The South Simcoe Police Service is urging residents to be vigilant when buying items on Facebook Marketplace.
Officers have recently seen an increase in reports of people being scammed on the online marketplace. Scammers are posting items for sale and once victims provide a deposit, the fake seller stops communicating or gives a fake address as a meeting place.
Police are providing the following tips to help reduce the risk of falling victim:
- Don’t pay in advance. Only pay for an item once it is received in person.
- Research sellers and their online profile. Do an online search to see if anyone has already reported the fraudulent seller.
- Meet in a public, busy area where security cameras are present and attend the location with a second person.
- Be wary of items advertised at a big discount – if it looks too good to be true, it probably is a scam.
- Trust your instincts.
If you’ve been scammed, whether as a buyer or as a seller, report it to police and the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre https://www.antifraudcentre-centreantifraude.ca/index-eng.htm.
You can report it to Facebook Marketplace: https://www.facebook.com/help/196126404168290/?ref=share.