One visitor from Great Britain and two locals have been bilked out of $2,100 in cash under the pretence that the scammer was collecting rent money for a house in Creekside.
According to Community Policing Officer Carmen Magnusson of the Whistler RCMP, the victims knew the suspect for about three weeks after picking him up hitchhiking. They planned to live with him in the house he was working on at the time as a painter.
They went to the police on Nov. 8 when it became clear that the suspect had left with their money. With the information they provided, the RCMP were able to identify the suspect.
"We know who he is, and we believe hes back in Alberta," says Magnusson. "We are requesting an arrest warrant form the Crown, but at this time it appears that theres nothing they can do to recover their money."
The victims are a 19-year-old male from Great Britain, who lost $1,100, and a 21-year-old male, and a 22-year-old female, both of whom are Whistler residents.
The suspect is 20 years old.
Earlier this fall, a Japanese couple lost a $1,000 advance deposit on an apartment and three others lost a $1,300 deposit on the same apartment in an apparent scam. Both groups gave the deposit to a man who showed them the unit and issued a receipt. However, the "landlord" never returned to give the people a key to the place.