Welcome to Comox Valley Classifieds which covers the central portion of Vancouver Island. Free basic listings and/or paid premium listings for Black Creek, Buckley Bay, Comox, Courtenay, Cumberland, Fanny Bay, Royston and Union Bay. We also cover the adjacent islands of Denman, Hornby, and Texada as well as portions of the Sunshine Coast.

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Fraud And/Or Scam Information


The internet can be a scarey place if not used properly.  Always do your homework before buying or selling something online. Remember the number one way to avoid fraudsters and scammers is to deal locally face to face in a public place with your buyer or seller. By following this simple statement you will eliminate 99% of all fraud and scam attempts. Be diligent in your research and ask a lot of questions regarding the quality of the product or service and never send money or pay for anything sight unseen. This may be difficult with a provided service but be absolutely sure the service is a reptuable one before handing over any funds.

Some Things To Look Out For

How To Spot A Scammer

A Couple Of Examples

  1. A person will want to rent your dwelling without seeing it first, buy your item, or pay for a service in advance through an email or text. During the course of your correspondence they will offer you a Cashiers Check as a deposit with the amount far exceeding the actual cost of the transaction and request you to wire them the difference stating that they "trust you" with their money.
  2. A seller may ask you to pre pay a portion of the item/service cost and offer to ship the item/service to you after which you can send the outstanding balance. Again they claim to place their trust in you to give the transaction an honest appeal.  If the deal sound too good to be true, it usually is.
  3. A landlord may request deposit or first months rent for a local property address to be sent via Western Union, Money Gram, Wire Transfer claiming they are travelling or re-locating abroad or in another part of the province or country. They will almost always be unavailable to correspond by phone preferring to use email or text instead.
  4. A seller suggest you use an online Escrow Service to complete the transaction. Escrow is a term applied to any 'honest broker' service that offers to hold money or goods until all parties in a transaction are satisfied that terms and conditions have been met, whereupon the goods/services/monies are released. The problem is scammers have infiltrated the once trusted Escrow business online and created believable looking websites. These sites operate for a short period until sufficient money has been collected from unsuspecting victims then vanish with the money. For more information on fraudulent Escrow scams.
  5. A buyer or seller claims to be certified by the medium being used to buy and sell items/services. Even going so far as to provide an official looking document stating such certification. There is always a 100% guantee attached with the claim they are "Officially Certified" by the third party.
  6. A buyer or seller from a foreign country will claim they are unable to collect payment from their customers directly and offer you a job to do the collection giving you a commission or percentage for each transaction.  The wiring of money is always a part of this scam. This scam is almost always posted to job boards or sent via email/text.

What To Do If You Suspect A Fraudulent Transaction Or Scammer On Comox Valley Classifieds

First if this is a local issue where the transaction took place in person than contact your local RCMP detachment.

If it is your opinion that a listing or post on Comox Valley Classifieds is in someway involved in the fraud or scam, than we need to know so we can handle it internally also. 

Send us a copy of the details or any email/texts involved in the transaction to: fraudreport at comoxvalleyclassifieds dot com. So we can take action to deal with the user so this won't happen again on our site.

You can also use the contact form on this site to let us know what you've found.

Here are two good urls to aid you also in reporting fraudulent scams:

Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre (toll-free) 1-888-495-8501

RCMP Reporting Scams and Frauds page

 

Phishing

Phishing is another fraudulent way of trying to extract your account information like passwords, usernames and or financial information. It is an email sent to you using email spoofing which makes it look like it is legitimately coming from Comox Valley Classifieds when in fact it is not.  The email will usually be threatening or warning in nature about your post or account being flagged as inappropriate or not meeting the terms of reference for the website. It will then ask you to click on an embedded link to confirm your account information thereby providing the phisher with your account login information to use as they please.

The email may also contain a link to a third party website which is made to look like Comox Valley Classifieds in order to get you to login to your account.  There may be an attachment to the email, a request to install software that is needed in order to process the complaint about you or ask you to confirm over the phone.

You should never click on a link to login to your account unless it is actually on the Comox Valley Classifieds website that you arrrived at through your favourites or bookmark bar. Hover your mouse over the link to view the actual destination of the link to comfirm that it is indeed a Comox Valley Classifieds url.

If you see any discrepancies with our url on the site please contact us before logging in so we can invesigate further.  If you're satisfied with the safety of the url and login to find your account and posts are okay with no differences or issues than you can ignore the email.

Comox Valley Classifieds doesn't ask for phone verification so ignore any requests for such.  If you feel that there is suspicious activity on your account  or your listings have been altered or are not what you posted, then change your password immediately and delete all listings before contacting us to report the concerns.

Here are some more links for information on phishing:

Anti-Phishing Working Group

On Guard Online Phishing Info

RCMP Email Fraud/Phishing

Get Cyber Safe

Canadian Bankers Association Phishing Tips

 

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