The Voice has run a classified ad in the last two issues from a woman purporting to seek a caregiver for her elderly mother-in-law, who is suffering from dementia.

The ad is a scam. Do not respond to it.

It was booked and paid for by credit card via email for a four-week run. Nothing about the ad seemed out of the ordinary at first.

It was only after two readers contacted the paper, reporting the suspicious replies they received when responding to the ad, that the scammers’ intent became clear. Their goal appears to be to obtain personal information, particularly banking information, which may lead to financial loss.

A Google search on the ad’s key phrases turns up a history of virtually the same classified running in other community newspapers in Canada and the US over the last year. It ran in the Martha’s Vineyard Times last August; in The Millstone, serving the Mississippi Mills area of eastern Ontario, in February 2017; and in The Frontenac News, Sharbot Lake, Ontario, in March 2017.

The Voice appreciates those vigilant readers who brought the responses they received to our attention.