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Best Practices

Frauds, Scams and Illegal Activity on thecannon.ca

Thecannon is a complimentary service offered to students by the Central Student Association and the Guelph Campus Co-operative. The website is run by a small number of staff whose job it is to oversee day-to-day operations including editorial content, volunteer recruitment and training, technical support, promotions and liaising with the Website Operating Committee.

As part of its commitment to University of Guelph students, thecannon allows users to post classifieds for a variety of items, from textbooks to rental housing.

While we do our best to address issues of fraud and improper use of the site, there are literally hundreds of classifieds posted every day, many of which result in sales. As such, we do not moderate complaints that arise between buyers and sellers, nor do we have the authority to hand down judgments favouring one party or another.

Thecannon, its staff and owners do not review or confirm the veracity of any claim made in its classifieds section. It is the responsibility of the seller to adhere to website’s Terms and Conditions when posting classifieds, and the responsibility of the buyer to evaluate claims made by sellers and protect themselves accordingly. Users who violate the Terms and Conditions of thecannon may have their accounts terminated.

Thecannon works with law enforcement to identify and prosecute perpetrators of fraud and illegal activity. If you suspect that a classified posting is either fraudulent or illegal, we encourage you to contact us through the feedback form available on the site or by emailing [email protected] If suspect that you have been a victim of fraud, we further encourage you to contact Guelph Police Services (www.guelphpolice.com) and the RCMP anti-fraud Call Centre (www.phonebusters.com) to register a complaint

Thecannon has compiled a best practices guide to encourage safer behaviour in the classifieds section. Remember that vigilance and caution are your best defense against unscrupulous posters. If a deal seems too good to be true, it probably is.

Best practices with accounts and personal information

  • Thecannon and its staff will never ask for your password or account information. Do not reveal your password or account information to a third party.
  • Change your password every two months to keep your account secure.
  • Avoid auto-filling your username and password on public computers.

Best practices buying or selling textbooks and other classifieds

  • Never give out any personal or financial information (e.g. social insurance number, bank account number) to a buyer or seller.
  • Thecannon does not have arrangements with PayPal or any other company to provide “secure online payment” for classified items. Any posting that claims to offer secure online payment through thecannon is a scam.
  • Never agree to wire funds to a seller. A legitimate seller will not pressure you to use a money transfer company only.
  • Never allow a buyer to pay more than the asking price – this is a common scam.
  • Never agree to involve third parties or intermediaries in a payment scheme.
  • Do not finalize a transaction until you are completely satisfied with all the terms.
  • We strongly encourage users to meet buyers/sellers in-person to see the product and exchange funds.
  • Record details about the sale item (price, etc.) and the contact information of the buyer/seller in case there are any problems.
  • Arrange buyer-seller meetings in public spaces during daylight hours, or go with a friend.

 Best practices with rental housing

  • Never give out any personal or financial information (e.g. social insurance number, bank account number) by email or over the phone.
  • Never agree to wire funds to a seller. A legitimate seller will not pressure you to use a money transfer company only.
  • Never allow renters to pay more than the asking price – this is a common scam.
  • Never agree to involve third parties or intermediaries in a payment scheme.
  • Independently verify a landlord’s name, street address, and telephone number. If possible, ask for references.
  • We strongly encourage users to deal only with renters or buyers local to them. Proceed with extreme caution when dealing with renters or landlords from outside the country.
  • When receiving payment, wait for the cheque or money order to clear the bank before proceeding,
  • Don’t give in to pressure to close a deal quickly. Scams depend on decisions made in haste.
  • We strongly encourage users to inspect a property before signing a lease agreement.
  • Review the terms of a lease agreement thoroughly before signing. Ask questions about any terms that are unclear to you.
  • Learn your rights as a tenant. The Landlord Tenant Board (www.ltb.gov.on.ca), legal resource centres and other agencies can provide information how Ontario’s Residential Tenancies Act applies to you.

Best practices with the ride board

  • Driving is an inherently risky activity. Users accept their own risks as passengers or drivers in a vehicle.
  • Record details about the ride posting (route, expectations of payment, etc.) and the poster’s contact information. Share this information with a friend or family member.
  • Trust your judgment. If you feel uneasy about a vehicle or its driver, do not accept a ride.
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