Muskoka Post Staff
🚨 SCAM ALERT – Huntsville OPP is investigating reports of an online cottage rental scam.
The victims are asked to send money via e-transfer/direct deposit, but upon arrival to the rental, they find the owner unaware of the transaction. Never send or wire money to sellers. Be cautious and deal directly with owner.
Fraudsters post an online advertisement for a cottage on popular sites, including pictures and rental information, which appears legitimate. Victims are asked to send money via e-transfer or direct deposit, but when they attend the cottage for their vacation, they find the actual owner unaware of the transaction.
Sadly, in many cases, once the money is sent it is very hard to get back. Don't let this happen to you.
- Never send or wire money to sellers or buyers.
- View the property with a friend in person, with the owner present prior to payment.
- Do not send money by direct deposit/e-transfer.
- Be very cautious and only deal directly with the owner of the cottage or a reputable business that specializes in seasonal cottage renting.
- Search the owner/business online to find reviews from past customers (eg: search the sellers name, address, or use Canada 411 to find additional information).
- Meet in a public place to exchange money, such as a bank during business hours.
- If it seems too good to be true, it probably is.
Anyone with information about this scam, please call Huntsville OPP at 705-789-5551 or Crime Stoppers to remain anonymous at 1-800-222-8477.
Report and get up-to-date information on scams in Canada by visiting the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre at www.antifraudcentre.ca/