I would like to share my Kijiji.ca experience here.
We used kijiji.ca very often during our house search in Windsor. This is supposedly the best website to off-load (read sell) and buy used stuff, as well as new. A lot of friends settled in CA had been suggesting using kijiji for finding furniture, phones, and rental place, etc.
I decided to sell my Samsung Note 2, which I had bought mid-February from Lahore and had been using it since I landed with a connection from ChatR (bad decision, but will talk about that later). After moving to Windsor, I decided to get a better mobile service plan and sell-off the Note 2. So, about 10 days ago, I posted an ad for it on kijiji.ca. Within 3 hours of that, got a text (I had showed an explicit preference for text inquiries on the ad), asking me if the phone was still available. Anyway, I had asked $500 for it, and the party offered to buy it for $450. They seemed very interested, but showed a preference to transfer the money via paypal, as it was a “legit” way of transferring money. Since I had a Paypal account, I said OK. The party said that her name was Sabrina Robbort and she was residing in Miami, and that she wanted me to courier the phone to her colleague. For this she will transfer $100 extra, to cover the cost of the courier. I told her that I will reconfirm after checking with Canada Post and if its less than a $100, I will return her the difference. If its more than $100, I will let her know. I was supposed to send her a money request from my paypal account, which she would oblige with. So, things seem to be going smoothly till now. I was just happy that kijiji had paid off within a few hours.
This is where the “experience” started. The person said that the phone needs to be couriered to Lagos, Nigeria to her friend named Abiola Oluwaseyi. DING!!!!! That is the sound of the alarm I heard in my head. I bet, anybody having any experience with using email, has at some point in their emailing life, received a SCAM email from a Nigerian (or someone claiming to be one) asking for help in sourcing millions of $ in siphoned-off funds by some Nigerian Army General or Warlord. I have received tons of such emails. In any case, I was not going to move my ass on this, until I was dead sure that the funds were in my account.
But just for the heck of it, I Googled both the names. Guess what I got! I landed at a website mrnumber.com and there was a page filled with complaints about Sabrina and her number. Check this out. Just then, I got a text from her telling me that the funds have been transferred into my account and that I should be getting that confirmation from Paypal. Of course, nothing came. I replied “No email from Paypal. I just checked your name and number on mrnumber.com. You people are sick twisted. Do not contact me again. F****** scammers.” I was asked to check my spam folder, as sometimes the mail goes there. I did. Lo and behold, there were 2 emails, both fake, from the domain in.com, constructed to look exactly like Paypal emails, telling me that the funds had been transferred into my account. But interestingly, the emails gave over-information about the transaction, that Paypal would have no way of knowing 🙂 And used bad English. Even scamming requires brains.
I wrote back “I already checked. The money request is cancelled now. F*** Off!!!” That was that 🙂 After this experience, I decided to send the phone with my friend to Lahore, and get it sold there.
Now, the 2nd kijiji experience. I got a text today about the phone. After replying about the condition of the phone, I was offered $450 in cash within an hour, and I accepted. Of course, since this was my first transaction on kijiji, called up Qaisar to reassure myself about accepting cash. Ahmed, previously from Riyadh, KSA, came to pick up the phone from my home, and we were done within 5 minutes. Young guy, paid hard cash, and took the phone. Short & sweet. I just hope the currency notes are genuine 🙂 Will find out tomorrow.
All in all, I had heard about craigslist being a scammers’ den, but I guess you need to be careful online, in any case.
Oh well, all’s well that ends well.