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Ottawa police warn of Facebook Marketplace fraud

The Ottawa Police Service says its fraud unit has been seeing a rise in the numbers of Marketplace scams.

Police say buyers on Facebook Marketplace have been reporting cases where they had either bought counterfeit products or never received what they had paid for.

In a statement to CTV News Ottawa, the city’s police service says “the Fraud Unit typically receives about 30-35 fraud related complaints per day. On average, about seven-eight of these are about Marketplace type of scams or such.”

Police say tickets for Taylor Swift’s concert selling on Facebook Marketplace are good examples when it comes to these types of scams.

If you’ve lost money, police want you to report the scam immediately online.

The Ontario Provincial Police said in February officers have been responding to an increased number of calls involving scams in eastern Ontario, including emergency, gift cards, counterfeit merchandise, online shopping and selling, crypto investments, romance scams and cellphone and internet service provider scams.

How to protect yourself?

The OPP offered the following tips to protect yourself from scams:

• Know the market value of the product you are looking for.

• Locate and verify the sellers contact information (address, phone number, email) before you buy.

• Look for customer reviews and ratings from third-party sources.

• Use a payment method with fraud protection, such as your credit card.

• Pick-up items and provide the payment in person, whenever possible.

• Review all email information to make sure they are coming from a legitimate source.

• Never transfer funds in order to receive a payment for an item you’re selling.

• Do your research and use reputable websites to purchase VIN reports.

• Do an online search to see if anyone has already reported the fraudulent buyer or seller.

• If you suspect you have been a victim of a scam, call the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre’s online reporting system at 1-888-495-8501.

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