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Everything you should know about sales scams that are online

18 Jul 17
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I’m attempting to sell my car, and I posted an ad on Kijiji with my mobile number. I instantly got a considerate text asking me to email a Gmail address with extra photographs (I’d put five on the advertisement). I did and got an email. She said do the paperwork and a delivery agent would come by to inspect the vehicle. There were no clues that it was fake — like grammar that is bizarre or a story. I do not really get what the scam will be, although it seems like a scam. Would somebody get PayPal to reverse the charges and steal my car and appear? Should I be worried that they have telephone number and my address? — Alex, Vancouver

In scams involving their agent and a overseas buyer, you will probably be left waiting for the shipper.

“Nobody’s coming to look at it or test drive it no one shows up,” said Allan Boomhour, spokesman for the (CAFC). “We see these daily. The entire idea is to trick you into sending your real money.”

Here is how it works. First, the crook sends a payment for more than you are asking to you.

“They say, “we are including the delivery fee’ — so if you are asking $5,000, they will send $6,000,” Boomhour stated. “They then ask you to send that gap to the shipper. It varies, it might be Western Union or MoneyGram.”

That payment? Whether it’s a cheque or a notice, it is probably fake, Boomhour stated.

“You’ll find an email that says it has been moved, but people do not check in their real PayPal account to find out if the cash is there, they are just going by that email,” Boomhour stated. “And with cheques, most banks will clear cheques right off the bat, and then they are rejected weeks or months afterwards.”

Boomhour stated, if you send cash via Western Union or MoneyGram — or perhaps gift cards — there is no way to get it back if you report it to authorities.

“Once, it is paid out at the other end, it is cash-in-hand; there is no tracing it,” Boomhour stated. “Despite prepaid gift cards, once poor men have those card numbers, they just take the cash in a moment.”

Can the scammer get PayPal to and then deposit the money ? Yes, but that’s not common, Boomhour stated.

“Usually there is no money at all but, yes, these situations can occur,” he said. “[They may go through the credit card company and try to get back the bill”

Canadians do fall for these scams, Boomhour stated. In total, 39 people lost, in 2016. So far 9 people have dropped over $11,000.

And those are just. It can be challenging to catch them, since the natives are in a different country.

“When it leaves the country, jurisdiction becomes a problem,” Boomhour stated. “They do sometimes get people. However, like drug dealers, if you arrest one in the corner, the next day there is another one.”

When we requested PayPal about the scam, it stated in an email, “If something seems too good to be true — it probably is a scam.

“Like any financial services transactions, we always encourage people to be cautious and protect themselves against criminals attempting to fraudulently transact together.”

How do you know it’s a scam? In “99 percent” of cases, nobody will pay the entire price for a car without seeing it first, Boomhour stated.

“You want to handle people face,” he said. “If you have met in person, a wire transfer into your account is rather secure, or whether it is a certified cheque, you go together to the lender and be sure it’s good. However, you need to meet them”

Beware of texts requesting your address. Sites like And have systems that send messages between sellers and buyers. Scams are also detected by them, Kijiji stated.

“Fraudsters will send a bogus SMS message asking to be contacted via email in an attempt to stay off the radar, they can not do if they respond through the protected Kijiji response system,” Kijiji stated in an email statement. “[Your best strategy would be to dismiss the ploy and obstruct the scammer’s phone number and email address, and refrain from clicking any links sent through email or text”

Kijiji stated to avoid them, do not put your number in the advertisement.

So common are these scams? In a 2013 From the Automobile Consumer Coalition, 13 percent of consumers said they had been contacted by a buyer who requested the seller to refund the difference and offered to overpay.

We requested Kijiji for the number of complaints.

“The incidence of scams or fraud on Kijiji is very low,” it stated. “To put it into perspective, there are countless new advertisements and emails exchanged between users on Kijiji from the normal week and complaints about suspected fraud among all that communicating traffic make up a very small fraction of a percentage point”

Boomhour stated, if you have lost money in a scam, contact the regional police.

“If no money is lost, some police services will inform people to contact [us] and will not take a report,” Boomhour stated.

And there no reason to stress that they have telephone number and your address. They would require information like your social insurance number, driver’s license number and date of arrival, to commit ID theft, Boomhour stated.

“You may receive more unwanted phone calls or junk emails — but there is nothing you can do about that,” Boomhour stated.

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