Harrison Browne made plans to move to Toronto and hired the moving company All You Can Move in May for its affordable prices.
The movers arrived to Milton to pack up his belongings and he thought he would be reunited with his items at his Toronto home, but Browne said while he was en route, he received a phone call from the company’s accountant demanding more money.
“I get a call from their accountant saying I need to (make) an outstanding payment via e-transfer of just under $3,000,” Browne said.
“I was like, ‘This is ridiculous.’”
Brown said the company would not return his items until he paid the money.
“Eventually it clicked … this is not standard business practice. I’m being scammed.”
Browne said he contacted police and a week after the incident, Const. Christopher Long connected with him and informed him he was one of at least 22 victims.
“They get them with the low prices and unfortunately when they get the items on the truck and when the truck is in motion, they get a call saying they now owed thousands more than they originally expected and some people can’t afford to pay it,” said Long.
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Two Toronto men have been arrested in connection with a moving scam
Police said the men operated businesses under several names:
• 12282569 Canada Inc.
• O’Canada Movers
• Roadway Moving and Storage Inc.
• SafeBound Moving and Storage Inc.
• Canadian Principal Movers
• All You Can Move
• Right on Track Moving
• New Vision Moving
• Greenway Moving
According to police, on June 24, officers executed search warrants in the Bellamy Road and Progress Avenue area.
Police said two Toronto men were arrested: Cemal Ozturk and Dogan Celik, both 30 years old.
Police said they were each charged with four counts of false pretense, four counts of fraud over $5,000, four counts of mischief over $5,000, four counts of possession of property obtained by crime and conspiracy to commit an indictable offence.
According to police, they appeared in court on Friday.
“Investigators believe that there may be more victims and they are encouraged to contact police at 41 Division,” the release read.
In an update on Monday, police said investigators “identified another person believed to be involved in this scam.”
Twenty-seven-year-old Toronto resident Amethyst Jones is wanted for four counts of false pretense, four counts of fraud over $5,000, four counts of mischief over $5,000, four counts of possession of property obtained by crime, and conspiracy to commit an indictable offence.
Police added that they “have recovered a substantial amount” of items believed to be from victims.
Long said some of those items include personal effects from over a dozen people.
“Their personal effects are in there. Heirlooms of family members that have long passed. Things you can’t replace,” he said.
Browne said he has been relying on donations from family and friends for the last month and a half.
“I’m exhausted. … I’m just tired and fed up. … All my furniture. All my clothes. All my kitchen stuff. Everything I was going to start building my new life in Toronto,” he said.
“Do your research as much as possible. If it’s too good to be true, it probably is.”