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County resident lost money in online fraud

Prince Edward County OPP are investigating a fraud involving the loss of money after an attempted purchase of a vehicle online.

On Aug. 8 the OPP received a complaint of a fraud where the victim sent a $1,000 deposit via e-transfer to a “seller” of a vehicle, however learned that there was never a vehicle for sale, and it was a common online sale scam.

Const. Devin Leeworthy, media relations officer, said frauds involving online classified ads often target victims on multiple fronts.

“The most common way is by creating fake ads for vehicles, rental properties, and highly sought-after items. Often the ads are posted with low prices to attract more interest. One of the most commons trends is for fraudsters to request down payments for rental properties and vehicles.”

Here are some tips from the Canada Revenue Agency:
Know the market value of the product you’re buying or selling
Don’t trust extremely low or high offers
Beware of buyers and sellers that use urgency (i.e., requiring a deposit now)
Beware of buyers who offer to buy (or sell) an item without seeing the product first
Do an online search to see if anyone has already reported the fraudulent buyer or seller

“Additionally, when buying a vehicle, buy from a reputable dealer, or if privately, arrange to meet with the seller so you may inspect the listed vehicle. Private sellers are also required under section 11.1(1) of the Highway Traffic Act to show a potential buyer the used vehicle information package (UVIP) for the vehicle. If the seller refuses to allow you to inspect the vehicle or information package, stop, it’s likely a fraud.”

For more information on how to further protect yourself, visit the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre website. 

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