Red Deer, Alberta – Red Deer RCMP reminding the public to be careful when shopping online, after police received a report yesterday of a Red Deerian who was defrauded of money while trying to buy tickets online to a Memorial Cup game. The scammer used a text-only phone and made various excuses about being out town to avoid a face-to-face meeting. Police investigation subsequently revealed the phone number was linked to a number of fraudulent online ticket sales and originates out of the province.
Tips for safe shopping online:
- The best way to protect yourself from fraud is to conduct transactions locally, in-person and using cash.
- Recognize red flags, including a seller who tries to move the transaction to a different website, or requests money through the mail or a wire transfer without allowing you to see the item first, or offers multiple reasons why they can’t meet locally.
- If meeting someone to view an item for sale, try to do it in a public place during daylight hours and bring a friend or family member along.
- Always tell someone where you are going and when you’ll be back if going to see an item for sale.
- When meeting a seller, do not get out of your vehicle until you feel secure and are confident that you are meeting with the person with whom you arranged the viewing.
- If you have one, bring your cell phone with you and have someone call you during the transaction to ensure that you are safe.
- If having people over to your home to view an item you have for sale, always have a friend with you, try to do so during daylight hours and ask the buyer for identification.
- Finally, if the deal sounds “too good to be true”, it probably is!
Visit the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre to learn more about identifying frauds and online scams.
Cpl. Karyn Kay
Red Deer RCMP