- User Safety

We are committed to creating a user-friendly environment, where our users can post and reply to ads and other messages freely and without concern. What follows are a number of tips and techniques you should keep in mind to protect yourself and your privacy online, whether you are using our site or come other site on the Internet. (Some of these suggestions “repeat” because they apply in multiple situations.) This list is not exhaustive and you should not use it as a substitute for your own common sense. As always, the best protection is to use good judgment and trust your instincts.

Responding to an Ad
Online ads help us find all kinds of different goods and services easily and quickly. It’s important to remember that whether you’re responding to a rental ad, a job posting, personal or “for sale” ad, you’ve never met the person behind the ad before. Use caution.

• Don’t wire money, or send a check, for an apartment you haven’t seen to a person you’ve never met.
• Don’t give out personal information about yourself, such as your social insurance number, without verifying that a job posting is legitimate.
• Meet people in a public place.
• Don’t go check out furniture in someone’s house alone. Bring a friend.

Placing an Ad
Online advertising allows us to quickly and effectively reach as many people as possible that are interested in what we’re selling or offering. It’s important to remember that you may not know the people responding to your ad, so be careful.

• Don’t include personal information in an ad such as your full name or address, and don’t post images or content that are prohibited by our Terms of Use or Privacy Policy, like nudity or messages relating to illegal activities.
• Talk to people on the phone before giving them information like your address, and trust your instincts.
• If someone is coming to check out the sofa you advertised, make sure you’re not alone when they arrive.
• If you’re selling something portable but expensive, such as a DVD player or a digital camera, consider showing it to people in a coffee shop instead of your home.
• If you’re selling a car, make sure you’re meeting the person somewhere public for a test drive, bring a friend, and be careful driving home.
• Meet people in a public place.

Safety Tips
• Be careful when purchasing gift cards through auction sites or classified ads; they may be empty or fraudulent.
• Be careful when bidding on auctions for products; they may be stolen.
• Be careful when replying to mystery or secret shopper jobs; you may end up owing all the money to the bank you thought you were getting paid.
• Be cautious when it comes to work-from-home opportunities, especially ones that don’t require experience or time.
• Don’t give money to an individual claiming to be the victim of a disaster if you don’t know them.
• Don’t give money to an organization if you haven’t heard of it.
• Don’t wire money or send a check for an apartment you haven’t seen to a person you’ve never met.
• Don’t give out personal information about yourself such as your social insurance number without verifying that a job posting is legitimate.
• Meet people in a public place.

Scams and Fraud
No matter where we are or what we’re doing, a handful of people can make it difficult for everyone. This is true in the online advertising area as well. Use the same common sense you’d use in the real world when reading an ad. It it’s too good to be true, it’s a scam. Please read about these common scam types to educate yourself.


Work From Home Scam

How it Works

• Someone places a job ad online looking for a rebate or payment processor.
• You respond and get the job.
• You’re asked to provide your bank account info to your new employer to facilitate direct deposits; might sound like a good idea, but it could be dangerous.
• Funds are put into this account and you’re told to wire the money to a third account. This account is often international, but not always.
• You get to deduct a percent of the wired amount as your commission or payment.
• You are actually laundering stolen funds through your own account.
• Whether you know you’re laundering money or not, you can still be prosecuted.
• The people you gave your bank account info to can also take money from you or steal your identity.


• Be cautious when it comes to work-from-home opportunities, especially ones that don’t require experience or time.
• Be cautious of opportunities that require you to pay for materials or supplies.
• Figure out if the company is legitimate through the Better Business Bureau (for Canadian or US-based companies) or WHOIS/Domain Tools (for international companies). Also look at the FTC’s recommendations:
• Never give your bank account details to anyone unless you know and trust them.
• If you think you may be a victim of one of these scams, contact your financial institution immediately. Report any suspicious work-from-home offers or activities to the Internet Crime Complaint Centre (IC3) at

