Gateway Gazette

RCMP Red Deer – Reports for December 5 2014

Red Deer RCMP seek public assistance to locate 16 year old Alexander Stone – Renewed request for assistance

Red Deer RCMP would like to renew their request for public assistance in locating 16 year old Alexander Stone, who was reported missing on November 4, 2014. RCMP have conducted numerous checks for Stone at various locations for the past month without success.

STONE, AlexanderAlexander Stone is described as:

·         Aboriginal

·         191 cm

·         68 kg

·         Brown hair

·         Brown eyes

Please see attached photo of Stone.

If you have any information on Alexander Stone’s whereabouts you are asked to contact the Red Deer RCMP at 403.343.5575.

Online rental scams continue to cycle through Red Deer

Red Deer RCMP received three new reports in the last three days regarding online rental scams. In all cases, the potential victims were not defrauded of money, as all chose to physically verify that the advertised “rental property” was actually for rent before wiring money.

Like all scams, rental scams are ongoing – many scams are seasonal, while others crop up irregularly throughout the year. RCMP are pleased that Red Deerians continue to ask the right questions and show caution when dealing with strangers online.

Red Deer RCMP urge you to identify the people in your life who may be vulnerable to scams and educate them on how to recognize and protect themselves against fraud. Find the tools at www.antifraudcentre.ca.

Red Deer RCMP warn public about online real estate scams

Since March 25, Red Deerians have reported three separate real estate scams on Kijiji that show photos of houses in Red Deer that are supposedly for rent. In all cases, the houses were not for rent; two are listed for sale and, in the third instance, a scammer attached an image of a Red Deer house to a fictitious Calgary address. Scammers are copying information from online listings of homes for sale and presenting them as rental opportunities.

“When contacted by potential tenants, rental scammers claim to be out of the country; they instruct victims to send the damage deposit and first month’s rent through an untraceable wire transfer service such as Moneygram or Western Union, and say they will send the keys once they have received the money,” says Corporal Sarah Knelsen of Red Deer RCMP. “Some scammers also ask victims to fill out rental application forms with personal information that could then be used for identity theft and other financial fraud.”

Safety tips when looking for a new home:

·         If you can’t view the inside of the place, don’t put down a deposit.

·         Be cautious if the price seems low for the size and location. If it sounds too good to be true, it usually is.

·         If the photos look professional or appear to be model homes, they may have been copied from a real estate website. You should also be cautious if the photos are very low resolution or of little relevance: for example, showing only the bathroom. That may indicate the “seller” doesn’t have access to the inside of the home.

·         If you’re looking at rental ads, be leery of long, flowery descriptions and lists of features; these are more likely to be copied from realtor listings of houses for sale. Descriptions of roof and furnace repairs are also a flag as they aren’t relevant to renters.

·         Steer clear of ads that ask you to respond with information such as your age, occupation, income, gender, bank information or Social Insurance Number.

 

“Kijiji has a ‘Staying Safe on Kijiji’ section on their site with tips for detecting scammers, including examples of scammer emails,” Knelsen says. “Before using any online service, it’s vital to educate yourself on potential pitfalls.”

 

March is Fraud Prevention Month and Red Deer RCMP remind the public that, as scammers continue to find creative ways to victimize trusting people, increased vigilance is necessary. Arm yourself and the vulnerable people in your life by learning how to recognize and protect yourself from fraud: http://www.antifraudcentre.ca.

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