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Kijiji Scam Information & How to Avoid Being Scammed
Signs of a Possible Kijiji Scam
1. Person of interest is not local. They are currently out of town, or they live across or out of the country which means no actual person to person contact. This also ensures the transaction has to be made through the mail, or online. If the person does not want to meet in person, or has some excuse for not being able to make the transaction in person, be very wary. (It’s a lot harder to scam someone face to face but people still do it, so still be cautious of anyone willing to meet face to face.)
2. Person of interest doesn’t do phonecalls either. Most scammers prefer to work through email only. I call these the lazy scammers. They will do everything they can to avoid having to talk to you in person. I have turned scammers away by insisting I will only complete the transaction if I can talk to them on the phone. This is an easy way to determine quickly if you have a phone-shy scammer on your case.
3. If you find an item on Kijiji that is priced unbelievably low, it might be a sign of a scammer. This is usually done with high-priced, large items that need to be shipped, such as vehicles and RV’s.
4. Don’t trust anyone who wants to buy something like vehicle or a laptop from you without seeing it first. We had a few replies to our ad for our Honda Element saying they wanted to buy it just like that without seeing it. These emails seemed very generic and didn’t even mention anything about the vehicle itself. Scammers playing the role of a buyer mysteriously don't seem too interested in the actual item they are purchasing.
5. Paypal. Paypal. Paypal. Unfortunately for all the honest people out there that use paypal, scammers are giving it a bad name. The majority of kijiji scammers insist on using paypal because it's 'safe and reliable'. They always ask for your paypal email address and your paypal name so they can send you a fake but official looking email from 'Paypal' telling you that you have new funds and have been paid for your item.
6. An overly detailed story is usually a sign of a scammer. Scammers usually try to prey on your empathy but usually don’t realize how stupid they sound.
7. Scammers want things done quickly. Sometimes they give you a big sappy story explaining why they need this transaction done as quickly as possible (gift for my dying aunt…..don’t have much time). The reason for this is because sometimes it takes a few days for a bank or paypal transaction to be declined or processed, and by then the scammer is long gone.
8. I'm sure this will eventually change once the not-so-smart scammers out there figure out we are onto them, but stay away from any replies or ads mentioning the country Nigeria. I am not sure why they like to use this country in all their attempted scams but there are way too many scams using Nigeria and Africa for shipment of items. Read the examples on the bottom of the page and you'll see what I mean.
9. Anyone who requests any personal information from you and insists that it is necessary in order to complete the transaction. Examples of information that has been requested from scammers are your bank account number, your PayPal id…among others.
10. A major red flag is when somebody requires money up front in order to complete the transaction. They always assure you any money you put up front is either being held by a third party company and or will paid back to you with the payment. An example of this is one of the replies to our vehicle ad. This ‘woman’ gave me a big long story about how she lives 3 provinces away and really wants my vehicle and had already been approved for the loan but in order for her bank to release the funds, she must come up with 850 dollars for compulsory insurance, which she wanted me to pay, and then she would add the 850 dollars on top of the total price of the vehicle. Come on, I was born at night but it wasn’t last night! Nice try though.
11. Anyone who mentions using the Ebay Vehicle Purchase Protection Program is usually trying to scam you. Ebay warns of anyone trying to sell vehicles through ‘their’ program unless it is officially through Ebay. This scam has happened to many people I know including my parents who were very close to finalizing a deal for an RV through the 'EVPP' program. Thankfully, they contacted Ebay before closing any deals and Ebay informed them that this was a scam and they have been getting numerous complaints of the exact same thing happening to other people. Ebay's advice was to avoid dealing with anyone trying to sell something using the EVPP program outside of Ebay. People are still being scammed this way because the scammers use fake, official looking emails pretending they are from Ebay.
How to Avoid Being Scammed on Kijiji
Scammers don’t just prey on buyers anymore. These crooks are finding more and more ways to scam the unassuming seller, especially those who are looking to sell their items quickly. As a seller trying to get rid of something quickly, it’s hard not to be interested in a reply offering you your full asking price the first day you put your ad up. Remember that the "If it's too Good to be True" saying also applies to the seller.
This should be an obvious one but still needs to be reminded to everyone. Never ever give out any personal information such as bank account numbers, user ids, passwords.
Most people would swear they know to never do this but sometimes your excitement for an item you are wanting to buy or sell can alter your normal common sense. Scammers know this and will use this to their advantage. If there is a rare item you are looking for and after searching and waiting, you finally find someone selling that exact item for an unbelievable price…your brain might be telling you no, but every other part of you is telling you not to pass this opportunity up for anything. Sometimes being harassed by scammers can be an emotional rollercoaster. As much as I hate to say it, if it sounds too good to be true it probably is.
Don’t trust emails just because they appear official and have a KIJIJI or EBAY logo. These can all be easily faked and scammers use this technique all the time. As mentioned above, a prime example is using a fake Paypal email and notifying you that you payment was received and the money is safely in your paypal account. Another one is a fake email from your bank telling you they had some sort of system problem and you must provide your banking info and password in order to unfreeze your account. These are only some of the ways scammers are using fake emails to trick you. One way to tell if the email is fake is if the email address does not end with the companyname.com and instead uses a free email service. For example, an official email reply from ebay would look like this 'firstname.lastname@example.org' but a fake one, made in minutes using a free email provider might look like this: email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Always verify everything! If you get an email from your bank, or from paypal and you are unsure, CALL and verify in person that this information did indeed come from them and is correct.
No matter how bad you want it, and how good of a deal it is, never, ever pay for something until you have received it exactly how it was advertised.
Most of all, use common sense and don`t let your emotions or excitement cloud your judgement. The more aware we all become, the closer we are to putting these scumbags out of business.
Check out these real examples of Kijiji Scams at Skywedge.com