There was a lot of chatter about cottage rental scams for Haliburton cottage rentals in the news this year. This is one of those things that 'only happens to other people' so it was shocking to discover that a few of our Haliburton cottage rentals that were listed on Kijiji had been targeted.
The scammer had copied our on-line cottage rental advertisements and posted them on Craig's List. Same cottage pictures, same lakeside descriptions, different contact name and phone number. It was fortunate that we discovered the cottage rental scam before anyone was victimized. Craig's List was contacted and removed the Ontario cottage rental scam listings immediately. They assured us that they would not allow any further listings from that particular person.
The second time we discovered 'scam listings' for Haliburton cottage rentals, we contacted the Minden police to see if charges could be laid. Sadly, since no money had exchanged hands, no crime had actually been committed. The police were unable to do anything to prevent a repeat.
The moral of the story is 'buyer beware'! The media is unable to prevent cottage rental scams from being placed in their publications.
To ensure you don't get scammed when renting a cottage for your family vacation, deal with a rental agency that is registered with the Travel Industry Council of Ontario (TICO). Look for the TICO logo to ensure you are dealing with a legitimate cottage rental agency representing legitimate cottages.