Email scammers use Selkirk rental listings

An email scan is targeting local people advertising rentals for Selkirk students

An email scam is currently targeting local people advertising rentals for Selkirk College students.

Those working the scam appear to be getting information from the Selkirk College web page listings of rental units available in the area. The college hosts a space where those providing or seeking accommodations can post information, similar to a classified advertisement. The college is not involved in arranging these accommodations, that is left to the landlord and student. “This is a great service for both parties. We have received good feed back from landlords and students,” said Cathy Mercer, Selkirk College Director of Student Enrollment Services and Registrar.

Unfortunately, someone has decided to take advantage of the listings with a version of a cheque cashing scam. Wendy Voykin has received four of these fraudulent emails since posting her rental listing. “I was surprised at how far the contact with these people went,” said Voykin of the exchange that involved numerous emails from a potential renter claiming to be from England, payment arrangements made by her businessman father through a third party and finally a cheque for $5000 arriving at her home. The cheque was made to appear to have come from UBC, including a legitimate address. The father then claimed there was a mistake and UBC should not have sent her that amount and requested that she cash the cheque, keep the deposit amount, and send the remaining funds back to the student.

Voykin was not taken in by the scam, noticing several red flags along the way including some improper uses of English, that did not seem to fit with the scenario of a student and businessman from England.

She subsequently received three other emails from students claiming to be from Wales and Tanzania.

Voykin just wants others to know about the scam, so no one gets hurt. “There are people who might get burned, and be out $5000 in this community and there may be students that might not get housing because people will stop putting their names up any more,” she said. “It is an important service Selkirk provides. At the same time, I don’t want someone to get scammed.” She has notified Selkirk and UBC about the incident and has reported the fraud.

According to Cathy Mercer, Selkirk will be taking steps to alert those using the rental listings of the potential scam. “We will take some extra measures to help students and landlords to pay more attention,” said Mercer. These steps will likely include the addition of some yellow warning boxes on the website and an automated reply that will go out when someone posts a listing.

Mercer emphasized that most listings and responses are legitimate, but they do want to encourage anyone who has been approached with something suspicious to contact them right away. “We would like the community to keep the college informed,” said Mercer, “So we can help and warn others.”

 

 

 

 

Just Posted

Born 1 pound, 11 ounces, Winlaw premature baby comes home

Indra Greaves was born at the Nelson hospital after just 24 weeks of gestation

Rebels beef up blueline as trade deadline closes

Tyson Soobotin, 18, was playing for the Nelson Leafs, and Elijah Havers, 17, joins the team from the Coyotes in Osooyoos

Scammers using Castlegar home for rental fraud

Local realtors say the problem is happening more frequently with their properties

Updated: Outbreak prompts advisory for visitors to extended care wing in Trail hospital

A respiratory infection has been active in Poplar Ridge Pavilion since Monday, advises IH

Trail area homicide investigation continues

Jan. 14 marked one year since Jordan Workman was discovered in the trunk of a burnt car

Keep focus on helping Canadians at home, Trudeau tells MPs at start of meeting

Trudeau said the Liberals will offer Canadians hope amid issue like climate change and global tensions

Patriots make 3rd straight Super Bowl, beat Chiefs 37-31 in OT

New England will meet L.A. Rams in NFL title game

Pettersson returns to lead Canucks to 3-2 win over Red Wings

Vancouver’s super rookie has 2 points in first game back after knee injury

Skaters stranded in Saint John, NB, amid storm on last day of championships

More than half of the flights out of the city’s airport were cancelled due to the weather

Call for tighter bail rules after Saudi sex-crime suspect vanishes

Mohammed Zuraibi Alzoabi was facing charges related to alleged sexual assault, criminal harassment, assault and forcible confinement of a woman

12 poisoned eagles found on Vancouver Island

Improper disposal of euthanized animal suspected

Olympic softball qualifier to be held in B.C.

Tournament is to be held Aug. 25 to Sept. 1

B.C. resident creates global sport training program

The 20 hour course teaches the science and application of interval training at the university level

B.C. VIEWS: Fact-checking the NDP’s speculation tax on empty homes

Negative-option billing is still legal for governments

Most Read