Ontario Provincial Police say it has charged a Huntsville woman with fraud following an investigation into an air conditioner ad listed on a social media group.
Police said the investigation began Sept. 7 into concerns about an item listed on a Facebook buy-and-sell group in July.
As a result, a 29-year-old woman was arrested on Oct. 31 and charged with six counts of fraud under $5,000.
She was released and is scheduled to appear in court Dec. 9.
"The investigation into this fraud is ongoing. If you have any information about this or feel you or someone you know may have been a victim please contact the Huntsville OPP Detachment at 705-789-5551 or the OPP Provincial Communication Centre at 1-888-310-1122," said police in a news release. "You can also provide an anonymous tip online at www.ontariocrimestoppers.ca or call Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS (8477). Crime Stoppers does not subscribe to call display and you will remain anonymous. Being anonymous, you will not testify in court and your information may lead to a cash reward of up to $2,000."
Jeff Handor, OPP community safety officer in Huntsville, said when buying something from someone online, do not make any pre-payments or payments to hold the item. He said to only pay at the time of item exchange.
The Ontario government has provided a list of things to consider before making a purchase over the internet:
- Know who you’re dealing with - The website should provide basic information such as the seller’s name, business address, phone number, email etc.
- Don’t risk buying when the details of the product such as size, materials, colour options, certificates or seals of approval, and warranties or guarantees are not clear
- Check the reputation of the business by reading reviews of the website and the product.
- Remember to look at the full cost of the item, which includes all applicable taxes, shipping and handling charges, and duties
- Information on where, how and to whom you can send any complaints should be clearly available on the website
- Print or save all contracts and receipts in case your item is not delivered or if you need to return it
- Make sure that your credit card number and personal financial information are being sent over a secure and protected website and server
Report a scam or fraud here.