Date: May 28, 2021
The ability to sale and purchase items online via Kijiji and other similar platforms has become a huge convenience for many and thus the use of these sites continues to be highly sought after. Having said this, the Sarnia Police Service would like to remind people to be diligent when purchasing something online to avoid frauds and possible other criminal incidents.
One ought to attempt to verify, to the best of their ability, that the source of the service or merchandise is legitimate before paying. Various platforms offer ratings regarding the individual who is selling the items (more so if they are regular users) along with comments from previous customers.
Attempt to speak to the person via phone and get more details and a sense of who you are dealing with which can be very insightful regarding the sincerity of their intent. Do not give away any personal information if not required to, for example, personal identifiers and credit cards numbers, unless you are absolutely certain. If your gut is telling you something is not right, then please listen to it before it’s too late.
If a request is being made for payment in gift cards or other suspicious means, we ask you reconsider the transaction as there is a strong possibility of it being a scam. Again, look into further.
We are also strongly advising individuals to not meet people at a residence, or anywhere secluded, but rather, meet in a parking lot where there are plenty of eyes and lots of foot traffic. Examples would be the parking lots of coffee shops, malls, police stations, grocery stores, etc. Unfortunately, there have been incidents where these meetings have turned south due to the lack of the public’s presence.
Also, tell a friend that you are meeting someone or even bring someone else with you. Keep your cell phone handy in case you need to reach out for assistance.
Even though, for the most part, most transaction are legitimate, these measures will help minimize the chance of a negative experience.
The last words of advice would be, “If the deal sounds too good to be true, then it probably is!”
Constable Giovanni Sottosanti
Tel: 519-344-8861 Ext 6168