Safety alert! Beware of fraudulent replies to classified ads


Security & Fire Prevention Services wishes to alert the McGill community regarding an individual who has been responding to the McGill classified ads offering to buy items for sale. This individual will claim to be from England and offer to send you an international money order or a wire transfer in excess of the sale price. He asks you to deduct the sale price from the sum sent to you and provide the rest of the amount to the person (a suspected confederate) who will come to pick up the item and ship it to him.

Needless to say, the money orders or wire transfers are fraudulent. Your bank will usually hold the draft for several days for verification purposes. Meanwhile, the buyer’s representative will show up to collect the item and balance of the amount owed. As a result, the victim is defrauded of the item for sale and the amount of money remitted to the fraudster’s confederate.

The individual sometimes uses the name Nathan or Williams. He does not haggle over price.

If you are faced with a similar situation whereby someone contacts you and offers to buy your item on sale using an international wire transfer or money order, please call Security and Fire Prevention Services at 514-398-3000. If you dial from a public pay phone on campus, it is a free call. You can also [at] (e-mail us).

If anyone has already been a victim of this con artist, please report the matter to us as well as to the police.