Online Classified Ad Safety



(3:15 p.m.)

In light of two recent robberies, HRM Partners in Policing remind citizens to take precautions when buying and selling items through ad websites.

Police routinely receive complaints from citizens regarding ads on local websites. Common scams include selling counterfeit or stolen merchandise and the buyer not receiving the items or receiving a product which is of inferior value/quality or is not what it is supposed to be. As well, in some instances, violence has been used to steal money and items.

  • To reduce your risk of becoming a victim:
  • Meet in well-lit and populated public places, like a coffee shop or grocery store parking lot during business hours.
  • Agree to meet in a place that you are comfortable with; don’t be forced to accept a last minute change in location.
  • Tell a friend or family member where you are going or take them along with you.
  • If you own a cell phone, take it with you.
  • When buying or selling, meet in person to see the product and exchange money.
  • Do not give out personal or banking information over the phone or the internet.

Most importantly, remember to trust your instincts; if something doesn’t seem right, it probably isn’t.

Anyone who has been scammed is encouraged to report it to the HRP/RCMP Integrated Financial Crime Unit at 490-1985 or online at