Pair of Winnipeg women charged after victims lose deposits for apartments found online: police

Police have charged two Winnipeg women with fraud after people who went looking for apartments online in two Canadian cities lost money they put down to secure a suite.

Police said six similar incidents happened in 2015 in Banff and Ottawa.

In each case, someone who posted or responded to an online ad while looking for an apartment was asked to e-transfer money to secure a property, as a security deposit or an advance rent payment, only to have communication end with the receiver once the money was sent.

Half of the six victims were trying to rent a property in Ottawa, the other half Banff.

Officers with the Winnipeg Police Service worked with Ottawa Police and Banff RCMP on the investigation.

The first suspect, a 41-year-old Winnipeg woman, was arrested June 7, and faces a single count of fraud under $5,000.

The second, a 43-year-old Winnipeg woman, was arrested Tuesday, faces six counts of the same charge.

Both have been released on a promise to appear in court.