Kingston Police alert public to scams involving online marketplace purchases

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Kingston Police are alerting the public about an online scam involving online transactions.

According to a media release, police have received reports of a new type of scam on sites such as Facebook Marketplace, Kijiji, and Craigslist. Police are asking the public to exercise caution when engaging in online transactions.

This new scam targets sellers and works in the following manner, according to police:

“Posing as a seller, the suspect agrees to sell an item for a specific price and then sends a QR code to the victim. When the victim scans the code, it takes them to a website with symbols for all the major Canadian banks. This website is very similar to what you see when you deposit an e-transfer,” Kingston Police stated.

“When the victim clicks on their bank’s symbol, they are prompted to enter their debit card number and password – this gives the suspects access to their bank account. Suspects may also ask for the victim’s credit card information. If the victim becomes suspicious and breaks off the transaction, the suspects call the victim to stall while they withdraw funds from their account.”

Police provided the following tips for individuals when buying or selling online:

  • Don’t send a deposit ahead of time.
  • Don’t pay until you’ve received the merchandise.
  • It’s a red flag if the seller is refusing to show you what you’re buying.
  • Always meet in a safe place; feel free to suggest the front lobby of the police station.
  • Don’t accept a cheque or money transfer for more than the agreed upon amount.
  • If the buyer or seller has a complicated story about why payment must be made an in an unusual way, walk away.

Follow @kpfraudunit on Twitter for more information and tips to avoid scams like these.

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