Protect Yourself: Fraud, Scams, and Personal Safety

Before you start doing any deals or transactions, you should read up on how to stay safe and avoid fraud and scams.

Although the vast majority of interactions and transactions facilitated by the internet are safe and uneventful, you should always exercise caution and common sense to avoid becoming a victim of violent crime.

Here are some additional safety tips when meeting a stranger for the first time:

  • Let your friends and family know your plans.
  • Take a friend with you.
  • Meet during the day in a public place with other people around.
  • Have a mobile phone and be ready to call for help if needed.
  • Use extra caution when dealing with more valuable transactions.

Here are some additional tips to avoid being scammed:

  • Never send payment to anyone you have not met face-to-face.
  • Never transfer money! Understand that transferring money is the same as sending cash and is unrecoverable.
  • Avoid any deals involving shipping; face-to-face transactions are less likely to be a scam.
  • Avoid any deals involving bank cheques or money orders. Cashing a fake financial instrument can be a costly mistake.
  • Never buy something you haven’t seen in person. Anybody can fake a photo or description.
  • Never give out your personal or financial information.
  • Your chances of being scammed will be significantly reduced if you follow one simple rule: Always deal face-to-face, in person.