People looking to sell items on Facebook and Kijiji should be wary of emails that appear to be payment transfers, said Jeff Horncastle, a fraud specialist with the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre.

A St. Albert resident looking to sell his Jeep didn’t realize he would have to navigate a minefield of fraud attempts throughout the process.

This past summer, Don Allan took to platforms such as Facebook and Kijiji in the hopes of making a quick sale. Within the first five inquiries he received, Allan had fielded three scam attempts. 

“The scammers basically came out in full force and tried to take advantage of me,” Allan said. “The amount of inquiries I got that ended up being bogus astounded me.”

Allan noticed a pattern in the scam inquiries: many came from the United States, and none of them questioned the price he had set for the Jeep. 

“They just said, your vehicle looks good, I’d like to buy it,” Allan said. “Send me your email address and I’ll send you the money.”

One email Allan received said his asking price for the Jeep had been sent to him, but he would need to pay $950 in shipping prices for the money to go into his account.

“I was born at night, just not last night,” Allan said. “The bottom of the email also said they do not accept any phone calls or inquiries, so right off the bat [I interpreted that as], ’Don’t phone us because you’ll figure out very quickly this is fraud.’”

Jeff Horncastle, a fraud specialist…

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