THUNDER BAY – Crimebeat – The Edmonton Police Service are offering tips to make it safer for you to make purchases from Online Classified ad sites. Perhaps the best advise offered is “Your best weapon is your brain. Use common sense, imagination, and good judgment”.
The EPS share, “Using the Internet is a popular way for many people to buy and sell items. However, with the advantages of reaching a wide audience come disadvantages as well. One of the biggest draw backs involves safety”.
“On Monday, August 29th at 2:15 PM, in Edmonton, a man went to a Southside address to meet with the seller of an iPad from an on-line advertisement. He was met by a male and a female outside the building. The complainant and the male suspect sat in the complainant’s car. The complainant gave the man $450.00 and received the iPad. The male suspect asked for the iPAD back so he could delete some pictures and the complainant handed it back to him. It was at that point the male suspect fled with the female suspect, the iPad and an undisclosed amount of cash”.
The first suspect is described as a dark-skinned female in her 20’s, 5’4” tall, dark hair in a ponytail wearing jeans and a t-shirt. The second suspect is described as a dark-skinned male in his 20’s, 5’10” tall, short dark hair and wearing a baseball cap, jeans and a t-shirt.
Similar incidents can happen with any purchase, or item you are attempting to sell both from online sites, or from traditional classified ads.
There are things that you can do protect yourself from being victimized, they are:
- Meet in-person in a public place with other people around.
- Prior to meeting ensure that you are given their name and contact information, not just an email address.
- Don’t bring large amounts of cash.
- If buying a vehicle arrange for a lien check at Alberta Registries, obtain proof of the seller’s identity and that he owns the vehicle and finally check to make sure the vehicle isn’t listed as stolen.
- Complete the transaction in a public place such as an Alberta registry office or a police station.
- Keep good records of your transaction.
- Never send or wire money to sellers or buyers (i.e. PayPal, Western Union, etc.). None of these companies offer any sort of protection programs or secure payment systems.
- Don’t give out personal or banking information.
For more information and community safety tips – visit www.edmontonpolice.ca