A Greater Victoria website that specializes in selling used items is warning the public about a scam that uses fake e-transfers to drain people’s bank accounts.
The site Used.ca, part of Black Press Media, says the scam starts with users being contacted by a potential buyer asking if the item they are selling is still available.
Once the seller replies, the buyer says they would really like the item and gives a story like they are currently in the midst of moving and won’t be able to pick it up for a few days so would the seller be OK accepting an e-transfer to hold the item.
Once the seller says yes, they receive what appears to be a legitimate e-transfer with a couple of extra steps such as inputting their banking information.
Once the seller hits “accept” on the e-transfer, the money is rerouted from the seller’s bank account into the scammer’s bank account. If the seller has auto-deposit set up with their bank, they would not need to input any banking information so this is an indication it’s a scam.
Tips to spot scam or buyer fraud
Buyer offers to immediately pay (e-transfer) without viewing the item in person.
Buyer asks you to only respond through their personal email.
Buyer insists on only e-transfer or payment via PayPal using a fraudulent link.
Buyer gives false information about why they can’t see or pick up the item before deposit. For example, “I am currently moving and won’t be able to come get the item for a few days” or “I am overseas, in the military, or going through a divorce.
If you (the seller) have auto-deposit set up with their bank, they will not need to input any banking information in order to accept an e-transfer.