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The police officers of the Service de police de la Ville de Montréal (SPVM) want to raise public awareness about the measures to secure their transactions carried out on Internet classified sites.

Online transactions are on the rise since the pandemic. Although they have several advantages, sometimes dishonest people take advantage of these platforms to steal or defraud citizens who use them.

Suspects often demand payment in cash, meet elsewhere than their actual home, and do not own the property they claim to be selling. They either steal the money before the good is exchanged or replace it in its original box with something without value.

The SPVM wishes to remind you of some prevention tips to ensure the security of your transactions and your possible recourses in case of theft or fraud.


  • Take the time to consult the Security page of the platforms you use. They can contain several tips so that you can carry out your transactions in a secure manner and inform you about the most common types of fraud.
    It is often accessible at the bottom of their website.
  • Before starting your research, find out the customary prices of the products you want. If an ad looks too good to be true, it's probably a scam.
  • Ask questions and avoid interaction only via the Internet. Ask the person for their telephone number to speak to them and offer to meet them in person to avoid scams.
  • Choose a public, busy place with a security camera. If possible, go with another person. Also, find out about the available safe trading zones.
  • Agree on the method of payment in advance. As much as possible, favour an electronic payment method, such as an e-transfer, because they are protected by several security levels. Deposits and cash payments are not recommended.
  • Be sure to take possession of the good and examine it to your satisfaction before transferring money.


Report any advertisement, email or activity that you think is suspicious on the Internet classifieds site.

In case of theft or fraud, you can also file a complaint with your local police department. To communicate with your neighbourhood police station (PDQ), call 514-280-01XX (XX corresponding to the number of your PDQ). For any emergency, call 911.

You can also report any criminal activity anonymously and confidentially to Info-Crime Montréal by dialling 514-393-1133 or through their website at https://www.infocrimemontreal.ca/en/.