WEST KOOTENAYS, B.C. – Police in Trail warn renters to not send damage deposits to secure a residence without seeing it first.

The warning comes after a man from the region was tricked to send $500 to a man who had promised to rent him a house in Castlegar.
The man later understood there was no rental.

Mike Wicentowich with Trail RCMP says these scams become more common as the tight housing market in the West Kootenays heats up.
“There are people who are ready to lay money out just to secure a place”, he told MyNelsonNow.com.

Rental frauds are complicated crimes to investigate for local law enforcement, who say they are often organized and run from abroad.
“And when you agree to send money to an account you have consented to the transaction so it can be hard to get that money back”, Wicentowich concludes.

Police advise to never send money before establishing that there is in fact a rental available and that the landlord is trustworty.