A Stouffville man has been charged after an investigation into fictitious property rental advertisements in Waterloo Region.
Police say between November 2021 and February 2022, fake advertisements for rental properties in the area were posted on a buy and sell website.
The man allegedly communicated with the victims over email, text, phone and WhatsApp before asking them to sign a lease and e-transfer a down payment to secure the rental. After receiving the payment, he would stop answering them.
The victims would then show up at the address at the start of their lease, only to discover the agreement wasn't valid.
As a result of the investigation, a 46-year-old man was arrested and charged with the following:
- Defrauding the public
- Uttering forged documents
- Three counts of personation
- Laundering proceeds of crime
- Possession of an identity document
- Possession of a counterfeit stamp
In total, 36 victims of the scam were identified, with financial losses totalling over $30,000.
The investigation is ongoing, and anyone with information is asked to contact police or Crime Stoppers.