Buyers beware! Scams and hoaxes aren’t super common in Windsor and Essex County. We luckily don’t hear about too many of them. But it’s come to our attention recently that scammers are back at it in Windsor and Essex County. They’ve been stealing photos from the MLS and other real estate websites and posting them along with fake descriptions and contact info on free local sites such as www.kijiji.ca and a few others.

Why you ask? Well once they’ve stolen a picture and basic info on a home listing. They will alter it just a little, and include temporary contact info. Often times they’ll even turn that ‘Windsor Home For Sale’ headline to a ‘For Rent’ ad. They often even deeply discount the price to garner more interest. When a possible home buyer or tenant inquires, they are asked to submit a deposit which is then sent by mail or online to a temporary address. By the time the buyer or tenant realizes they’ve been had…it’s too late.

Some may ask how one agrees to blindly send money to a random person online. The perpetrators often go at length to create very elaborate stories, they’ll even have phone conversations to try and make the buyers or tenants feel at ease. These properties are often so deeply discounted in the ads that it creates a sense of urgency and the victims take a chance.

How can this be avoided? Well, the best way is simply making sure you meet a landlord or seller in person. If the home is listed with a Realtor make sure to book an appointment directly through your own Realtor or the listing brokerage. And most important of all, if it seems to good to be true. It usually is! Alert authorities the moment you become suspicious. Better to be safe than sorry!

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