How to avoid SCAM while finding a house in Canada? Jameela H

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Starting new life

An international student or immigrant may find it challenging to find housing, a roommate, a SIM card, and other necessities when they first arrive in Canada. I experienced the same thing. Like other young people, I was perplexed and disoriented; acquiring the presto card and figuring out transit on my own felt like the most difficult tasks. However, the initial days went by while being aware of the necessities to begin a new life here. However, there is something you should be aware of, and that is how to avoid being scammed before renting a house.

Finding a House

When it came to house hunting and finding a suitable roommate, that’s when I knew the real hustle was beginning here. Because I only had a few days left at Airbnb, I frantically started looking for a room on Facebook Marketplace, Kijiji, and other websites.

During my search, coming across an apartment listed on the Facebook marketplace for $800. It was too good to be true! Attracted to its pricing, I approached the agent, and within a few hours, he asked me to fill out a basic form and an enrollment fee of $100. Out of desperation, I transferred $100 and forwarded the record without taking anyone’s suggestion or advice. Interact transfers are immediate.

Later after following up with the agent was asked for a confirmation receipt of the payment and other processes. After following up for hours and days, neither did I get the confirmation receipt nor any reply from them. After telling a handful of pals what had happened, they laughed at me and said, “You’ve been house scammed.” Tears streamed down my cheeks since I had not expected this to happen to me in Canada. Gathering myself up and, without losing faith, I began apartment hunting again, this time with greater caution and accuracy.

How to protect yourself

To take away from this situation, the following are the few things every student or new immigrant needs to be careful about 

  • If the house is in high demand at a prime location at a suspiciously low price.
  • If the seller refuses to meet you in person or does not allow you to see the item before you buy it.
  • If the owner has come up with some creative justifications for why the price is so low.
  • Give up personal or financial information only if you are confident that the email is secure and legitimate.

Whenever it seems alarmed, be alert. Alot of people will tell you everything’s OK and let it go, but no one will step forward to help you with the situation, so mentally prepare yourself that you are your own family and must pick yourself up and start working towards your goal. So, it is better to be safe than sorry.

To gain more information about Canada and life in Canada refer to this article: How to survive in Winters?

Author: Jameela Halde is an international student currently pursuing Marketing Management from Lambton College, Toronto.

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