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Online shopping

Online shopping is a favourite pastime for many consumers. But many of the online deals — from inexpensive designer purses to significantly discounted electronic gadgets — are too good to be true. Fraudsters can create accounts on legitimate auction sites, such as eBay, or on an online marketplace, like Kijiji or Craigslist to sell non-existant items.

Means of contact

  • Email
  • Internet
  • Online advertising
  • Online marketplaces
Description of scam
Scammer sets up fraudulent accounts on sites such as eBay, Kijiji, or Craigslist, with links to spoofed or fake websites, to lure shoppers to purchase from them. They will advertise their products at very low prices, enticing you to buy them. 

In the end, if you do get something, it might be of poor quality or a bad imitation of what you expected.

Tactics used
  • Extremely low prices used as bait to drive traffic to their site. If they do deliver a product, it’s not as advertised.
  • Links in the account to websites that look legitimate but are for gathering information in order to gain access to accounts and credit cards.
Additional information
Online fraud is on the rise according to Canada's Better Business Bureau, up 87% since 2015. In 2022, 55% of scams are perpetrated online.

Do your research before you buy any product online. Make sure you know the name of the company, their contact information, and terms and conditions of the purchase. Without this information, it will be difficult to get your money back or in some case, to stop the purchases on your credit card. Read more about subscription traps.

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