Online Scammers use Calgary in Craigslist Fraud – BBB Cautions Consumers against using Parcel Vision shipment services

February 13, 2014

February 13, 2014 - CALGARY, ALBERTA - BBB is warning consumers against scammers using the names of popular online bulletin board sites to swindle you out of your savings. After an American buyer fell victim to a scam potentially based in Calgary, BBB is particularly cautioning consumers against using Parcel Vision shipment services when making online purchases.

In a recent case, BBB serving Southern Alberta and East Kootenay received a complaint from U.S. resident Christine Graham who had purchased an iPad off of their local Craiglist for $200. The seller, who was advertised as located in Calgary, instructed Graham to wire the payment directly to a Parcel Vision agent located in the U.K. in advance. Once the agent received payment, Parcel Vision told Graham that the package would then be delivered to FedEx who would ship the iPad to her. During BBB investigation, we checked with FedEx, who says they aren't familiar with Parcel Vision and do not use their services. Graham wired the payment, but ultimately did not receive the iPad.

President and CEO of BBB Serving Southern Alberta and East Kootenay, Sandra Crozier-McKee, says it is crucial for online shoppers to research and check the seller's information before making a purchase. "Even if you are only shopping on popular, well-known sites, it is still possible for scammers to get to you," she says. "Make sure you understand the shipping and payment process and are familiar with the courier services that will be used. Wired money transfers are usually a red flag, especially if they are required up-front. To ensure you're making a secure purchase, use your credit card and if you're suspicious check with BBB before you buy".

 BBB offers these tips when making online purchases:

  • Know the Website.  Before ordering any merchandise, check the URL link on the payment page to make sure it starts with "https://" (the 's' means it is secure). Also look for a small padlock icon usually located at the corner of the URL bar. Make sure to confirm the address and phone number of the online business in case there are any issues contacting them. 
  • Understand the transaction process. Before making a purchase, inquire about payment method, if the payment is required up-front and which courier service will be used. If you have suspicions, check with BBB before you buy.
  • Never wire money to strangers. If you are asked to wire money to an unfamiliar business or provide personal information, walk away. If you wire money to someone you don't know, you could risk being left with empty hands and an empty wallet.
  • Choose the Correct Payment Method.  Always pay with a credit card when shopping online. Under the Financial Consumer Agency of Canada, unauthorized charges can usually be reimbursed.  Make sure to print the receipts and product information of any online purchases to prevent incorrect charges.
For more information and other consumer tips, visit

Media Contact:

Leah Brownridge
Marketing Communications Coordinator
Phone: (403) 531-8793

About BBB:

For more than 100 years, Better Business Bureau has been helping people find businesses, brands and charities they can trust. In 2015, people turned to BBB more than 172 million times for BBB Business Reviews on more than 5.3 million businesses and Charity Reports on 11,000 charities, all available for free at There are local,independent BBBs across the United States, Canada and Mexico, including BBB Serving Southern Alberta and East Kootenay, which was founded in 1954 and garners more than one million instances of service annually. 

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