A Lackawanna County woman had ruined her vacation plans this past weekend, all because of a scam.
LACKAWANNA COUNTY, Pennsylvania – People have changed their vacation habits these days due to the pandemic, including Alicia Cole from Archbald.
Cole and her family decided against a plane this summer and chose to stay closer to home. They were looking for a house to rent on Lake Wallenpaupack. She found one posted on a vacation rental site. She found the same house on Craigslist for a cheaper price. Trying to be careful, she started researching the property to make sure it was real.
“I just asked if they had availability and why the difference, why they are on both websites, and they said they would save $ 100 a night by booking on this website compared to booking on this website book “, said Cole.
Before she sent the bail, Cole asked for the address to check the house as she didn’t live far away. When she arrived, she spoke to people who had rented it at the time. Everything looked fine so she booked the house through the person she contacted on Craigslist.
Cole says she sent the money through a web-based banking app called Cell. But a few days before she and her family were due to check in last Friday, Cole said it was starting to smell like fish.
“You sent the last text stating that I absolutely have to get in touch with you tomorrow for the check-in process. The van was packed, we were ready and all communications were stopped.”
Cole was able to contact the actual homeowner who told her this has happened several times and he feels terrible about her situation. She has also reached out to law enforcement and contacted her bank to try to dispute the payments she made through Cell.
“$ 2,500 is a lot of money for me. I mean, I just don’t have that much money. That’s my vacation pay to do something with the kids, and unfortunately it’s gone. “
Cole and her family can still rent a boat and spend a day on Lake Wallenpaupack. She hopes that hearing what happened to her will make people aware that it can happen to them too.