Ontario Provincial Police are warning the public regarding an on-line cottage rentals scam using the website Kijiji.
The scam works by suspects posting an advertisement of a cottage for rent which includes a picture of a cottage, and rental information. So far the scam has included cottage and condo rental properties in the Muskoka Lakes, Bracebridge, Huntsville and Collingwood areas. The ads appear legitimate, but do not actually exist. The rental fraud works by having victims send a deposit for the properties via E-Transfer. The suspects have used different names in the fraudulent ads. Once the suspects receive the down payment for the fraudulent property rental all communication with the victims stops leaving the victim out the money.
Police are recommending potential renters or anyone using any online advertisement sites such as kijiji, Craigslist to review their on-line safety tips section prior to making any purchases. Within the on-line kijiji section “how do l stay safe while using kijiji” it states “Never send or wire money to sellers or buyers”.