May 16, 2013 12:44 pm

Warrant issued for Kijiji rental ad scammer

SASKATOON – A man has allegedly made off with over $24,000 after police say he scammed 24 people in Saskatoon and a Canada-wide warrant has been issued for his arrest.

Eager to settle down with her daughter, Lisa Currie was happy when she and her partner found a nice apartment on Kijiji.

Lisa said she met a man named Jason Hartlen who told them he was the apartment’s landlord.

“He looked very professional…seemed really nice and understanding. So we decided to rent, and the apartment condo was beautiful,” said Currie.

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Lisa said Hartlen was hoping to rent the place out for May 1st, and required a $1,100 damage deposit.

“He wanted first month’s damage deposit paid in cash. He said that cheques bounce so that wasn’t sufficient for him.”

After Lisa and her partner payed Hartlen, she said they called and texted him numerous times right before their move-in, but he never showed up, and they never saw that deposit again.

Twenty-three other people in Saskatoon have reportedly fallen victim to the scam, losing about $1,000 each.

Saskatoon police said Hartlen was renting the apartment himself.

“When I talked to his roommate, who he found on Kijiji, she told me he had no real friends or no real associates, no driver’s license. He just kind of drifted into town and she feels he has vacated town,” explained Sgt. Keith Briant with Saskatoon Police.

“We’re going to be finding out all this information through our Canada-wide network of fraud investigators,” he said.

“Anywhere he’s checked for whatever reason, he’ll be arrested and shipped back to Saskatoon to stand and face the judge.”

Police said he also has a history of fraud in B.C. and Alberta.

During Vancouver’s 2010 Olympics, it’s alleged he received $8,000 from the parents of an athlete to rent a house during the games. Police said he was gone with the money by the time the renters showed up.

© Shaw Media, 2013

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