RCMP warns of AirBnb fraud after guest poses as owner in Okanagan

Police search for a male suspect after reported frauds in Kelowna

RCMP are investigating a string of rental scams that have been targeting would-be renters in Kelowna.

The fraudsters are reportedly listing property for rent in the Kelowna area in which police believe they are currently renting through sites like AirBnb.

Posing as the property’s owner, the scammer then lists the site online and shows the property to renters and then secures damage deposits. Come move-in day, the scam victims find the property is occupied. They are then unable to track down the scammer and are out their deposits.

READ MORE: Fireworks allegedly shot at Kelowna homeless encampment

Cpl. Meghan Foster with the Kelowna RCMP believe the scammer used a fake name during the rental frauds.

“The suspect male has allegedly provided the name of Tim Halyhart to the renters but we do not believe this to be the suspect male’s true identity,” said Foster.

“This investigation is on-going and our priority is to identify the suspect male in an effort to advance the investigation.”

Halyhart is described as a black male between the ages of 23 and 30, five-foot-eleven and with a larger body build.

Anyone with information are asked to cal Kelowna RCMP at 250-762-3300 or Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477.

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