money out of the country
  • Know what reasonable rental rates are
  • Review your contract thoroughly and have a friend or family member view it as well
  • Be suspicious if there appears to be urgency or pressure to get the deal done quickly
  • Be suspicious if they are avoiding your questions
  • If the deal appears too good to be true, it likely is

Waterloo regional police are encouraging renters to limit the amount of personal information or banking information they share in any transaction.

Police said if the post or rental property is a scam, the fraudster may use your information for identity fraud purposes.

If you have been a rental scam victim, you can contact the ad publisher, file a complaint with the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre and make a report to police.


The University of Waterloo (UW) said rental scams are a worry every year.

Glen Weppler, the director of housing at UW, said international students could be more at risk.

“They don't know the culture. They don't know the area. They don't necessarily understand what a reasonable rental rate is,” said Weppler. “But, certainly, when it comes to housing, there are some different risks. The university is aware of that, and we've put a lot of resources in place to help support them.”

There are around 40,000 students that go to UW. Close to 7,000 are housed on campus.

“A significant portion of the students do rent off campus,” said Weppler. “That’s why we have lots of resources in place, to support students because we know many of them live off campus.”

Students can find some of those resources on the university website. Top Stories

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