Avoiding Real Estate Scams

When looking for a new place to live, whether it be a rental unit or house for sale, there are a few things we suggest you keep in mind in order to avoid falling prey to a Real Estate Scam;
If it looks too good to be true - it probably is.
  • Does the price seem realistic for the number of bedrooms, location and amenities provided? 
  • Be wary of photos that are very low resolution or look slick and professional (for example, a model home or suite) if the property is being sold or rented privately. 
Do your homework.
  • Will you actually be able to view the place before you put down a deposit? Many foreign scammers will offer pictures but will be unavailable for viewings. They will claim to be overseas but in reality, they do not own the property in the listing. This is a scam.
It’s in the details.
  • In rental ads, be wary of overly flowery descriptions and extensive lists of features that are not relevant to renters, only buyers. In an attempt to be as descriptive as possible, scammers often copy ads from other Real Estate sites.  
  • Lastly, be careful of ads that request information in your response such as Age, Occupation, Income, Gender and more sensitive information such as bank or SIN card numbers as these can often be attempts to store information.
Trading during COVID-19
In order to help ensure the health and safety of our Kijiji Community, it is important to observe and apply protocols outlined by Health Canada when trading with other users of Kijiji. Your well-being remains our top priority. Please seriously consider whether in-person meetings are necessary.
If the transaction you’re making is necessary, please consider the following options:
  • Cashless Payment: Please consider choosing your preferred third party, secure cashless payment method.
  • Shipping: If considering sending/receiving the item via Canada Post or other shipping agents, ensure that the agent you’re using is reputable; it’s recommended that if using a shipping agent, that a tracking number is used and additional precautions are taken when sending/receiving items; particularly items of a high value. Increased care should be taken with high value items to ensure both sides are comfortable sending or receiving the item through a postal or shipping service. Please note, Kijiji itself does not offer postal or shipping services; it is organized between buyer and seller (agreement should be mutual, and we recommend confirming all details such as service provider, cost, packaging, pick up location and delivery address). Kijiji will not be held responsible for items not received or for any items that do not meet the buyer’s expectations (including where they are not as described).
  • Curbside pickup / Drop-off / Delivery: This can be a great alternative to shipping and allows both buyer and seller to inspect the item and make an exchange, all while observing social-distancing protocols.
Other things to consider:
  • Remote Inspections / Video Chat(s) / Virtual Tour(s) (Long Terms Rentals): Remote inspections via your preferred video conferencing call service, enables Community Members to discuss the transaction, while observing social-distancing protocols; Community Members can also send additional images, to show features/condition.
  • Online Applications in Long Term Rentals: Online applications for rental agreements enable the landlord and applicant to interact while observing social-distancing protocols. Be careful of applications that request information such as Age, Occupation, Income, Gender and more sensitive information such as bank or SIN card numbers. These can often be attempts to steal information. Please note that Kijiji does not facilitate online applications and we are not involved in any agreements made between the landlord and applicant.
  • Clean / Disinfect Items: We recommend cleaning items before and after a transaction as per the Health Canada page on Coronavirus (COVID-19) prevention. Please visit Health Canada to learn more about precautions to take at this time.