RCMP police cruiser shown above.

RCMP police cruiser shown above.

Scam costs Nanaimo man thousands

Nanaimo RCMP say resident hit sent money to third party in U.K., believing he was securing Airbnb accommodations.

A scam, involving an Airbnb advertisement, has cost a local resident several thousand dollars, according to the Nanaimo RCMP.

Police say the Nanaimo man responded to an advertisement for a high-end condo in this city from an individual claiming to live in the United Kingdom. After several weeks of exchanging e-mails, the two agreed upon an amount and the man was directed to send money through Moneygram to a third party in the U.K. Shortly after wiring the money, he was contacted by the same person requiring more money to secure the rental unit, which is when he realized he was being scammed.

“The official Airbnb website warns users to not pay for rental units through off-site locations as it could lead to personal information being compromised and subject the payer to potential fraud and other security issues,” said Const. Gary O’Brien, Nanaimo RCMP spokesman. “This is exactly what transpired here.”

March is National Fraud Prevention Month.

Nanaimo News Bulletin