It’s been a year since Murrayville residents Lillian and Dwain Seymour were besieged by would-be renters preparing to move into the Langley couple’s home.
For about a month, people would knock on the Seymour’s front door only to discover the house was not for rent.
The visitors were victims of a scam, one where a con artist convinced people to pay a deposit for a property he did not own, based upon photos in online ads, while talking the prospective renters out of actually taking a look until their move-in date.
Dwain said it has been thankfully quiet since then.
“There’s nobody moving in,” he said.
Word that police have arrested a 39-year-old Langley man for running a similar sort of con during the same period was good to hear, Dwain said.
“I’m glad, of course,” he told the Langley Advance Times.
“I’m really happy.”
Langley RCMP Cpl. Holly Largy said a Langley man facing multiple rent fraud-related charges was arrested in Winnipeg after he failed to turn up before a judge earlier this year.
Back in 2019, several residents of Langley went to the RCMP after they fell victim to a suspected rental fraud scam.
Police identified and arrested a suspect, and Jordan Lunny, now 38, was charged with multiple counts of fraud over $5,000, with the alleged scams taking place between June and October of last year.
“The scam involved victims putting down deposits to rent a local unit, after meeting the alleged owner at a coffee shop or other nearby location,” Largy said.
“At least one victim told the police he had handed over the money, was told he couldn’t see the property in person because there were tenants on site who were being evicted, and then only realized the scam when he saw that the property was still available for rent.”
Lunny was arrested in November, and court records note at least one instance where he failed to initially appear for a scheduled court hearing.
A warrant was issued after he failed to appear on Jan. 31, said Cpl. Holly Largy, spokesperson for the Langley RCMP.
READ MORE: Arrest in Langley rental scam
This time, Lunny had vanished from B.C. entirely.
In May, officers learned he had relocated to Manitoba.
With the help of the Winnipeg Police Service, officers got a warrant, and he was arrested on Sept. 19 and has since been transported back to Langley.
Lunny appeared before a Surrey Provincial Court judge on Friday, Oct. 9. where court records show he is set to return to court Nov. 2.
Dwain hasn’t heard whether the people who turned up on his doorstep were among the fraud cases cited by the Langley RCMP, but even if they aren’t, he hopes news that police were able to locate and charge a fraudster will have a deterrent effect on like-minded people.
Better Business Bureau (BBB) reports this type of scam has been going on for several years across all provinces on websites like Craigslist and Kijiji.
The agency recommends searching online for the listings.
If you find the same ad being posted and located in other cities then you can be sure it’s a scam.