With students set to return to postsecondary institutions, Waterloo Regional Police are investigating after receiving reports of rental fraud that occurred in August 2023.
In one instance on August 14, police were contacted by an individual who attempted to rent an apartment within the university district in Waterloo. The suspect convinced the victim to send a deposit to the suspect to hold the apartment until the victim could view it in person.
The victim sent an e-transfer to the suspect and was subsequently cut off from contact and was never able to view the apartment or rent it. The victim later learned that the rental property was a scam and reported the incident to police.
The investigation is ongoing.
Before forwarding any money, police offer the following tips:
- 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 encourage renters to limit the amount of personal information or banking information they share in any transaction.
If the post or rental property is a scam, the fraudster may use your information for identity fraud purposes, police said in a release.
Anyone with information is encouraged to call police at 519-570-9777 or Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477. Anonymous tips can also be submitted at www.waterloocrimestoppers.com.
9:00 PM | Waterloo Regional Police responded to a single vehicle collision in Woolwich Township. A black Toyota was travelling north on Arthur Street North it struck a deer and entered a ditch. There were no physical injuries sustained as a result of the collision.
9:25 AM | Police responded to a report of a theft at a business on Arthur Street North in Woolwich Township. Two suspects, a male and a female, attended the business and stole more than $8,000 worth of merchandise. The male suspect is described as White, in his mid-30s, with an average build, and dark facial hair, wearing a black shirt, black pants, and black shoes. The female suspect is described as White, in her late-30s, with an average build and brown hair, wearing glasses and a black and white dress. Anyone with information is asked to call police or Crime Stoppers.
1:17 PM | Emergency services responded to reports of a collision on Fountain Street North near Menno Road in Breslau. The driver, a 54-year-old Waterloo man, stopped his GMC pickup truck on the northbound shoulder of Fountain Street North – it appears he was attempting to reload an appliance that had fallen from the vehicle when a strap broke – when a Mercedes driven by a 24-year-old Cambridge man travelling north on Fountain Street left the roadway and struck the pickup truck. Both vehicles were extensively damaged and had to be towed from the scene. The driver of the pickup truck was transported by ambulance to a local hospital with undisclosed injuries. He was later transported to an out-of-region hospital. The investigation is ongoing, and charges are anticipated. Anyone who witnessed the collision or has dashcam footage is encouraged to call the WRPS Traffic Services Unit at 519-570-9777, extension 8856.
5:27 PM | Waterloo Regional Police responded in numbers to a Wyatt Street address in Elmira following a report of a male seen using a handgun at the residence. Officers determined that the handgun was a in fact a BB gun. The resident was not firing BBs, but the gun was loaded with a CO2 cartridge and the individual was using the sound of the CO2 to try to scare squirrels away from their birdfeeder in the backyard. Police determined no criminal offence had been committed, and that there was no threat to public safety.
11:53 PM | Perth County OPP stopped a vehicle on Line 34 in Perth East after it was found to be travelling over 135 km/h in a 80 km/h limit zone. The driver, a 22-year-old Kitchener man, was charged with ‘drive motor vehicle - perform stunt - excessive speed.’ He was issued a 30-day-driving suspension and 14-day vehicle impoundment. The accused is scheduled to appear at the Ontario Court of Justice in Stratford on September 26 to answer to the charge.