If it seems like a steal, it might be
See a cheap brand-new iPhone for sale on an online classified site? Or maybe you’re selling an item and the buyer tries to send you a cheque for $1,000 more than the price you’re asking for. Is it legitimate?
Online classified sites such as Facebook Marketplace and Kijiji can be great places to buy or sell items.
But how can you be sure you’re not getting scammed?
Here are some things to look out for:
• Cheque overpayment: One type of fraud that’s pretty common is fake cheque overpayment. For example, Susan sells her couch on Kijiji for $900. Ken messages her, he’ll buy it. He sends her a cheque for $1,500 via email, can she just e-transfer the extra funds to pay the movers? Susan says sure, deposits the cheque into her bank account and sends an e-transfer to an address provided by Ken for the other $600. The only thing is, three days later the cheque comes back as stolen or forged and Susan is out the $600.
• Product not provided: Never pay for an item before you receive it or send money to “hold” an item, especially if you don’t know who’s on the other end of the transaction. Remember, even if someone sends you a picture of their driver’s license, it could be fake. Technology has come a long way and scammers will work very hard to convince you that they are real if it means they’ll get money from you. It’s simple: If you haven’t received a product – don’t give away your money.
• Fake Interac deposit email: Some fraudsters will send you an email saying they’re depositing money into your account, but what they’re actually going to do is steal money from your account. Using the last example, let’s Ken asks Susan if he can buy her couch with a mobile deposit. Susan says sure. Susan then she gets an email with the Interac logo saying Ken is trying to deposit $900 into her account. She clicks the button and enters her banking credentials to receive the deposit and then to her despair, $900 is removed from her account and she loses money, instead of receiving money.
Online classified sites have sections on their webpages which provide information on safety and security while using their services. Familiarize yourself with this information to protect yourself from being victimized.
Did you know, there’s a Buy & Sell Exchange location at each of the Winnipeg Police Service Stations?
To check if an item’s serial number has been reported stolen, perform a search at: www.cpic-cipc.ca
To learn more, visit the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre at www.antifraudcentre-centreantifraude.ca or call the Winnipeg Police Service Financial Crimes Unit at 204-986-6231.
Winnipeg Police Service
Fraud Awareness Month
March is Fraud Prevention Month, so the Free Press Community Review is running stories from the Winnipeg Police Service which outline common fraud schemes and offer tips on how to avoid them.