Realtor issues warning about local housing scam

By Taylor Chartrand
January 13, 2019 - 10:40am Updated: January 17, 2019 - 10:34am

Medicine Hat, AB - One local real estate agent here in Medicine Hat is concerned.

Why is that?

Well, a fraudulent website has popped up listing homes here in Medicine Hat. 

Sandy Kapeller works with Re/Max Medalta Real Estate and she explains the situation.

"The company is called 'Prop2Go'," said Kapeller. "Users from the website are pulling our listings into their website, putting them out there fraudulently and trying to rent out our properties."

The issue was brought to her attention by one of her former clients.

"A client called me and said 'I seen one of your listings that was posted on this 'Prop2Go' website, are they really renting it?' I said, 'absolutely not'."

Kapeller said users from this site are asking residents to provide some very personal information.

"They're asking for passports, a copy of your drivers license and all types of personal information. They're either trying to scam your identity or trying to get a deposit from you." 

The 20-year real estate veteran was hosting an open house yesterday and conveniently enough, that property was one of the listings on Prop2Go.

"I mean, to rent a house that we're standing in for $900 including the utilities? Absolutely not. A property like this should rent for $1,300 plus."

Their target?

"Probably the vulnerable. Basically anyone that's excited that they can rent a house like this or a seniors complex for $500."

Within the website itself, there are listings for single family homes, retirement suites, condos and villas. This website has hundreds of listings both in Canada and the United States. 

"It looks very, very professional. You scroll through and there's lots of photos and brief descriptions. There's a little click on the side that says 'Do you want more information on this particular rental?' You click yes, they'll ask for your email address, send you a quick little email that says 'yup, this property is still available'."

If you want more information, those who post the ad will send you an application and in that application is where they're asking for all your personal information. Kapeller said do not give it out and to stay away from Prop2Go.

"They're telling people to go look in the windows because they're 'out of town'. They want you to come, look through the windows and go through the yard. Absolutely not. Nobody would tell you to do that."

Kapeller said she emailed the company about their listings and explained she received a very 'sketchy' response.

"When you're reading an email back from them, be very careful of how they're wording their sentences. You can tell it's not grammatically correct. There's either words missing or the sentences aren't quite right. That should be an indication that they are not a legit company."

She says if the deal is too good to be true, stay away.

"Call a realtor, call our office or call any local company in town. They'll know if it's available and legitimate." 

Kapeller has spoken with the Medicine Hat Police Service and they are currently looking into the matter.

CHAT News reached out to Prop2Go representatives and their response can be found here.

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