Beware when renting property through social media – Stittsville woman shares her ordeal

Recently, PBC Sweetnam advertised a home for rent on their Facebook page. That ad was hi-jacked by a devious scammer who resided in Florida and claimed to be the owner of the home. The home located in Stittsville was now being advertised on the imposters page and at a rate that was $300.00 less than the actual monthly rental fee.

To protect the lady’s privacy, she is a Stittsville resident, we are changing her name to Nancy.

Coincidentally, Nancy is a friend of Beth Sweetnam and in a conversation with Beth, mentioned that she was going to rent an advertised house in Stittsville that she had found on Facebook. She had already sent the money to do so. She told Beth that the person renting the house was apparently going through divorce proceedings and he needed to rent the house quickly.

Immediately, Beth’s radar was alerted. She knew that her husband’s company, PBC Sweetnam, owned the home and that indeed it was being advertised, but not by someone from Florida. She told Nancy that the home belonged to PBC Sweetnam and to go immediately to the Stittsville branch of the Bank of Nova Scotia to report that she had been ‘scammed’ by someone in Florida claiming to be the owner of a house she had just arranged to rent. Could they help her get her money back!

Within an hour of speaking with Beth, Nancy was at the bank.

In the interim, Craig and Robert, employees of PBC Sweetnam, found the ad on Facebook and quickly got in touch with officials at Facebook to inform them that the secondary ad was a scam. Facebook sent an email to the imposter and he asked the officials, “had Nancy reported him?” With that, the Facebook officials realized he was not the owner and took appropriate actions on their part.

In the end a positive outcome and the loss of money was averted. Because of Beth’s advice and Nancy’s quick arrival at the bank and their intervention, her money will be returned.

Nancy is very grateful for being rescued from this ordeal, albeit she may need some time to recover. Nancy and PBC Sweetnam wanted the the public to be made aware how scams occur on social media. Ultimately, this innocent transaction will be an important lesson of how devious fraudsters can be.

Thanks to Robert, Craig, Beth and the Bank of Nova Scotia in Stittsville for their quick action in thwarting this scammer and getting Nancy’s money returned!


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