Firearms buyers should exercise due diligence and caution when making online purchases. Below are some warnings signs and helpful tips to consider. If you think your licence has been compromised after trying to complete a sale online, please contact the Canadian Firearms Program immediately.
Reporting fraudulent sales
The Royal Canadian Mounted Police has resources to help the public recognize, report and stop fraud. All instances of internet fraud should be reported to the local law enforcement agency and the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre.
Warning signs to consider:
- A seller insists on communicating only via the Internet and refuses to provide a telephone number or address.
- A seller provides a home address that is different from the point of sale address.
- A seller provides a post office box as their address and insists payment be made by cheque, certified cheque or money order.
- A seller insists payment be made by electronic money transfer (where funds can be picked up at any outlet with only the transfer number).
- Be cautious when sending personal information over the Internet.
- Be cautious when the firearm is being sold for less than perceived market value.
- Never send your personal identification to unverified sources.
- Search online for multiple advertisements featuring the same sale.
- Request a photo of the firearm with a recent date stamp.
- Take your time to complete the transaction.