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Morning all, As the vast majority who use the classifieds will know, out of market online scam attempts are an unfortunate reality in online classified services on both the buyer and seller sides of the equation... at some times more than others. Though the classified system on this site has evolved to make life difficult on potential out of market scammers, it’s inevitable that some will make it through on both the buyer and seller side of the equation... making awareness as important as ever. That scam activity seems to go in peaks at valleys as far as how often it takes place. Recently I’ve received enough notes that it appears that at present we have higher incidence of scam replies as well as more instances of attempts to post scam ads. As education is an important part of the battle with scams, please ensure that anyone you know who might be new to the classifieds knows how to spot the telltale signs. Buyer and seller scams generally follow predictable patterns since scammers are always trying to find ways to get one to send them money without having to meet in person. For replies to ads (especially bigger ticket items) those signs are generally when you’re being offered by text or email to be sent money sight unseen because someone is not available for a showing. Sometimes that will i:nclude reference to a “shipper” or some variation who would supposedly be responsible for getting in touch at a later time and getting your item to the scammer. Money offered to be sent is often but not always over asking price. For listed ads, that generally comes in the form of a item that seems too good to be true. Though it’s most common in pet and rental property ads, it can also be seen in higher ticket items like vehicles and machinery. Always you’re being asked at some point to send money and/or personal info without having seen the item in person, something that should be refused with a local service such as this. Though out of province phone numbers are often used, that can be exclusively relied on since on the past there have been 204 numbers used in text replies. A strong reminder that the classifieds are intended as a local and in-person service. Any time someone is sending or asking for money or personal information without an item first having been seen, please do not pursue. Covid adds another wrinkle in that we are being asked to limit personal contact as the virus spreads and as we enter into a third wave of spread. That’s why it’s recommended to partake in necessary buying and selling and to now take advantage of this change in seasons to make use of the great outdoors while following recommendations around distancing, limiting contact, masking and overall limiting potential spread vectors for the virus. You can be a huge help in efforts against scams by reporting any scam ads that you might come across. Please don’t assume someone else has already reported, I can never get enough reports! Thanks to all who continue to make our locally owned and operated classified service what it is today. With a surprising year-on-year traffic increase of more than 10% there are a ton of eyes on the classifieds every day and the service is the best it can be when we look out for each other and follow best safe practices!
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