February 8, 2023

When Carla Smith was watching a Mike Holmes livestream on Facebook, she was hopeful the celebrity contractor would help fix up her old family farmhouse on Six Nations of the Grand River.

“Hello Mike! Need a LOT of help on Six Nations Ontario, my old farmhouse needs help!” Smith, who is Cayuga, Wolf Clan, commented on a Holmes video posted in late September.

Little did the 53-year-old know that comment would lead her right into the clutches of fraudsters, who tried to take $21,000 from her with a bold, elaborate scheme — and the plan might have worked if Smith didn’t have a loan from Six Nations.

It’s a scam the Holmes team, and now Meta (Facebook’s parent company), know about and are trying to stop.

Smith said she’s sharing her story to prevent others from falling for the scam.

Smith said she wants to fix up the home for future generations of her family. (Bobby Hristova/CBC)

Smith said that after commenting on the Holmes video, she received a response a day or two later from someone claiming to work with HGTV and who instructed her to send an email. The comment and the profile of the user who messaged Smith are no longer visible.

The complex scam included having her fill out an application form, with information and pictures about her home and her personal information. She didn’t put in any financial information.

In the email exchanges with the scammers that were viewed by CBC Hamilton, Smith said the home belonged to her great-grandparents and was rebuilt in…

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