The Barrie Police Service is offering advice to members of the community who may be thinking of selling a motor vehicle privately on any social media platform.

Advertisements for any item being sold will almost always guarantee that your post will be seen by many people. The majority of interested buyers are honest, but there are some who will do things that are not appropriate as they hide behind their keyboard and devise a plan to get what is yours.

Police always recommend that when agreeing to meet with someone, you should always agree to do it during daytime hours, in area where there are others present, and you should have someone with you in case something unexpectedly takes place that may require an immediate police response. Remember your safety is what is most important.

Sellers must never loose sight of the fact that the person you may be agreeing to meet is a stranger and you more than likely do not know them. The only thing that is certain is that you have something that they want, and they might be willing to do anything to get it.

In a recent incident that was shared with police, the seller of a motor vehicle agreed to meet with a perspective buyer and did so in a large parking lot where the vehicle being sold could be driven, but most importantly, there were others present who could serve as witnesses should the meeting be a scam. In the end, the interested person showed up with additional persons who they claimed were mechanics. The buyer did take a test drive and returned only to identify that the vehicle ran rough and was in need of some major mechanical work. The owner was then offered a lower then advertised price for the vehicle, which was respectfully declined.

Sadly, the test driver had stopped somewhere and added a foreign substance to a reservoir under the hood and sprayed something onto the engine which caused it to smoke. Thankfully, the owner recognized something was odd and declined the significantly reduced offer and drove away. Assisted by someone who was mechanically inclined, the added substance was located, the reservoir cleaned out and as for the smoke, it dissipated after the engine area was cleaned of what had been sprayed on it.

The message is simple; when selling anything, no matter how big or small, you must always do it in a manner that ensures your safety is never compromised. Sellers always need to keep in mind that the item being sold is just a piece of property and if the potential buyer doesn’t seem legitimate or you become the least bit suspicious of their demeanor, it is ok to just change your mind and politely leave.

Prepared by: Corporate Communications 


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