OPP investigating scam in cottage country

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A northern Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) detachment is warning cottage-goers of an online scam.

The Huntsville OPP detachment is investigating the scam that involves suspects posting advertisements for cottages online that include rental information and information--they appear legitimate.

The scammers then ask prospective renters to pay for their reservation via e-transfer or direct deposit to a private bank account.

Renters then learn, upon arriving at the location and discovering the owners were not aware someone had rented their property, that it's a scam.

Because people pay in advance, once the money changes hands it's difficult if not impossible for those who were scammed to get their money back.

In order to avoid getting scammed, police are encouraging prospective renters to avoid using e-transfer and direct deposit for these interactions.

Additionally, police strongly encourage those looking to rent a cottage to only deal with the owner, or a reputable business that specializes in seasonal cottage renting directly, and to never book a rental without first seeing the property in person.

Anyone with information that pertains to the scam is urged to contact Huntsville OPP at 705-789-5551. Further, information may be provided anonymously to Crime Stoppers by calling 1-800-222-8477 or visiting their website.

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