June 16, 2024

The Queens County Citizen

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Marketplace scam: Businessman with nothing to blame himself receives dozens of calls from duped victims

Marketplace scam: Businessman with nothing to blame himself receives dozens of calls from duped victims

A marketplace scammer steals an entrepreneur's company name and a couple of addresses to collect hundreds of dollars from his prey.

“I try to help people who call me, but I feel helpless in this situation,” said Manuel Racicot, owner of Taicher MR in Bois-des-Filions.

In recent weeks, his company has received dozens of calls from citizens who have been scammed on Marketplace, Facebook's online sales platform. They explain that they are looking for “Mike Boulanger-Demers,” who owns a company and sells ATVs or trailers.

On Friday, the scammer used a new name, “Maxim Vernier-Doyon.”

“We don't have anyone with that name in our company and we don't hire scammers,” the founder assured.

According to him, his company was used to gain the trust of his victims.

The scammer also created an email address called Toiture MR to receive deposits from his victims.

Twelve at his door

Manuel Racicot was not the only collateral victim. A couple from Laval has, over the past two weeks, received visits from a dozen people who say they're coming to collect produce.

I was asked if “Steve” was there, and I said it was probably a mistake in the address. But later, many people came in the evening and I started asking questions,” explains the woman who gave her address to the internet user. She requested anonymity for fear of reprisals.

One of those who knocked on this door was Frédéric Racine, who lived in Mont-Tremblant.



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“I wanted to buy an enclosed trailer and I saw this ad. After speaking with the seller over the phone, I transfer the trailer to reserve. Then, no more news,” explained Mr. Racine, who sent $700.



GEN - Manuel Racicot victim

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Like his other victims, the criminal sent a fake driver's license photo with the Laval couple's address.

“When he stopped answering us, I decided to go straight because his address was on the permit,” explains Stephanie Bouchard, who put down a $250 deposit to buy the ATV.

After reaching there, Mr. Racine and M.me Bouchard understood that they had.

Advance checks

However, these victims did checks before sending the money.

“I went to see the business registrar and found that a resident of Demers owns a business with the name Taicher MR and with an email address, which seems correct to me. Then he sent a photo of his driver's license, so I said to myself, 'That's good,'” explains Mr Racine.

Like the latter, Stephanie Bouchard is used to asking for deposits when selling items, so it's only natural that she sends someone to reserve the vehicle she's been eyeing with her partner.

The Laval Police Department confirmed that a file has been opened regarding fraud at Marketplace.

Beware of scammers

– Don't be afraid to say no to a salesperson who pressures you

– Do your research and check the legitimacy of the seller or company

– Do not give out personal information

– Be careful when someone asks you for money before receiving the item

Source: Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre

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