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Better Business Bureau ®
Start With Trust®
Central and Northern Alberta
Kijiji Scam Alert
May 09, 2014

A New Twist on an Old Scam!

 

Edmonton, AB – May 6, 2014: Recently BBB has started receiving calls from consumers about scams on Kijiji. 

Sellers are once again using deceptive tactics on forums like Kijiji and Craigslist to entice consumers to buy top quality products at bargain basement prices! Many continue to fall victim to the pressure of a professional con-artist.

The latest scam goes something like this “My father has recently died and I need to sell his boat quickly. The boat is located in the “Easy Yard Sale” company’s custody. They will pick it up, we will sign a contract which includes insurance, a return policy and payment instructions.” 

Once the consumer begins asking questions - the sale becomes complicated. The seller is typically not nearby and neither is the product! But wait – they will ship it! For free!! The transaction results in consumers sending money, often through an instant money transfer, and never receiving their item. 

If you’ve heard any of these lines – run the other way as fast as you can! 

Sales approaches used by scam artists: 

  • My relative is sick or has died and I’m selling this item for them.
  • I need to sell it right away! – explains the cheap price and creates urgency.
  • I am reputable! – they often claim to be doctors or lawyers.
  • There will be a contract and the item will be shipped –usually for FREE.
  • We have a return policy and your purchase is FULLY REFUNDABLE!
  • The item is not nearby where you can see it before purchasing.
  • They send lots of photos to make you want the item.
  • Hard sell and insistent – but very accommodating!
  • Correspondence is usually by email.
  • They often direct you to a website ie Easy Yard Sale, supposedly part of ebay.
  • It almost always ends in - Wire the money and then I will send your item!

 

How to avoid being scammed: 

  • Avoid sending money through instant banking transfers such as moneygram.
  • Payment through a credit card or paypal may provide some refund options.
  • Do not send money to a third party.
  • Use common sense. Is anyone else selling an item like this? Is the price comparable?

 What can you do if you’ve been scammed?

  • Tell someone – these people are professionals and you are not the only one being scammed. They can’t be stopped without your help!
  • Report the suspicious activity to your local BBB and file a Complaint.
  • Report the activity to your local police station.

These people are often located overseas. They usually won’t talk to you in person as you may detect that they are not local or even in North America. The English is sometimes poor in the emails, although these con artists have improved this glitch considerably.

When buying a product privately it is BUYER BEWARE. Remember that if it seems too good to be true – it probably is!