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Edmonton Police Service

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Kijiji deposit scam costs online shoppers thousands

For Immediate Release:30-Jan-2018 @ 12:29 PM
MRU #:18R010

The Edmonton Police Service is reminding online classifieds shoppers to be vigilant after a Kijiji scam was uncovered that allegedly defrauded at least seven people of more than $6,000.

In October 2017, the EPS Economic Crimes Section began investigating reports of Kijiji fraud. It was reported that buyers had paid a deposit for items advertised on Kijiji, only to have the original ad and the seller vanish once payment had been received. Items allegedly listed for sale included vehicles, RVs and cargo trailers.

 

The investigation revealed that between April 10 and May 30, 2017, Tracy Clark, 51, allegedly defrauded seven victims of approximately $6,600. She was arrested on January 19, 2018 and charged with seven counts of fraud.

 

“We want to remind online classified shoppers not to send money without having received the item, because there’s no protection for you,” says Staff Sergeant Sid Kingma with EPS Economic Crimes Section. “Online classifieds like Kijiji are great resources for buying and selling second-hand goods, but they require users to take some precautions to protect themselves and their money.”

 

Kijiji Canada worked closely with the Edmonton Police Service throughout the investigation and continues to assist the EPS with similar reported incidents of crime.

 

The Edmonton Police Service recommends the following tips for shoppers using online classified sites:

 

  • Never send money before you receive your items.

  • Conduct all transactions in person, in a public location with video surveillance. If you can, bring a friend or family member.

  • Ask for a bill of sale and identification from the seller. Ensure the identification provided matches the seller.

  • Check the Canadian Police Information Centre database to see if an item has been reported stolen.

  • Ask questions of the seller if an item is priced noticeably below market value: Why is the item discounted? Can the seller provide a purchase receipt?

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Please contact Cheryl Voordenhout at (780) 421-3507 for more information.

"Dedicated to Protect, Proud to Serve"