Abbotsford – We all love a bargain, but we also need to be careful when using online classifieds websites or social media platforms (craigslist, Facebook, Kijiji) to buy and sell goods.
A few tips to consider:
• If the seller requests an e-transfer, make sure you know what you are buying. Some cities have noticed an increase in the sale of “knock-offs”, or sellers not delivering the promised product. Sending an e-transfer is not recommended until you have thoroughly inspected the item in person. E-transfers are not reversible; be sure of the item’s condition and the terms of sale BEFORE you buy.
• If you are a seller and accepting a large amount of cash for an item, make sure you know how to recognize counterfeit currency.
• Purchasers are encouraged to use the Canadian Police Information Centre’s online database (www.cpic-cipc.ca) to search the serial number of items they intend to purchase to help ensure the item has not been reported stolen.
• Meet in a public place with many people around; avoid using remote locations or your home for any exchange.
• The AbbyPD has a designated buy-and-sell exchange zone in front of our headquarters building where buyers and sellers can park, meet and make their exchanges – all while under video surveillance.
• If possible, bring a friend or a family member.
• Only bring enough cash with you to pay for the item purchased.
• Do not give out personal or banking information (e.g. social insurance number, bank account number or address) over the Internet.
If a deal seems to be “too good to be true” – it probably is. Protect yourself by always being vigilant when sharing information and transacting online. Make sure you are sending money to trusted websites and sellers.