Social media scammers target people looking to rent property

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Social media scammers are targeting people looking to rent property

A rustic house in Prince Edward Island. The province has some 3,500 seasonal residents, who often rent out their property to vacationers.

Fraudsters are targeting people looking to rent property in Prince Edward Island, police say. The alleged frauds are orchestrated on social networks, for example on Facebook Marketplace.

The Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) in the province indicated on Friday that they opened a investigation after numerous complaints.

People who have allegedly been defrauded say they responded to advertisements for properties to rent.

They are asked to send a deposit for their rental, but once the money was sent, the responses stopped and their deposit was never refunded.

Police say people even went to the property they believed to be renting, only to be greeted by the visibly confused rightful owners of the premises.

The Prince Edward Island is a popular province for tourists. It also has some 3,500 seasonal residents, who often rent their property on the island.

People who believe they have been victims of such a scam are encouraged to file a complaint with their local police department and then contact the Canadian Anti-Fraud Center at 1-888-495-8501 or online.

Kings RCMP Constable Jeremy Johnston , in Prince Edward Island, recommends that Internet users carefully check the history of the ads published by the Facebook Marketplace user to whom they are about to write. Look at their profile, he also mentioned. If you see they have no friends, you can assume that's not a real profile.

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