Saskatoon family deals with real estate scam
Imagine answering your door to someone believing your home is available to rent...when it isn't. Then imagine that it's not just one person, but a number of people over the span of a couple days.
That's what one Saskatoon family is trying to cope with.
Nicole Mewis was at home when her doorbell rang. At the door was Mike Bloomquist. He said he saw a posting on Kijiji advertising her home as a rental. Mewis was taken aback - she never had even thought about renting her home.
"At that point I didn't know anything was up so I called my realtor to see if there was a typo on her advertisement," says Mewis.
The realtor told her that she had been getting calls about rental properties she didn't list. When she looked into it she found something that startled her. She alleges that someone from Nigeria had stolen her name and pictures of homes from her website.
Kari Calder, the realtor, says they were used to create fraudulent rental ads asking for deposits up front. "It could potentially hurt my business, but it hurts me more to think people are potentially sending money thinking they're sending it to me."
Bloombquist says he'd thought he found the dream rental. He didn't send the money but he kept the email exchanges. He says the phony realtor told him she was doing missionary work in Africa and couldn't show him the home. "It started setting off alarm bells pretty quick there."
In the email, Bloomquist was asked to mail a check through Western Union to a man named Giwa Daniel and call him when it had been made.
CTV's John Baglieri called the number given, and spoke to Daniel. He denies any knowledge of the alleged scam. Daniel went on to deny any involvement in these emails.
The RCMP say they have known about this kind of fraud for some time now and continue to investigate.