DISCLAIMER: I don't usually need one of these for my own blog, but this is a special case. I have permission from the friends mentioned to reproduce all the emails and images below. Also, the more this scam gets written about, the more people will be able to find it in search engines and the more people will hopefully be able to avoid this kind of nonsense without losing money! Woo all around. Don't forget to follow basic scam protections guidelines when looking for a place to rent.
tl;dr version: you can jump ahead to the CBC article about this type of scam, originally posted on February 4th, 2015
Are you old enough to remember when escrow scams were a big scary thing on eBay, which pretty much the only online marketplace at the time? Err, me neither. You might also not be familiar with common rental scams, now making a "comeback". Please read those "airquotes" as "this has been happening non-stop since forever but it only makes the news once in a while when there's a twist".
A friend is shopping around for a new apartment. My brother and I have found some great places through kijiji in the past, you just have to wade through the crap to find something good. Looking to rent is never fun since there's no point in getting an agent and it's a lot of hours flipping through ads like "hellhole, crap, too expensive, dump, someone was clearly murdered there, if I live there I will get murdered" and "hey, that's not bad" before you can even book a viewing. Then you call the nice lady and find out she rented out the place ages ago and never took down the ad. Arghlebargle. NOW IT'S STORY TIME!