Online Marketplace e-Transfer Frauds

With the rising cost of goods, more people than ever are using spaces like Facebook Marketplace and Kijiji. Unfortunately, because of their popularity, hackers and scammers are targeting sellers with the hopes of getting money or a free item, using e-transfer services to do their bidding.

One common scam involves targeting a seller with an item of mid to high value. The scammer will ask a few questions about the item then offer to send an e-transfer immediately. The seller will then receive an email meant to look like it is from Interac or a bank, claiming they can only deposit the money using a business account. To upgrade the account, sellers are supposed to send money to the buyer that they claim will eventually be refunded. Of course, the money is never refunded.

Another common e-transfer scam targeting sellers involves buyers using stolen bank accounts or credit cards. After attaining them, they then send an e-transfer to a seller with whom they’ve been interacting. Once the deal is made, they pick up the item or ask for it to be mailed, then a few days later the e-transfer is cancelled, or the money is taken back due to the initial fraud. 

You can always get a deal buying or selling used goods, but you run some risk in doing so. The best way to mitigate this risk is to arm yourself with knowledge and avoid any situations that give you an uneasy feeling. Stay safe this season!