Craigslist and Kijiji have become part of the daily lexicon. Every day, buyers and sellers use these services (and others) to reach interested parties and undertake thousands of transactions.

However while such services are an efficient way to find the items you need and make a few dollars on the ones you don’t, there is a dark side. Fraud and scams are on the rise—and real estate is one of the biggest problem areas.

It’s understandable. Cities like Vancouver are competitive. Reasonable properties and rentals are quickly snatched up. In these conditions, sellers may be tempted to save money by eliminating the middleman, while buyers attempt to catalyze their search through a well-placed advert.

Many have experienced real success using online services, but people need to exercise caution. Remember, if an offer seems to good to be true—it probably is. When shopping for real estate or rental property online, always make it a point to meet with the seller. If anyone asks for money without providing the item, the keys or a lease, it’s a major red flag.

Avoid Real Estate Scams

To help avoid scams, try following these tips:

  • Ensure you can view the property (inside and out)
  • Beware of prices that seem too good to be true
  • Be wary of photos that look excessively professional
  • Note that excessive descriptions, features lists or repairs needed may signal an ad was copied from a real estate site
  • Use caution around ads that ask for personal information, like age or a SIN number
  • Never provide wire transfers or account information
  • When buying, always work with an agent who can verify the information and property background

At, our specialty is townhouses in Vancouver. We are experts in our field, relying on years of experience to streamline the process of buying and selling. If you’re looking for more information to avoid property scams, check out these tips from Kijiji.