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A young family were left 'homeless' after falling victim to a scammer who approached them on Facebook who was posing as a landlord.
Kaitlin Clayton, 18, and Dylan Doherty, 21, from Southport, became parents five months ago and have since been working towards moving in together so to start their new life as a family with their wee son, Archie.
Kaitlin spent "a while" looking on estate agent and property lettings websites for their dream home, before turning to Facebook Marketplace, reports the ECHO.
READ MORE: One of most fly-tipped estates in Britain has locals fuming at 'disgusting' rubbish
Kaitlin said she had been messaging and commenting on many adverts for flats that looked perfect for her family, before she received a Facebook message from a man who said he'd seen her applications and that he might have something for her.
She told the ECHO: "We were getting so excited to move in. We've got a new born and we've worked and worked so hard to get this flat.
"We were really looking forward to move, so we could start our new family."
However, as they neared the agreed moving in date – after spending hundreds more on essentials to fit out their new place – the man became harder and harder to contact.
Then, on the day they were due to get the keys he sent Kaitlin a message saying that due to a "problem with the flat" they wouldn't be able to move in yet.
By that time, she had paid £550 for the first month's rent on top of the initial deposit.
One of most fly-tipped estates in Britain has locals fuming at 'disgusting' rubbish
She said: "I had just been messaging and messaging him as I'd heard nothing and he just wasn't answering Then I got that message."
Kaitlin only realised she had been scammed when the friend who had accompanied her to view the flat showed her social media posts warning about the man, with an eerily similar story being told by the other victims.
Kaitlin, who works in a bar, said: "After all that we found out it was supported living accommodation.
"I'm devastated really. We've got a new born and we've worked and worked so hard for the money for that flat.
"We've now had to move back home to our parents' houses after he left us pretty much homeless.
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"We've really not got much at all right now. I worked hard for that money and someone like that just takes it from you, someone who just doesn't care about anyone."
A fundraiser to help Kaitlin and Dylan make up some of the costs they lost in the scam has been set up. Anyone who wants to donate, or just learn more about their story, can find their GoFundMe here.
The ECHO approached Merseyside Police for an update into their investigation into the matter.
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