Sale of merchandise scam

When selling merchandise online both consumers and businesses need to be aware that not all offers are reputable. In this scam, the scammer contacts the seller, retailer or online merchant to buy their product. The scammer will then transfer a fake payment to the seller's account, paying with stolen credit cards or with fraudulent cheques. In some situations, not only is the victim out the item, they are also out money by overpaying the fraudster or from shipping charges for the product.

Warning signs - How to protect yourself

  • Complete agreement on price; scammers will not low ball you but will offer to pay you more to immediately remove the ad from the website.
  • Beware of overpayments with the request to send additional funds to a shipping agent.
  • Use of the word "item" instead of what the item is that you're selling (very generic conversation).
  • Authenticate payments before shipping the goods.

Were you a victim?

Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre
Toll-free: 1-888-495-8501

Competition Bureau of Canada
Toll-free: 1-800-348-5358

Ontario Provincial Police
Toll-free: 1-888-310-1122

Financial Consumer Agency of Canada
Toll-free: 1-866-461-3222

Better Business Bureau
(BBB Locator Tool)


Fraud: Recognize, report and stop it!

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