Online buying and selling: Most in Ontario say they’re anxious about meet ups

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Ontario shoppers feeling nervous about online buying and selling
A new report suggests most Ontario shoppers feel uneasy about meeting up in person to complete peer-to-peer marketplace transactions. Shallima Maharaj breaks down why and what you can do to protect yourself. – Feb 27, 2024

A new report suggests that the majority of Ontario residents are uncomfortable meeting up in person for buying or selling items from online websites like Facebook Marketplace or Kijiji due to scams and fraud.

The report, released on Tuesday by goConfirm and called Ontario Benchmark Report on Trust in Peer-to-Peer Marketplace Transactions, says almost three-quarters — 74 per cent — of Ontarians said they are uncomfortable.

About 60 per cent of respondents said they are uncomfortable organizing in-person meetups after an increasing amount of news and media coverage on scams and frauds on these popular forums, the report said.

Between men and women, the report said women are more likely to feel uncomfortable than men when it comes to organizing peer-to-peer meetups at 79 per cent versus 67 per cent.

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For those who feel uncomfortable, the report said 78 per cent would feel more comfortable if there were a way to verify the identity of a marketplace seller or buyer as a solution.

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The report also found that 31 per cent of Ontarians have considered using marketplaces due to the increased cost of living, which has led to a booming second-hand economy, goConfirm noted.

Global News has reported about several scams from postings online through Facebook Marketplace, Kijiji and others such as alleged stolen trailers in Edmonton and even places to rent in the Greater Toronto Area.

“The rapid adoption of generative AI has heightened the risks of fraud and safety concerns in all interactions that Canadian consumers face every day,” goConfirm CEO Kirk Simpson said.

The survey was conducted by goConfirm — a Toronto-based technology company that creates a verified digital identity using government-issued ID. It was conducted from Feb. 8 to Feb 12 with a sample size of 804 Ontarians who are members of the Angus Reid Forum. With its sample size, the poll could contain a margin of error of plus or minus three percentage points, 19 times out of 20.

Click to play video: 'Vancouver police warn of Facebook Marketplace scam'
Vancouver police warn of Facebook Marketplace scam

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