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This article was published 14/9/2017 (278 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.
The Brandon Police Service issued a scam alert on Wednesday, after receiving several complaints about a fraudulent trade show.
As reported earlier this week in The Brandon Sun, dozens of local vendors paid $50 or $100 to secure a table at the event, which had been scheduled to take place Nov. 11-12 at Clarion Hotel and Suites in Brandon.
Once the money was paid, the organizer, known as "R. Angus Frost" on Facebook, could not be reached. The hotel gave the organizer a deadline to pay, which he failed to do, and the event was cancelled.
"Now that we’ve received the complaints, the investigators will be in contact with the victims and try to gain as much information as they possibly can to enter into this investigation, to identify any suspects that may be involved," Sgt. Dave Andrew said.
The organizer’s Facebook page has been taken down, and an email request for an interview was not returned.
Andrew said numerous complaints were reported to police the day the article appeared, and more are expected. BPS is now actively investigating.
This came as positive news to the vendors, including Betty Reykdal of Minnedosa.
"It soothes the anger that I had. It’s a little more calming," she said. "It’s good to know that justice just might be served."
Reykdal, a Pampered Chef consultant, said her main concern is preventing this from happening to other home-based businesses.
"If we don’t see the money back … I’m not going to fret," she said. "I just don’t want this guy doing this to everybody else, and continuing this or giving other people the idea."
Karen Nickel of Brandon operates a homemade bath and beauty product business called Karen’s Essentials. She also paid to be a part of the show in November and was "stunned" when she realized it was a scam.
She plans to file an official complaint with police and hopes this will help spread the word to prevent other vendors from getting duped.
"I am happy that the police are now taking this matter seriously," she said.
Anyone who may have been a victim or has any information is asked to contact the Brandon Police Service at 204-729-2345.
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