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Ontario family scammed $3,500 trying to rent cottage

An Ontario household says they have been scammed out of practically $3,500 after making an attempt to hire a cottage by means of Fb Market.

A household from St. Catharines, Ont. wished to hire a cottage towards the top of the summer time and thought they discovered the proper spot close to Georgian Bay.

“My children seen this man on Fb Market. He had a contract, he had a profile, we checked, and all the pieces appeared legit,” Ken Koroll informed CTV Information Toronto.

Koroll mentioned they paid $3,480 prematurely, sending the cash by e-transfer, however they have been shocked after they arrived.

“We ended up packing up all the pieces. We had just a little boat and our granddaughter, and everyone was in three autos, however after we bought there, we came upon it wasn’t for hire,” Koroll mentioned.

Koroll realized that they had been scammed after calling the one who listed the cottage for hire.

“My daughter tried to name him again, after which the quantity was not in service — she had been blocked,” mentioned Koroll. “We went and knocked on the neighbour’s door, and so they mentioned somebody had been scammed the week earlier than similar to us.”

Koroll contacted Fb Market about what occurred however mentioned nobody replied. CTV Information Toronto reached out to Meta, Fb Market’s mother or father firm, however didn’t hear a response.

Social media specialists warning in opposition to sending cash to anybody by means of Fb Market except you’ll be able to attempt to meet the individual you’re coping with first.

“Are they keen to take a deposit as an alternative of all the quantity in full? Is there a method of attending to the property or visiting the property if it is not too distant?” mentioned Janita Pannu, a digital advertising professional with OPIIA, Inc.

Following related complaints, Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) issued a warning that mentioned do not ship cash by direct deposit or e-transfer and think about the property in individual with the proprietor current or take care of a good enterprise specializing in cottage leases.

The OPP additionally mentioned to look on-line to seek out evaluations from previous clients and meet in a public place to change funds.

Koroll mentioned Meta ought to crack down on fraudulent advertisements on its platform to stop others from being scammed.

“We save all 12 months for a cottage, and it is very irritating when this occurs. We have talked to the OPP, however Fb is not giving us the time of day,” mentioned Koroll

The demand for cottage leases in Ontario could be very excessive, and also you sometimes must guide months prematurely. In line with some cottage rental web sites, the perfect time to search for a cottage for subsequent summer time is between December and February.  

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