Less than two weeks after Global News first reported on an alleged Toronto condo rental scam, police say 28 people have come forward to say they were defrauded.
Toronto police said Tuesday that investigators are looking for two suspects after several prospective renters responded to a Kijiji ad advertising a condo unit for rent in the Park Lawn Road and Lake Shore Boulevard West area, toured the unit, signed a rental agreement and provided first and last months’ rent.
Police said the person showing the unit wasn’t authorized to rent it out.
“These are rental scams. They involve first and last month’s rent. Typically in Toronto, you’re looking anywhere from $1,500 to $2,500 per month, per person. It’s a substantial amount of money,” Const. David Hopkinson told Global News Tuesday.
“That’s why we’d like to get these guys – not only to prevent this from happening to other people, but to bring them before the courts.”
Police initially said they were looking for 33-year-old Olufemi (who also goes by the first name of “Femi”) Abiodun Agunbiade. But police said as a result of their ongoing investigation, Olufemi’s brother, 43-year-old Olajide Agunbiade, is now wanted as well.
Hopkinson said the suspects could be charged with multiple counts of fraud.
He encouraged renters to ask for ID from their prospective landlord, get receipts of their transactions and use cheques to pay for first and last months’ rent in order for payments to be tracked properly.
Meanwhile, police asked anyone who knows where Olufemi and Olajide are or anyone who may have been defrauded to contact investigators at 416-808-2200 or Crime Stoppers anonymously at 416-222-8477.
With files from Shallima Maharaj