Can you spot a scam? 5 Tell-tale signs

1. Refusing to meet in person

Kijiji is set up for people to meet with locals to exchange goods and services. If someone does not want to meet in person, classified ads are not the right avenue to pursue buying and selling. If someone claims to be abroad, on an oil rig, a foreign missionary, a greenpeace worker in the arctic, etc., there is a very high likelihood it is a scam (not to say that those who actually hold these positions are scammers, but fraudsters regularly claim to have these professions because they provide a credible excuse not to meet up, or carry with them associations of good moral character, or both). The longer someone’s explanation for not being able to meet in person is, the more likely it is to be fraud. When someone asks to carry out a transaction without being face to face, just say no!

2. Telling you they will pick up/mail the item or use a third party escrow service.

Kijiji is not meant for any transactions that are not face to face, so if someone contacts you insisting they will handle the transaction from a remote location or using an escrow, mailing, or pick up service are highly likely to be fraudulent.

3. Creating a strong sense of urgency

If scammers think you’re hesitant on the sale, they create a sense of urgency so you complete the transfer right away. They may do this by telling you they’ve received a lot of interest or that someone closer wants to purchase the item, or threatening legal action against you if you do not do ask they ask. Their aim is to trick you into acting quickly, before you have a chance to carefully think through the risks, or talk to someone about it.

4. Sad stories as excuses

Fraudsters try to manipulate compassionate and well intention ed Canadians with sob stories. If they are asking you to do something that does not seem right, and distracting from the request with a sad story (usually a lengthy one), be on your guard.

Don’t assume that any mention of hardship is fraud, but if there are any other red flags coupled with over sharing details of personal, financial, or family hardship, it is quite likely that you are dealing with a fraud attempt.

5. The deal is too good to be true

If this is a once in a lifetime deal and you must act fast, before you have the chance to think about it, be on your guard! If the deal is too good to be true, it probably is!

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