Oak Island Society falls victim to ticket scheme
A popular Nova Scotia tourist destination is reeling after they fell victim to a ticket scheme.
Lunenburg County's Oak Island is known for mysteries and curses; but the non-profit organization that oversees tours to the site says they never saw this twist coming.
“Initially it was like, ‘this probably just a one off kind of thing’,” says Friends of Oak Island Society co-chair Judy Eisnor. “And then as it went further, it was shock.”
It started with e-mail that the Friends of Oak Island Society received about a tour booking that they didn’t recognize.
“After we put the booking number into our Eventbrite site and it didn’t come up, we contacted Eventbrite, and they told us there was actually an additional site, a clone of our site,” says Friends of Oak Island Society co-chair Charles Barkhouse.
The Friends of Oak Island Society claims someone used the clone website to sell tickets for tours, and pocketed the money.
The non-profit group says they have reported the issue to the Nova Scotia RCMP. Organizers aren’t sure how much money they lost, but they believe it’s a substantial amount.
“We really aren’t quite sure at the moment, and as that’s part of the investigation, I really can’t even comment on what we think. It’s going to be difficult,” says Eisnor.
The popular TV show ‘The Curse of Oak Island’ draws thousands of visitors for tours every year. The site has a display of artifacts and antiques associated with legends of buried treasure on the Island.
The Friends of Oak Island Society posted on their Facebook site:
“It appears that the perpetrator is someone we have known and trusted for many years. We can confirm that the individual is no longer associated with Friends of Oak Island in any capacity.”
Hundreds of comments poured in.
“As I read each post, and each e-mail, now the overwhelming part is the support of the public and of our customers, and of the fans,” says Eisnor.
Because of that support, the society says they will honour all tickets purchased for tours this season, whether they were booked through the legitimate site, or not.
“We get people coming from all over the world to come here to Oak Island, just to be here, to see what’s been going on over the last 224 years,” explains Barkhouse. “So if it’s important to them, it’s important to us.”
Members of the Friends of Oak Island Society encourage anyone who has worries about their tickets, or worries they may have been defrauded, to send them an e-mail and they will help confirm the booking.
With files from CTV Atlantic’s Emily Baron Cadloff.