Ways to Stay Safe in Vancouver

Although Vancouver might look like a safe city compared to others, you shouldn’t underestimate its dangers and risks. Don’t get me wrong, I love Vancouver, and I think it’s a beautiful city, but like many others, it isn’t perfect. Safety is still a topic that’s not discussed enough, so I want to share this valuable information to help prevent unwanted circumstances. Rental scams and scams in general still exist, and newcomers (especially students) are actively targeted.

Rental Scams

With a competitive housing market and people looking for affordable housing, it sure is hard to come across good offers. That’s why rental scams are so easy to fall for. Scammers take advantage of newcomers and students who look for places with low prices. For this reason, they make the easiest targets and, thus, an easy way for scammers to make quick money.

So, how can someone identify these scams and avoid falling for them? Here are a few tips:

    1. If the listing is too good to be true, it probably is. It is almost impossible to find a fully furnished, one-bedroom apartment with all utilities included in a good location for $1000.
    2. Beware of what websites you use to search for housing. For example, you are more likely to find scams on Facebook marketplace and Craigslist than on liv.rent.
    3. The security deposit. Usually, landlords will ask for a security deposit to make sure you’re serious about renting the place. The deposit should not exceed half the amount of rent. If they ask for more, it’s most likely a scam, and they just want to take the money.

Other Scams

Unfortunately, rental scams are not the only scams you’ll encounter. Emails, text messages, and phone scams are not uncommon. You’re likely to get emails and texts from unknown numbers or addresses claiming you’ve won a price you’ve never heard of. Other claims include your bank account being emptied or having done something bad enough the Government is looking for you. These scams are all designed to evoke a sense of urgency, so you’re desperate to know more about the false claims. Also, beware of sketchy links (which are most likely to come with emails or texts) because as soon as you click them, your personal information can be stolen by scammers.

Finally, phone calls are also a common way to steal information. You might get calls from unknown numbers or calls with IDs saying they’re from the Canadian Government. The best way to avoid getting your information stolen is to simply not answer or hang up as soon as possible. Also, not engaging in a call with someone telling you your bank account has been emptied, so they need your SIN to get all your money back. It’s all lies. They’re trying to scam you.