(Above information about “work-from-home” scams is compiled from

Mystery/Secret Shopper Scam

• You see a job posting for a mystery shopper.
• You are asked to send a resume and told you will undergo a background check.
• You are sent a check that will cover purchases and money wire transactions, with the remaining balance as your payment.
• You are given instructions to shop at a specified retailer for a specific length of time and spend a specific amount on merchandise from the store.
• You are told to take a note of the store’s environment, color, payment procedures, gift items, and shopping/carrier bags and report back to the employer.
• You are then told you will be checking the ease and accuracy of wiring money from the retail location.
• After the merchandise is purchased and money is wired, the bank tells you that the check cashed was counterfeit, and you are responsible for the money lost in addition to bank fees incurred.
• Occasionally, you will be asked to submit your bank account information so that money can be deposited into your account. The fraudster will then have access to your accounts and be able to withdraw your money.

Rental and Real Estate Scam

If you’re posting the rental ad:

• Someone will respond to your ad with an interest in renting or buying the property.
• They will send you a check that is in excess of the amount you indicated, and request you send them the difference.
• They will send you a check that is the exact amount, but back out at the last minute.
• You will think all of the above checks are legitimate and potentially begin using the funds.
• The check(s) will turn out to be counterfeit and the bank will hold you responsible for all losses.

If you’re reading the rental ad:

• A scammer will duplicate postings from legitimate real-estate websites and place them on classified advertisement websites.
• The scammer will often use the real-estate agent’s real name to create a fake email address.
• When you respond to the ad, the scammer will reply, claiming to be the owner. S/he will say he is out of the country (often on mission work) so you cannot see the property. They will ask you to mail the check (often to a foreign address). They may also ask you to wire the money.
• Your check will be cashed or money received, and you will not be able to recover your losses.

Gift Card Fraud

Be careful when purchasing gift cards through auction sites or classified ads. It is safer to purchase gift cards directly from the merchant or retail store. The seller may claim the card holds a certain value, but they may be lying. If you’re purchasing a gift card, make sure you meet the seller at the store and have the gift card run through for verification. Additionally, if the gift card merchant discovers that your card is fraudulent, the merchant will deactivate the gift card and refuse to honor it for purchases. Victims of this scam lose the money paid for the gift card purchase.

Auction Sales Fraud

Be careful when bidding on auctions for products. Fraudsters will post ads for items they don’t have. They’ll charge your credit card (or debit your account) for the item and then use a stolen credit card to buy the actual item and have it shipped to you. They keep your money and you may be liable for receiving stolen products. But directly from the product merchant or make sure you research who you’re buying products from.

Disaster Scams

Some fraudsters will prey on your desire to help others. Make sure you’re only donating to organizations you’ve heard of, and make sure you’re donating directly on their official website. Don’t give money to an individual claiming to be the victim of a disaster if you don’t know them.

We are informed of the following provisions applicable in the United States of America

(a) Human Trafficking

Over the past 15 years, “trafficking in persons” and “human trafficking” have been used as umbrella terms for activities involved when someone obtains or holds a person in compelled service.

The Unites States government considers trafficking in persons to include all of the criminal conduct involved in forced labor and sex trafficking, essentially the conduct involved in reducing or holding someone in compelled service. Under the Trafficking Victims Protection Act as amended (TVPA) and consistent with the United Nations Protocol to Prevent, Suppress and Punish Trafficking in Persons, Especially Women and Children (Palermo Protocol), individuals may be trafficking victims regardless of whether they once consented, participated in a crime as a direct result of being trafficked, were transported into the exploitative situation, or were simply born into a state of servitude. Despite a term that seems to connote movement, at the heart of the phenomenon of trafficking in persons are the many forms of enslavement, not the activities involved in international transportation.

For more information on Human Trafficking, please visit

To report a potential victim of Human Trafficking, or if you are a victim yourself or you know someone whom you suspect may be, please call the National Human Trafficking Resource Centre (NHTRC) hotline at 1-888-373-7888, or visit

(b) Child Exploitation

The National Centre for Missing and Exploited Children helps not only locate missing kids, but also helps children that are victims of sexual exploitation of any kind.

If you’ve seen a missing child, or a child that is being victimized, please take action and make a report to the CyberTipline:

For more information on the National Centre, please visit: