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LaSalle woman allegedly scams families out of thousands in rental house fraud

A 43-year-old LaSalle woman has been arrested in connection to a home rental scam. 

According to the police, two groups of people simultaneously arrived on Wednesday to a house on Huron Church Line under the impression they were moving in.

Both families gave the landlord the initial and final month's rent.

LaSalle Police conducted an investigation and discovered a third tenant had also paid rent. Police say the victims paid almost $5,000 to cover the first and last month’s rent. So far, only one of the victims has received their money back.

The three tenants had seen the rental home with the landlord after responding to a Facebook marketplace ad for it.

“The Facebook ad itself at face value was really not suspicious. It was like any other home for rent,” said sr. const. Terry Seguin. He notes, the home was listed at a reasonable price and did not seem “too good too be true.”

According to police, one of the victims reported the landlord began to respond slowly after they had paid the down payment and noticed various ads of the same property on different platforms.

Police are asking anyone who believes they may have been scammed to contact them at 519-969-5210.

“There may very well be additional victims that have yet to come forward,” said Seguin.

LaSalle Police have released a list of home rental fraud prevention tips:

  • Research the listing: Thoroughly investigate the property and the person offering it for rent. Look for inconsistencies, such as unusually low prices or incomplete details.
  • Verify the owner/agent: Request identification and contact information from the owner or rental agent. Cross-check their details through on-line searches or by contacting relevant authorities. Avoid using the contact information provided solely in the listing, as it could be fraudulent.
  • Ask for references and ask to speak with previous tenants to verify that the landlord is legitimate and reasonable.
  • Avoid wire transfers: Be cautious of landlords who ask for up-front payments via wire transfers or prepaid debit cards. Use secure payment methods, such as credit cards or reputable on-line platforms. Be wary of requests for up-front payments: Exercise caution if asked to pay a large sum of money up-front or via unconventional payment methods. Legitimate landlords or agents typically follow standard rental procedures.
  • Visit the property: Whenever possible, visit the property in person before making any financial commitments. If distance is an issue, consider requesting a virtual tour or asking someone you trust to visit on your behalf.
  • Use trusted platforms: Utilize reputable rental platforms or well-known real estate agencies with a verified track record. Be cautious when dealing with independent or lesser-known websites or individuals.
  • Beware of unbelievably good deals: If a rental seems too good to be true, it probably is. Unrealistically low prices or pressure to make immediate decisions could be red flags.
  • Read the contract thoroughly: Carefully review the rental agreement, including terms and conditions, before signing anything. Seek legal advice if necessary.
  • Check the paperwork: Insist on proper rental agreements or contracts that outline terms and conditions. Review them carefully and seek legal advice if necessary.
  • Use trusted platforms: Utilize reputable rental platforms or work with established rental agencies to reduce the risk of fraud.
  • Trust your instincts: If something feels off or too good to be true, it’s important to trust your gut. It’s better to be cautious and avoid potential scams than to become a victim. Top Stories


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