Fraud Alert: If a deal seems too good to be true, it probably is.

Monday, December 12, 2011

  • An announcement from the Editor on classified ad scams

    An announcement from the Editor on classified ad scams

Written by Stephanie Rennie

Dear thecannon.ca users,

In light of the many messages that I have been receiving regarding the ongoing issues with classified ad scams, I think that the following information from our fraud alert document will be helpful in avoiding such scams in the future.

Recently, there has been an increase in the number of attempted frauds related to thecannon’s rental housing classifieds.

In the fraud, someone posing as a student or their parent claims that they will be moving to Guelph from outside the country and require a place to live. After making contact with the property owner, the person will send a cheque or money order for an amount much greater than the asking price, and ask that the difference be wired back to an address overseas.

The wire transfer or money order "overpayment" is a common fraud that gives the illusion of secure payment where none exists. Users should never agree to wire funds to a seller. A legitimate seller will not pressure you to use a money transfer company only.

Further, users should never allow renters to pay more than the asking price – this is a common scam.

Users are reminded that thecannon does not review classified ads before they are posted on the site. Please see thecannon’s Best Practices Guide for tips on how to avoid falling victim to online fraud.

Thecannon relies on users to help identify scammers on the site. 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

If you suspect that you targeted by a scammer, we  encourage you to contact Guelph Police Services (www.guelphpolice.com) and the RCMP anti-fraud Call Centre (www.phonebusters.com) to register a complaint.The tollfree phone number for the program is 1-888-495-8501, and email: [email protected]

Remember that vigilance and caution are your best defense. If a deal seems too good to be true, it probably is.

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