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Young couple loses everything in online scam

November 2, 2018   ·   0 Comments

By Wendy Gabrek

 

Two 19-year-olds from Alliston have been swindled out of their live savings.

The couple, Taylor Basque and Thomas Murray, both full-time employees at Domino’s Pizza in Alliston, have been friends for years. Taylor says Thomas helped her through a difficult time earlier in her teen years, and the two turned that bond into a relationship.

Now 22 weeks pregnant, the couple sought to live together, to raise their child as a family, in a safe and loving home, something they both say they’ve never experienced themselves.

Currently living with friends, an arrangement that will come to an end when it’s discovered Taylor is expecting, the couple is panicking as Taylor’s March delivery date draws near.

So, they did what anyone else would do, they went online. Posting a ‘Wanted’ ad on Kijiji Barrie, seeking safe accommodation. The couple received four responses for homes that met their criteria – 2-bedrooms, and $1,400/month all inclusive.

They responded to three potential new landlords, but it was the property on George Street in Alliston that enticed them the most. At $1,320 a month, inclusive – including high-speed Internet – the couple couldn’t believe their luck. The pictures sent were everything they had dreamed of, and they signed the lease, sight unseen, on October 21.

The lease itself was vague, and signed electronically in a digital font, with a name that couldn’t be made out.

The couple e-mail money transferred $2,640 to their new landlord. They were stoked to start their new life.

That is, until they went to see the property in person. A ‘For Sale’ sign was on the lawn, and the house didn’t match the pictures sent. Knocking on the door, the homeowner inside said he had no intentions of renting, and the ad was not placed by him.

They tried desperately to get back in touch with the landlord, but he was gone. And so was their money.

Although they are young, Thomas and Taylor say they are responsible working adults, and are terrified of three things: they won’t get their money back; they’ll be kicked-out of their current living arrangement before they can find something safe; and they won’t get another opportunity like what the George Street property offered.

Armed with references from their employer, Robert Hiltz, co-owner of Domino’s Alliston, the couple is still seeking accommodation, and has informed the police of the incident.

A GoFundMe account has been setup for the couple, seeking $2,600 to mostly recover their funds, and put them back on their feet: www.gofundme.com/tom-and-taylor

At press time, only $200 had been raised through two donations, $100 of which was donated by Hiltz himself.

Hiltz, who also spoke with the police, says he will vouch for Taylor and Thomas and hopes someone – someone legitimate – will give them a chance. So much so, he is offering his personal cell phone number for donations or recommendations: 519-270-6343.

The Times has verified this story with the Nottawasaga OPP. In speaking with Constable Harry Lawrenson, he acknowledges that police were contacted and a report filed. Const. Lawrenson warns the public to verify all claims – if it seems to good to be true, it likely is.

         


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