Cottage country rental scam makes rounds gŏđŏ editionap.ca
As spring makes its slow progress through Ontario cottage owners also start working on getting their summer properties ready. Now they also need to be careful not to get taken in by a new con routine that tar- gets them.
The OPP issued an alert about scam in- volving rental properties that is starting to show up in Ontario. The main focus is on summer cottages or other similar rentals. The marks for the con are found through specific cottage rental websites. The victim
gets a call or an email with a request to rent the property for a few days. Then the victim gets another call later with a request for an extension on the cottage rental. A couple of days after the extension re- quest, the con artist phones or emails to say that there is another change in plan and the extended rental is no longer needed. The victim is told that the money has already been posted for the full amount in the form of American Express or some other type of traveller’s cheque using Euro denomina- tions. The con artist asks the mark to cash the cheques and mail back the refund balance. The catch is that these are phony traveller’s cheques and any bank examination of them will reveal them as such. In one case of this scam, the con artist provided the victim with a Canadian ad- dress. Police investigation determined the fake traveller’s cheques were sent from a country in Africa. The Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre has a complete list of the top scams in action in Canada. The list and information on how to avoid getting conned is available at www. antifraudcentre-centreantifraude.ca. “Grandparent scam” returns OPP have received reports of another re- appearance of the “grandparent scam” in Eastern Ontario. Also known as the “emergency call” scam, this con routine targets seniors in most cases. The con artist phones and claims to be a grandson or granddaughter of the vic- tim and says they are either in jail or calling from a police station somewhere else in the country or else from abroad. Sometimes an email is sent. The victim is persuaded to send money through a wire gram or other means to pro- vide bail or help pay a huge fine. The con artist counts on a grandparent’s sympa- thies and desire to help out a grandchild in trouble and also that the victim either is not always in touch with every family member and knows their whereabouts, or remem- bers all of their grandchildren or great- grandchildren. Variations of this scam involve the con art- ist claiming to be a relative or a close neigh- bour who got injured in an accident while out of town, being stuck somewhere on the way to a funeral or other major event, or some other dire situation that requires money to resolve. Anyone receiving this type of call should contact other family members to make sure that the alleged relative is travelling and has called to report being in trouble. If there is any suspicion then contact the police and report the matter.
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