This is the time thousands of residents perform a ritual called “Spring Cleaning” which means getting rid of clutter and unused stuff from around the house.
In earlier times that would call for a Garage Sale which has lost its appeal in recently. More people simply prefer to sell good used items on Kijiji or other online platforms, but with it comes risks.
There have been innumerable cases of sellers being relieved of their items by unscrupulous thieves.
To avoid having to disclose your home address and other details, Peel Police is advising residents to consider using assigned parking spaces at 22 Division (7750 Hurontario Street, Brampton) and 12 Division (4600 Dixie Road, Mississauga) to facilitate property transactions arranged online.
While relatively few sellers or buyers have been victims of fraud, it is large enough to cause worry. Here are a few tips put out by the police to keep yourself safe during a transaction with a stranger.
• When meeting a buyer or seller in person always use a busy public location, consider locations like a mall food court, a busy parking lot or preferably the parking lot of the closest police station.
The suggestion of the police station parking lot will have most would be thieves opt out up front.
Do not use a remote location or your home, the convenience is not worth the risk.
• Use the buddy system to avoid going alone whenever practical. If this is not possible let someone close to you know the details of your meeting.
• Take extra precaution when selling small handheld devices, like a cell phone, as they can be easily pocketed and stolen. As a buyer bring only the cash you need for the purchase.
• Provide minimal personal information as a buyer or seller for any online transaction.
• If online payment is required avoid using wire transfer as this is a common channel for fraud, instead consider using payment options
such as PayPal or Google Checkout.
• And if the item is say a large couch or something bulky, try moving it into the garage or ensure you have people at home to avoid being left alone with a stranger or let people into your home. This could leave you vulnerable.
And if you are still uncomfortable, the simplest and nicest thing you could do is donate it to charity. – CINEWS