Posts in Trust & Safety

How do I report issues to the Police if I’ve been defrauded?

At Kijiji, we do our best to keep our site clean and safe for all users, however, since we don’t vet people before they use the site, transactions are between the buying and selling party. When we get reports of illegal, fraudulent, or just downright creepy activity on the site, we do our best to remove the offenders from using Kijiji further, but we can’t bring justice or put offenders in jail that way. To ensure that justice is brought about, police have to be involved.

Whether you’ve been defrauded by someone or you think you’ve discovered stolen goods, we recommend that you always contact your local police to report the incident and get a reference number. If the police take the matter further, the investigating police officer will contact us. We’ll do all we can to provide the police with any information that assists their investigation.

Can’t Kijiji report the incident to police for me?

Unfortunately not – when police file a report, they need to list a victim, so they need to deal with you directly. We can’t provide the first person account of the facts of the case and a victim statement on your behalf. However, we are happy to help the police corroborate the facts and track down the others involved when it is in our power to do so.

What to do before you go to the police

If you did receive an item but things did not work out as planned, always try contacting the seller directly one more time to resolve your problem. If everyone went into the transaction with good intentions, you may be able to resolve the issue without outside assistance.

Is it a crime?

If you report your case to the police, they’ll decide if it should be investigated as a crime or civil dispute. If the police feel that your case doesn’t involve a criminal intent by the other party, it’s possible that they may advise you to take civil action to recover your losses. This will be handled by a small claims court. For this, you’ll need to know the name and address of the other party. A police officer will be able to help you with this process.

How do I make a police report?

The simplest way is to go to your local police station or call the local police operator on a non-emergency number. In most cases, your report can be taken by telephone and followed up later.

How should the police contact Kijiji?

The police should create a ticket with us under the topic “Report > Law Enforcement (Police Only)” and we will be in touch shortly thereafter.

What evidence do I need?

The police may need these from you:

  • Essential details such as the nature, date and time of the offence, and the name and contact details of the victim and suspect(s)
  • Any email exchanges between you and other person
  • If relevant, the ad reference number or a printed copy of the ad on Kijiji.

What is flagging? Why bother reporting ads?

“Flagging” is bringing an ad or reply to an ad to the attention of our customer service team. All ads on Kijiji have a link in the top right hand corner that enables you to “report ad”, which drops down to reveal the following options when reporting:

Scam/Prohibited: intended for ads which are fraudulent or that violate Kijiji posting rules. Ads which are clearly fraud (for instance, an English Bulldog puppy for less than $200) would be an example of when this is an appropriate flag choice. It will be clear to the moderators as soon as they review that this is not a legitimate ad. Drug paraphernalia or weapons is another example of an appropriate time for this report, as those are a clear violation of the rules. If it offends you personally or you had a bad dealing with the poster this is not an appropriate time to use this reason when flagging, as this will not be clear to the moderators.

Duplicate/Spam: intended to call attention to when an individual is spamming an item or service. Spam that is clearly based out of country (for instance, a drop ship service for a given item from China) or duplicate ads posted by the same user are examples of when to use this. This is not intended for ads that you don’t think should be on Kijiji, but that do not violate any rules on posted content.

No Longer Relevant: this is intended only for ads that have been sold, or that are advertising a service, item, or event that is no longer relevant, such as concert tickets to a concert that has already occurred. This option does not bring the ad to the attention of moderators, instead, it prompts the poster to remove the ad if it is no longer available.

Miscategorized: intended for ads that are in the wrong category or location, such as a dog being posted outside of the pets category, a car posted in buy and sell, or a house located outside of Canada being posted in houses for sale in Toronto.

Type a Reason…: intended for times when a flag will need supplemental information for the violation to be clear. If the poster is performing a “bait and switch”, is selling something that has been recalled, or something that they are legally not permitted to sell, these would be appropriate times to add additional clarification when flagging an ad.

What if I accidentally flag an ad or reply? Don’t worry – flags do not cause automatic removals or bans. Since flags are reviewed by humans, if the flag does not make sense it will not result in any negative action.

Can you spot a scam? 5 Tell-tale Signs

1. Refusing to meet in person

Kijiji is set up for people to meet with locals to exchange goods and services. If someone does not want to meet in person, classified ads are not the right avenue to pursue buying and selling. If someone claims to be abroad, on an oil rig, a foreign missionary, a greenpeace worker in the arctic, etc., there is a very high likelihood it is a scam (not to say that those who actually hold these positions are scammers, but fruadsters regularly claim to have these professions because they provide a credible excuse not to meet up, or carry with them associations of good moral character, or both). The longer someone’s explanation for not being able to meet in person is, the more likely it is to be fraud. When someone asks to carry out a transaction without being face to face, just say no!

2. Telling you they will pick up/mail the item or use a third party escrow service.

Kijiji is not meant for any transactions that are not face to face, so if someone contacts you insisting they will handle the transaction from a remote location or using an escrow, mailing, or pick up service are highly likely to be fraudulent.

