A Toronto man has been charged after allegedly defrauding Mississauga renters of about $20,000 in a fake rental property fraud.
Peel Regional Police say that a man posted online ads on Kijiji for a room to rent in a residential area near Goreway and Morningstar drives between October 2018 and May 2019.
In a news release issued on Tuesday, investigators said the victims were “enticed into paying first and/or last month’s rent to the man by way of an e-transfer.”
“Subsequent to payment, the man ceased all contact with the victims,” police said.
Const. Iryna Yashnyk said there are at least 14 victims of this rental scam.
“They paid first and last month’s rent and on the move-in day when they attended the apartment, it was occupied by tenants,” she said.
At least one person posted their own ad on Kijiji warning others about the alleged scam, saying that the renter “takes first and last for an unfinished basement and then does not have it ready by move-in date.”
Steyn Kalala, 33, was taken into custody on June 26 in connection with the incident. He has been charged with defrauding the public.
Kalala was released with conditions and is scheduled to appear in court again in July.
Police say they believe there may be more victims and are asking anyone with information to contact the fraud bureau at (905) 453–2121, ext. 3335 or to reach out to Crime Stoppers anonymously.