Avoiding Vacation Rental Scams

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; You’re also able to link your PayPal and Kijiji accounts directly when transacting with others if you wish.
  • 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.
 
Searching for a Vacation Rental can be quite exciting given the vast options offered on Kijiji. That being said, we do have some suggestions in order to stay safe while searching this category;
 
If it looks too good to be true - it probably is.
 
  • Look up the reasonable price range for this type of property in the same area. If the price is too good to be true, be extra cautious.
 
Do your homework.
 
  • Ask the user to provide you with ownership documents. The name provided on the lease should match the name on public property records.
  • Look up the property address and conduct a ‘Street View’ to ensure that the property exists and appears the same as in the images.
 
It’s in the details.
 
  • Ask for additional images. The true owner of this property will be able to provide you with images that are not necessarily included in the ad. Alternatively, ask the owner to contact you via video-conferencing (using Skype, Facetime, etc). This way you will be able to view the property and verify ownership.
  • Fraudulent users often prefer to use cash-transfers such as Money Gram or Western Union. We recommend that you use VISA, Master Card or American Express as they will help recover any payments in the case of loss. 

If you do choose to go with one of these cash-transfer sites, we highly recommend that you consider these additional tips:
    • Western Union will not send an invoice via email. Do not send funds or click any link from a supposed Western Union invoice.
    • If you receive an invoice, please contact the institution and ask if an invoice has been sent to your account. They will then be able to validate any transaction.