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Public Advisory,
Safety Tips For Meeting Strangers To Buy Or Sell Items

Broadcast time: 12:30
Date: Friday, November 19, 2021
Unit: 23 Division
Phone: 416-808-2300

The Toronto Police Service would like to remind the public to use caution when meeting strangers to complete sales transactions.

People buy and sell merchandise online every day and it is important to consider the following tips to help keep you safe and reduce your risk of becoming a victim:

- always meet in a public space, preferably outside a police station

- always meet during daylight hours

- when possible, bring a friend with you or inform a friend of your plan

- always bring a cell phone with you

- only bring the agreed upon cash and leave other valuables at home

- if you are buying an item, ensure you thoroughly inspect it to ensure it is legitimate

- always trust your instincts and be aware of your surroundings

We would urge the public not to:

- meet at night or in an unfamiliar location

- give out personal information about yourself

- meet up with a stranger by yourself, if possible

- hand over the merchandise until you have the cash in hand

Remember, if a person is not willing to meet with you at a police station to complete the sales transaction, that is a red flag.

If you become a victim of this crime, please call police immediately to report the incident. Be prepared to provide the following information:

- the location where the offence occurred

- a detailed description of the suspect(s)

- the last direction of travel for the suspect(s)

- vehicle description and licence plate info, if the suspect(s) left in an automobile

- a detailed description of merchandise stolen

Police would like to remind the public to always be aware of their surroundings during these encounters and to report any criminality immediately.

Anyone with information is asked to contact police at 416-808-2300, Crime Stoppers anonymously at 416-222-TIPS (8477), online at, online on our Facebook Leave a Tip page, or text TOR and your message to CRIMES (274637). Download the free Crime Stoppers Mobile App on iTunes or Google Play.

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Constable Edward Parks, Corporate Communications, for Detective Adam Lourenco, 23 Division