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Vacation rental - true or scam?

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Toronto, Ontario
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35 posts
20 reviews
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Vacation rental - true or scam?

Hi there,

We're looking for a rental for 4 nights over Easter weekend. Found the following property online:

vacationrentalsad.com/vacation-rentals/42228…

However, the contact/owner has been really iffy, used different names from Roy Murray to Roy Gootee. On the website the contact name was Jamie. I was sent a contract that didn't seem accurate and had references to a cottage. Also I was asked to send a certified chq or a money order for deposit as well as a security deposit to his wife Susan Gootee in Indiana.

I am worried that I am being scammed. Does anyone have any information or suggestions about this? Should I just drop this and look for something else? Its just that this unit was perfect for us in terms of location and price.

Will appreciate any information. Thanks.

Wheat Ridge...
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5,871 posts
5 reviews
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1. Re: Vacation rental - true or scam?

You may be able to check ownership on the Miami Dade recorder's web site:

gisims2.miamidade.gov/myhome/propmap.asp

Not a guarantee, but if it matches up with the name of the person you're working with, you have a chance.

There are tons of rentals. If you get a bad feeling about this one, move onto another.

Toronto, Ontario
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35 posts
20 reviews
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2. Re: Vacation rental - true or scam?

Thanks for the reply.

Its a completely different name on the website as the owner. If this information is current, this guy is a scammer.

I wonder if I should report him to someone.

Philadelphia...
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606 posts
8 reviews
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3. Re: Vacation rental - true or scam?

I would to the POLICE..There is apparently a lot of that occuring and recently the Long Beach Township NJ (Long Beach Island aka LBI) issued a warning as renters have been falling prey to this type of activity. I dont know if MBPD would be interested but there is Im sure a consumer fraud dept there. I know LBTPD encouraged reports!

Toronto, Ontario
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35 posts
20 reviews
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4. Re: Vacation rental - true or scam?

I actually found the true rental listing on VRBO and, of course, it's owned by a different person. This Roy Murray/Gootee used his pictures and even description to create his own listing and scam innocent people.

Boy, am I glad I've done my research and avoided being scammed!

I've notified the owner of the unit and, apparently, this is not the first time this happens to him. He's contacted the police with this before and there's not much they could do.

Renters, BEWARE!

m
Destination Expert
for Miami, Miami Beach
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6,184 posts
8 reviews
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5. Re: Vacation rental - true or scam?

Great work, and thanks for alerting us. I was about to write and ask you not to send any money in this case. Besides the suspicious signs you reported, I also noticed the following red flags:

(1) Vague description

(2) Fake looking pictures

(3) Ad is only about 3 months old

(4) No reviews

There seems to be almost no information about Roy or Susan Gootee on the web, another red flag.

Hope you reported it to vacationrentalsad.com also so they can pull the ad.

Wheat Ridge...
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5,871 posts
5 reviews
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6. Re: Vacation rental - true or scam?

Good work! This is a really common scam, and not just for vacation rentals.

Philadelphia...
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606 posts
8 reviews
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7. Re: Vacation rental - true or scam?

Yeah I believe the Long Beach Island NJ Police (major summer vacation rentals) said the victim reported that the money was wired to Nigeria where the "owners" were doing missionary work!! It never ceases to amaze me what these thieves will stoop to!

8. Re: Vacation rental - true or scam?

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