“New iPhone on Kijiji for only $500!!” — This is the typical headline for a widespread epidemic of fraudulent transactions happening at the moment across Ontario. People who are seeking cheaper smart phones find deals that are too good to be true.
Here’s how the scenario plays out…
An email or text is sent from Kijiji and a meeting is arranged at a coffee shop. A young kid meets you and shows you a phone that looks exactly like a new smart phone. You look it over hand over the money and feel like a million bucks. Sadly, that is not the end of the story. Instead, the following may occur:
- You are meeting a kid because they cannot be criminally charged the same way an adult can.
- You are receiving a knock-off from Pakistan that is purchased for $100 and shipped here for illicit sale to hungry shoppers.
- Your phone won’t work after a week and you now have an expensive paper weight without the ability to track down the seller.
Goodbye $500….. Here is how to avoid such traps:
- Ask to see the receipts as by law you cannot legally possess stolen property.
- Ask the seller if you can get a picture with him and a copy of the driver’s license. If you are dealing with a kid, be careful. Even if you talk to their parent(s), there’s a good chance it isn’t the kid’s parent, but rather their handler.
There are many legitimate sellers online. Simply be careful and prudent. Remember, if it’s too good to be true, it usually is. Successful frauds always seem real.