Police warn buyers of online fraud and auto theft
Excerpted article was written by: DAVID BLOOM
An Edmonton couple thought they had finally found their dream RV when they spotted an online classified ad in July of 2017. A month later their dream vehicle had been seized by police and they were out over $19,000.
The local couple, who did not wish to be identified, were one of 32 victims in 2017 that purchased a stolen vehicle. As part of Fraud Prevention Month the Edmonton Police Service is warning people to be aware of online sale scams including the purchasing of used vehicles.
“There was never ever any sense that we were buying from sketchy people. Or anything suspicious,” said the couple, who unknowingly purchased the stolen RV. “We buy off Kijjii. We’ve often bought off (Kijjii).”
“When purchasing previously owned vehicles through an online classified ad, the onus is on the buyer,” says Det. Gerard Forde of the Edmonton Police Service Major Crimes auto theft Unit. “Buyers need to research the product. Check the VIN. Ask Questions.”
In 2017 over 4,000 vehicles were stolen. Less than a quarter of them were recovered.
A 10-step buyer’s guide is available on the EPS website to help people avoid buying a stolen vehicle.