August 12th, 2013
Don’t Let a Cottage Rental Scam Ruin Your Summer Holiday
It’s summer and what better way to enjoy it than spend time in beautiful Ontario cottage country!
You’ve been waiting for months. The barbeques, swimming, fishing, boating and family fun.
Except this summer if you are renting a cottage you need to watch out.
What Is the Cottage Rental Scam?
According to a report on CTV News, the Ontario Provincial Police are warning cottage renters of a scam going around.
You might think you are about to start your summer holiday by the lake but if you aren’t careful your vacation will be ruined and you will be out thousands of dollars.
How Does the Scam Operate?
We’ve seen these types of scams before. Usually they target university and college students.
Here’s how this new one operates.
The police say it all begins like the ‘student renter scam’. A person wants to rent a cottage and goes online to see what’s available.
Once the person finds a cottage they want to rent they pay a deposit or the full amount to rent the place for a week or two.
The person is so excited to find a great cottages, begins thinking about the vacation and isn’t careful to do any checking.
The person and their family arrive at the cottage address and find…
1. There isn’t any cottage there, or
2. The cottage isn’t a cottage at all. It’s someone’s house. And they aren’t renting it.
In both cases the cottage renter was scammed and lost money, in addition to ruining their vacation plans.
The OPP states there have been a number of victims in the past few weeks.
They warn if you become a victim of this type of fraud it will be very different to recover your money.
How Can You Protect Yourself?
Police investigators advise potential renters to make sure you are dealing with the owner of the cottage directly or a reputable company that is known for renting out cottages in the area.