The Winnipeg Police Service is sharing tips for buying or selling through online classified items as it says officers with the major crimes unit are investigating robberies connected to online ads.

Police said the method of selling gives criminals the opportunity to be “anonymous while taking advantage of unsuspecting buyers and sellers.”

In a news release, police shared the following tips:

  • Ask for a photo of the serial number before meeting and attempt to confirm the item hasn't been reported stolen.
  • Search the serial number online. serial number search tool
  • Conduct reverse search of the posted image of the item for sale.
  • Don’t provide your personal information to anyone.
  • Check the buyer/seller's name through an online search engine.
  • Ask about the history of the item being sold.
  • Meet during daylight hours, in a public space equipped with cameras.
  • Do not transfer/provide money to the person before receiving the product.
  • Do not meet someone alone.
  • Use generic photos when posting an item for sale.
  • Follow your gut - if something feels wrong, it probably is. (Source: Winnipeg Police Service.)