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Guelph Police: Online Sales Scams on the Rise

Over the last month there has been an increase in the number of fraud related incidents being reported to the Guelph Police Service involving online buy and sale transactions through social media and online sales sites. More specifically, a few reports have recently come in regarding ticket resale scams for Taylor Swift Eras Tour tickets, which is scheduled for November of 2024.

In a typical scenario, a scammer will create multiple fake social media profiles – either with stolen identity information and pictures or fabricated entirely – as a way to mask their true identity. They then post the fake or nonexistent concert tickets for sale online. Once a potential victim inquires about the tickets, the scammer will chat online directly with them, allowing the scammer the chance to pressure or persuade the victim into falling for their fraud. Arrangements for the delivery of the tickets will be discussed, often by asking for the victim’s email address associated to their Ticketmaster account. However, once a deposit has been sent via e-transfer to the email address provided by the scammer, the scammer may stall the victim with excuses before stopping all communications, and then either block the victim’s account or delete the fraudulent account altogether.

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It is very common for the scammers to create multiple fake social media accounts and then list the same items at various price points, and typically lower than comparable ones to attract more interest. Also, different email addresses will also be provided for the e-transfer to be sent.

To lower the risk as a buyer regarding online marketplace scams, it is always recommended to meet the seller in person and at a public place. Prior to meeting, take the time to do your own research, as scammers are more likely to pressure buyers if they don’t send the money quickly enough. Be sure to inspect the item first prior to providing any deposit or payment, and avoid making transactions through Interac E-Transfer, because once the money has been deposited, the transaction cannot be reversed and likely will never be returned.

Remember, if a deal seems too good to be true, it usually is.

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