Monday, April 22, 2024

Fraud Prevention Month: E-transfer For a Purchase

Throughout the month of March Grey Bruce Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) will be focusing on the most common frauds being reported.

Grey Bruce OPP are seeing a lot of calls for service of individuals who locate an item on a site like Facebook Marketplace and Kijiji. This kind of fraud is occurring among all age groups.

The buyer sends an e-transfer to hold the item. When the buyer attends the address to pick up the item, the homeowner advises that they were never selling the item, or there is no residence at the address given. The buyer then goes back onto their messages to send another message to the seller and finds out the seller has deleted their profile or blocked the buyer.

Some tips to protect yourself are:

  • The best thing you can do is ask to see the property ahead of time if possible and before any money is transferred. Ensure you have the items in hand before sending any money.
  • The price is usually too good to be true. Example: a $1,500 item being sold for $500.
  • Before sending any money, research the profile.
  • Where does this person reside?
  • Are there other posts on their profile?
  • Can you see their friends?
  • Does it appear the profile was just created?
  • Some sites let you see how long they have been a member. Ensure they did not just become a member.

The sad reality is that in many cases once the money is paid out it is extremely hard to get it back, if at all. In some cases, scammers are very sophisticated criminals and often there is no recourse to recover lost funds. The best thing people can do is to protect themselves from becoming victims in the first place.

If you or someone you know may have been the victim of a e-transfer for a purchase fraud, contact your local police service or Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477 (TIPS).

Popular this week

Latest news