Scammed: young 1st-time renter loses $1K over fake Whitehorse apartment ad

Scammed: young 1st-time renter loses $1K over fake Whitehorse apartment ad

A young Whitehorse woman is sharing her story about an apartment scam, hoping to save others from losing money.

Khandi Jackson, 20, said she lost $1,000 while trying to rent her first apartment earlier this month.  

"I saw that place on Craigslist and I thought like, this is a miracle because it was affordable, it was right downtown, close to work," she said. 

But it was too good to be true. 

"This is my first time renting so I'm still pretty new to all this," she said. 

Via text and email, Jackson said the supposed landlord asked her for a deposit. Without seeing the place, she ended up transferring several hundred dollars. 

She said it didn't end there. 

"He's asking for more and more money; constantly he was texting me everyday saying 'where is the money, are you sending the money,'" she said.

In all, she sent a thousand dollars before realizing it was a scam. 

The apartment was real, but it didn't belong to the person advertising it online. 

Other fake apartment ads

It's not the first time someone in Whitehorse has lost money in a rental scam. 

Jackson said she noticed other fake apartment ads that appeared to be by the same person.

"I didn't want to see anyone fall into the same position that I did," she said. 

She posted her experience to social media and said she started receiving many replies, including someone who said they'd had a similar experience.

"And then this other girl also commented saying that she also just got that email and she thanked me for posting up the warning. I feel pretty good knowing that she was safe and saving her money." 

Red flags for apartment hunters

Sgt. Ian Fraser with the Yukon RCMP said the number of people being scammed for under $5,000 is 'fairly significant.' 

Over the last few months he figures there have been a dozen complaints of various frauds including taxi fraud and meal fraud.  

"But it's not uncommon to get a complaint from an individual who's been scammed via the internet or over the phone," he said. 

In the case of rental fraud, Fraser warns potential renters to be wary of several red flags: 

- deals that look too good to be true

- a landlord who is out of the country

- poorly written emails

- excuses for not showing the property in person

"Some people are in need of a rental in a hurry but it pays to do your homework," said Fraser. 

Correction : An earlier version of this story referred to Sgt. Ian Fraser as Insp. Ian Fraser.(Mar 28, 2017 2:03 PM)