Online Safety Questions
While the internet has made many tasks faster and more convenient, it is important to be safe and responsible online. NL Classifieds is the most trusted online classifieds website in the province and we strive to give our users the safest and most reliable experience possible. However, it is always best to be informed and aware of the safest online practices. For example, avoiding scams and fraud online.
"The best way to beat a scam artist is to be educated"
Protect Your Privacy and Security
You can protect your computer and personal data from theft, misuse, and destruction with some basic precautions:
Scams - Learn how to recognize scams and what you can do to avoid them. We have a ton of great tips and information below.
Computer and online security - Defend yourself against scammers, hackers, and identity thieves by protecting your information and your computer while online. If you are a parent, you should also talk to your kids about being safe and responsible online.
At NL Classifieds we do our best to ensure our ads are legit and free from scams and fraud, however knowing what to look for is your best defense. Below you can find some common questions and information reguarding Safety and Security online.
While these are not all the possible signs of a potential scam, they are some of the more common. Here are some red flags to keep an eye out for:
- Over Payment - Does the buyer offer to over pay and request you send a cheque for the over payment back to them? This is one of the most common form of online scams today and all such contacts should be ignored and deleted.
- Out of Country/Province - Is the buyer in a different country / province? If the buyer is not local ask them for their contact information and verify it. If they don't want to tell you their contact information then consider it a scam. If the buyer is in a different country ask yourself, does it really make sense for them to purchase my item?
- Asking for Non-Related or Personal Information - Why are they asking for more information then they need? There are many types of Phishing scams out there including emails. Do not give out more information than is needed. If a buyer is looking for additional information then you should consider it a scam.
- Cashier Cheque, Certified Bank Cheque, Western Union - Are they looking to pay by some type of money transfer such as Western Union, PayPal, cashier cheque or certified bank cheque? This is a common scam and is usually associated with the 'Over Payment' scam listed above.
- Ship Before Payment - The prospective buyer requests that the item be shipped before payment is received. Never ship an item without payment.
It is always recommend that whenever possible to see the item(s) in person, speak to the buyer/seller on the phone and in person if logistically possible (Corner Brook to St. John's can be tough to meet in person) and never send money by e-transfer or email until you have done your homework and are absolutely sure that the item/seller are legitimate. These are some best practices to keep you safe while shopping online.
For more Safety & Security Tips, please see our blog post: http://blog.nlclassifieds.com/2016/02/tips-tricks-updated-safety-security.html
The responsibility of selling anything online anywhere is always left up to the judgment of the user when dealing with prospective buyers. Our recommendation is that if you find an email / text message suspicious then ignore and delete it. If you do proceed and respond to the email / text message we recommend being cautious and not to give out personal information or send anything without receiving and verifying payment.
Some suggestions would be to ask for a phone number of the prospective buyer and call them to speak over the phone rather than over email. This can even lead to meeting in person to see/show the item in question. In-person communication is ideal when buying and selling but is not always possible.
The following is a list of some recommended red flags or things to watch for when buying and selling online:
- Verify Contact Information - When buying an item/product/service ask the seller(s) for their contact information and then verify it. If they are legit they should have no problem providing you with there contact information and verifying should be easy (Google is a great resource, especially for any type of business listing - Facebook can also be a great way to see if a person by the name they've given does indeed live where they are saying). If they don't want to provide their information or you can not verify the information then you should stop there.
- Out of Country - If a seller is from out of the country then ask yourself if it is worth the risk and if the item can really be imported. Be wary of any non-local and especially non-Canadian phone area codes. Newfoundland & Labrador phone area code is 709. Other Atlantic Canadian (Nova Scotia, PEI, New Brunswick) area codes are 902, 506, 782.
- Too Good to be True - If the item and/or its price is too good to be true then it almost always is! Be very cautious of these situations and try to meet/see the item(s) in person.
- Asking for Non-Related or Personal Information - If the seller asks you for personal information they don't need or before you have committed to buying then it is highly likely to be a scam. There are many types of phishing (deceptive attempt to pose as a reputable entity or person) scams out there including emails, text messages and more. Do not give out more information than is needed. If a seller is looking for additional information then you should consider it a scam.
- Beware of Pet Ads - One of the most popular scams on the internet is people selling hard to get pets; mainly dogs. Try and get your dog/pet locally. In addition, we always recommend meeting the seller and seeing the pet (dog, cat, etc.) in person before sending any type of deposit or full payment online. If at all possible, it is always best to pay for an item, especially a pet in person rather than through e-transfer to a complete stranger.
The above list is a set of guidelines only. The responsibility of buying an item posted online is always left up to the judgment of the user.
Our Customer Care Team has compiled some great tips and guidelines for online safety & security. The first link below will take you there. We have also provided some additional links for more information on internet, phone and other types of scams: