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‘Very easy’: Winnipeg man warns of scam after his car was used as collateral

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A Winnipeg man is warning others, after he says he was scammed by a former tenant -- who simply used a photo of his vehicle to secure a loan. Teagan Rasche reports on this rare fraud and how it happened – May 27, 2024

When Roger Trachsel offered up his basement suite to a man through an ad from Kijiji in the spring of 2023, he never thought it would go so downhill.

“Just wanted to help someone in need,” Trachsel said.

He says problems quickly arose. After only a week, Trachsel caught his new tenant stealing his wedding ring and promptly evicted him.

Nearly a year later, Traschel got an unexpected knock on his door.

“A bailiff from Recoveries of Manitoba showed up at my door,” Trachsel said.

The bailiff arrived looking for Trachsel’s former tenant and was to seize Traschel’s vehicle. The bailiff explained the former tenant had taken a photo of Traschel’s Toyota Venza and used it as collateral to get a loan from Quebec-based BHM Financial.

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“He got a personal loan and when he didn’t make any repayments towards that personal loan, the financial company put a lien on my vehicle,” Trachsel said.

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The bailiff told the company to drop case but Trachsel says there is still a lien on his vehicle and he’s scared to drive it with the fear of getting towed.

He’s now made a police report and contacted the Better Business Bureau.

Trachsel says his next step would be small claims court.

“It’s a very easy thing for someone to do that knows about that process,” Trachsel said.

University of Manitoba law professor Darcy MacPherson says banks are supposed to do their due diligence when people are applying for a loan.

“If this were a reputable big bank or credit union that does this on a regular basis, they would know what the rules are whether they were operating through lawyers or their own staff,” MacPherson said.

BHM Financial never returned Global News’ request for comment.

As for Trachsel, he says he’s learned a valuable lesson.

“Broke my habit of checking on Kijiji,” he said followed by a chuckle.

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Trachsel hopes by sharing his story, he can help others stay vigilant.

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