5 tips to avoid online classified scams:

1) If you're trying to rent an apartment, contact the building's owner/superintendent to check if the unit is for rent before paying anyone a damage deposit. A seller or buyer who insists on doing a transaction using only an e-mail money transfer also raises red flags.

2) Avoid online exchanges with anyone who refuses to meet you in person. Be wary of anyone who insists on calling you, and won't take incoming calls.

3) If you're buying a vehicle, check with police on its make, model and licence plate number to ensure it's not stolen, or subject to a lien. Police also say a seller who insists on meeting you in an improbable location or at a strange time may be trying to move stolen goods.

4) Don't post photos of items for sale that reveal personal details such as your children's identities, or your home address.

5) Tell a friend or a loved one before you meet a buyer or seller who's contacted you online. Let them know where you're going and when you'll be back.  Be wary of letting anyone inside your home when they come to your door.

Source: Saskatoon Police Service