Online advertisements not always legitimate

I would like to share my experience with fraud on the Internet in hopes of preventing this from happening to anyone else.

I would like to share my experience with fraud on the Internet in hopes of preventing this from happening to anyone else.

It happened on a well-known, popular site called Kijiji, a great place to purchase or sell. And it’s often a place to find great deals.

While I was browsing on Red Deer Kijiji, a stock trailer came up for sale. The pictures that were displayed, indicated that it was an excellent-looking unit, only four years old, and the asking price was $3,500.

Out of curiosity, I e-mailed the seller asking for her phone number.

She replied back, saying that she was a divorced women with two children and had no need for the trailer.

No phone number was given to me (first red flag).

She said she was going to “make arrangements through eBay for payment, because it would be safer for both parties involved.”

Very shortly after, I received an e-mail from eBay with all the details on how this transaction was going to take place.

It appeared to be a legitimate document, but when I read it carefully I noticed spelling and grammar errors (second red flag).

It was also very unusual that eBay was asking the money to be sent through Money Gram, instead of their usual method of Paypal.

It was indicated that it would be easier and the funds would be held by an agent of Money Gram until I received the trailer and it met my approval.

Further investigation revealed that Money Gram is a direct transfer of money from one party to another (third red flag).

Not feeling at all comfortable, I decided to contact eBay, who confirmed this was not a document from them and that it was indeed fraud.

I spent two days doing everything I could, notifying eBay, Kijiji, and phoning Phone Busters.

Then, not even a week later, there’s another great-looking stock trailer on Kijiji again. I replied to it from my daughter’s e-mail address, and it turns out to be the same fraudsters with the same scam!

I truly wish there is more that could be done to put a stop to this.

I am very fortunate not to have lost any money, and I have certainly learned some precautionary measures to take.

Here are some tips:

• Never send or wire money or give personal and or credit card information, unless you know it’s a reputable site.

• Ensure transactions are done in person.

• If you ever shop on Kijiji, go to their help site and read their safety precautions before buying.

• If you ever do a transaction through eBay, and you are a registered user of eBay, you can confirm whether or not a correspondence is legit just by going into your inbox, and there will be a second copy of the same correspondence.

• Insist on a phone number.

• Make a copy of the ad or at least the ad number and details.

• If you suspect fraud, report it to the Canadian Anti-fraud Centre at 1-888-495-8501.

Marilyn Mose

Elnora

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