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Social media fraudsters target people looking to rent property

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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 said Friday it has opened an investigation after many complaints.

People who were allegedly defrauded say they responded to ads for rental properties.

They were 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.

Prince Edward Island is a popular province for tourists. It also has some 3,500 seasonal residents, who often rent out 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 (New window).

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The policeman Jeremy Johnsonof the RCMP of the detachment of Kingsin Prince Edward Island, recommends that Internet users carefully check the history of the ads published by the user of Facebook Marketplace to whom they are about to write. Look at their profilehe also mentioned. If you see they have no friends, you can assume that’s not a real profile.

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