Online Buyer Beware
The Edmonton Police Service has received a number of complaints regarding online buyer transactions on websites like Kijiji, Facebook Buy and Sell pages, Craigslist, etc. In response, we have developed a safety campaign called, Online Buyer Beware.
Remember: if it's too good to be true, it probably is. Don't be afraid to ask questions to verify the legitimacy of the item!
Always meet in a public location that you are comfortable with. We suggest somewhere public, during the daytime, and preferably with video surveillance. If you can, bring a friend or family member!
Be careful purchasing e-tickets from a stranger. You never know if you'll be showing up with the same ticket. Try purchasing through verified sources like Ticketmaster's "Fan-to-Fan Resale".
E-transferring money is an easy way to pay for your online purchases. But make sure you don't send your money before you get your items!
Trust your gut. If you think something is wrong, ask questions to determine where the item came from, why the seller is selling it, and ask for an original receipt so you can confirm the item isn't stolen property!
Additional Meeting Safety Tips:
- The Edmonton Police Service does not have designated spots in our parking lots for internet meetings. If you do come to a police station to make an online purchase exchange, please remember to still practice these safety tips - do not put yourself under a false sense of security! Our stations are not open 24/7, our officers are not monitoring the parking lots, and we cannot guarantee that an officer would be able to respond if something goes awry.
- Do not meet in a secluded place or invite strangers into your home.
- Have someone come with you when you meet. If you cannot arrange for someone to come with you, let friends or family know where you are going, what time you're meeting, and all the details about who you are meeting. Let your contact know that everything is okay.
- Ask the buyer for photo ID. Take a photo of it for your reference.
- Buying or selling a vehicle? Offer to meet at an automotive garage where the vehicle's quality can be assured, instead of offering a test drive.
Additional Buying Safety Tips:
- Do not disclose to the seller how you will be paying if it's not necessary. If the seller is aware that you will be arriving with a large quantity of cash, it is an excellent opportunity for a personal robbery to take place.
- Obtain a bill of sale and verify the seller's identity through photo ID. Inform the seller that you want this before meeting, this will deter those selling illegitimate property from selling the property.
- Check the serial number on CPIC to determine if it is stolen. This can be accessed by the public here.
- Ask the seller why they are selling the property.
- IMPORTANT: If you turn a blind eye to obvious clues that the property is stolen but buy it anyway, you can be found to be willfully blind to the fact that the property is stolen and you may be criminally charged.
- If you have determined that you were sold stolen property, retain copies of all advertisements and communications with the seller.
- If you locate property being sold that you believe to be stolen, report it to police.
Buying a used vehicle from someone online? Find out how to avoid buying a stolen vehicle.
Learn more on protecting your property by recording serial numbers.
Online scams are growing. Learn about the most common online scams here.