3. Creating a strong sense of urgency

If scammers think you’re hesitant on the sale, they create a sense of urgency so you complete the transfer right away. They may do this by telling you they’ve received a lot of interest or that someone closer wants to purchase the item, or threatening legal action against you if you do not do ask they ask. Their aim is to trick you into acting quickly, before you have a chance to carefully think through the risks, or talk to someone about it.

4. Sad stories as excuses

Fraudsters try to manipulate compassionate and well intention ed Canadians with sob stories. If they are asking you to do something that does not seem right, and distracting from the request with a sad story (usually a lengthy one), be on your guard.

Don’t assume that any mention of hardship is fraud, but if there are any other red flags coupled with over sharing details of personal, financial, or family hardship, it is quite likely that you are dealing with a fraud attempt.

5. The deal is too good to be true

If this is a once in a lifetime deal and you must act fast, before you have the chance to think about it, be on your guard! If the deal is too good to be true, it probably is!

Car Pool and Ride Share Safety Tips

Setting up a ride share or a car pool is a great way to save money, and go a little easier on the environment. The cost of splitting gas between 3 or 4 people is nearly always cheaper than taking a bus, train, plane, or a car alone, and a whole lot more sociable. We’ve heard from Kijiji users who have made great friends and had great adventures through ride shares.

Going for a drive with strangers has different risks than buying or selling items. As always, go into a transaction looking out for your own safety, and don’t do anything that seems unsafe. Here are some tips to having a safe and pleasant ride share experience.

Ride Share Safety Tips

  • If you can, meet the other people involved in the ride share before hand. If this is not possible, ask for their Facebook profile ahead of time, and the contact info of others participating in the ride share. Take a look at their social networks, google their name if you like, and make sure they seem like someone you would be comfortable on a long drive with.
  • Get references. Preferably from someone who has ride shared with them in the past. Ask questions that verify that they are who they have presented themselves as to you. If there are any inconsistencies, consider it a red flag.
  • Take a picture of driver’s license and the license plate and email to a friend before you leave. If you feel uncomfortable asking for this information, say something along the lines of “I have a mother who is always worrying about me, she feels much better if she knows who I am with.”
    Make sure someone you trust knows when you will be leaving, and arriving.
  • Agree on rules for the road. Music preferences, whether food, coffee, smoking, or perfume will be permitted, who will be sitting where – it will cause less tension on the ride if everyone has agreed ahead of time on what is and is not permitted.
  • Don’t give too much information about yourself in your ad. Keep it minimal, listing only the need to know details such as when and where you are going, if there is room for cargo (or you have cargo that needs to be transported), that you are bringing your dog with you, and other trip oriented details that might be make or break for the other parties. Details like your gender and age you can disclose later.
  • Ask questions about driver, car. Agree on details like cost, payment, and whether any side trips will be permitted beforehand.
  • Exchange important numbers. Get the main contact details as well as emergency contact numbers beforehand with all who will be travelling with you. You never know when a medical emergency will strike, or if you will need to alter plans at the last minute.
  • Make sure your phone is fully charged before you leave.
  • Go with your gut. If the other person says something that makes you uncomfortable, don’t go with them. If they put you on edge before you even get in the car, you will likely be in for an unpleasant ride!

Want to Save Big on Electronics? 8 Ways to Stay Safe Buying Used Technology

Looking for a new cell phone, laptop or tablet? There are tonnes on Kijiji, and a secondhand model is a great way of getting the device you have been lusting after, at a budget friendly price. Staying safe is particularly important when dealing with small, high value items, so here are our tips on how to have a great transaction.

Meet face to face. Never send a seller money from your bank account before inspecting the item in person, and don’t send payment via money transfer services.

Ask for a receipt. Get the seller to sign and write his/her name and address on the back of a receipt.

Take a screenshot. Have a copy of the Kijiji ad so you have it as a reference for the transaction.

Be suspicious of a nearly-new phone being sold without packaging or accessories. If the seller can’t produce a receipt or even a charger, it could be a stolen phone. Here is how to check whether a smartphone is legal for sale.

Establish the condition of the phone. Use the phone, open a few apps, and try to find out what state the battery life is in if you can.

Don’t accept a phone laptop or device in a sealed box. As great as sealed boxes may seem, you need to be able to inspect the item. It is not hard to fake a seal on a box, so if the seller won’t allow you to take the item out of the box to test it, it could be faulty or even a fake.

Be careful of malware and viruses on a used device. If possible start with a clean slate by reinstalling the operating system or wiping the phone.

Take your time, and don’t rush into any decisions. If you see an iPhone or similar expensive device advertised at a very significant discount (even if it’s not the most recent model), then it’s probably too good to be true. Don’t pay until you have the device in your hands, and if in doubt, just walk away.