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Woman scammed out of Manitoulin cottage rental by fraudster

July 29, 2021 – A vacation property owner on Manitoulin Island, Ont., is warning others about rental listing scams.

Chet Skibinski, who owns the Mutchmor House in Providence Bay, says a woman tried to book a stay at his property earlier this summer through his VRBO listing, but at some point the woman got directed to a fake rental agreement.

The customer’s money ended up in Ireland.

Skibinski wants people to know that scammers are getting more sophisticated, and everyone needs to watch out for signs of trouble.

“Not every person on Manitoulin is internet-savvy,” he says. “And we’re going to get some cottage owners who go in naively and get involved with things like that.”

“I think the right thing to do is to have both sides, both owners, and guests, contact each other directly,” Skibinski says.

A spokesperson for VRBO says there are many ways to stay safe, including only talking with hosts directly through its chat system, paying for stays through the official website, and looking carefully for reviews that might suggest a problem with a given property. CBC News reports. | READ MORE