Young family left homeless after replying to Facebook Marketplace message issue warning

A young family have been left with nowhere to live after they were scammed by a man who contacted them on Facebook.

Kaitlin Clayton, 18, and Dylan Doherty, 21, who are based in Southport, became parents to baby Archie five months ago.

Since then, they have been trying to move in together to start their new life as a family.

Kaitlin spent “a while” searching on the websites of estate agents and other property letting sites for the perfect home.

Eventually she turned to Facebook Marketplace, reports the Liverpool Echo.

She said she had been messaging and commenting on several adverts for flats that seemed perfect for her family, but then she found a Facebook message from a man who said he’d seen her applications, and might have something for her

Kailin responded to his message, and ended up viewing the flat with a friend.

On the day she paid a £250 deposit, and a a £50 ‘pet fee’ for which she received a hand-written receipt, as well as an electronic one via email.

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.”

But as the agreed moving in date approached, and after spending hundreds more on essentials to fit out the new place, the man suddenly became more difficult to contact.

On the day, they were supposed to get the keys, but he sent Kaitlin a message saying that because of a “problem with the flat” they wouldn’t be able to move in.

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 figured out she had been scammed after a friend who had accompanied her to view the flat showed her social media posts warning about the man, with a strangely 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 newborn 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.

“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.