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Online scams: Is that deal too good to be true?

Albertans buy and sell everything from puppies to bikes to concert tickets through online classified sites such as Kijiji and Craigslist. But how do you know if that deal is too good to be true or if the item you’re about to buy is stolen?

How to avoid getting scammed or determine if you're buying stolen goods

Albertans buy and sell everything from puppies to bikes to concert tickets through online classified sites such as Kijiji and Craigslist.

But how do you know if that deal is too good to be true or if the item you're about to buy is stolen?

An Edmonton man has been charged with 109 counts of fraud and impersonation in a ticket-selling scam.

Dozens of people over the past six months were defrauded by an Edmonton man who allegedly scamming people with concert tickets.

He's now been charged with 109 counts of fraud and impersonation.

It's also a good time to take a look at the issue in the wake of a ticket scam that happened to some Taylor Swift concert-goers on Tuesday night in Edmonton. 

Acting Det. Mike Walkom of the Edmonton police department's online fencing unit spoke to Alberta@noon today to give bargain hunters some tips on how to avoid being defrauded through online classifieds.

Though it's tough to determine if something is stolen, there are a few clues, says Walkom.

"You want to take a look at the price, you want to look at what else the person is selling (online) and speak to them and get a sense of why they are selling it."

If you're convinced the item is not stolen, here are tips for completing the transaction:

  • Do not complete the entire transaction online.

  • Always meet the seller or buyer in a public place where there is video surveillance.

  • Let them know ahead of time you want a bill of sale, which will likely stop a scammer in his tracks.

  • The bill of sale, which doesn't have to be a legal document, should have the seller's name. Also ask to verify with a driver's licence.

  • If you do get ripped off, contact the police, something people are often too embarrassed to do.

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