Classified ad scammers

I've been trying to sell an old guitar amplifier I don't use any more through a classified ad site online known as kijiji.ca. The price is $1000. I think it's a fair price since it is a Fender Vintage amp. It's very large and it's very loud. However, since it has some value, it seems it has made me a target for a few scammers. So I'd like to warn you that if you have something you want to sell online, you have to be careful.

One person offered a check. He would have someone else come to pick the amp up and drop off a check.  Since it was someone else, rather than the buyer, it's pretty safe to say, that without a description of the fellow, or a car licence plate number, if the check was to bounce, my amplifier would be gone, and I don't really have much to give to the police. And then too.... sometimes the police are just not interested in what could be considered a petty crime. Unless... you're someone famous, or the media catches wind of it.

But then I've had a couple of people offer to pay by PayPal. In both cases the money would be transferred to my PayPal account, and someone (other than the buyer) would come to pick up the amp. One might think because the money is sitting in their PayPal account, it would be safe to let it go, but this isn't the case. Once again, you have no identifiable information to give to the police (not that they would do anything about it) but PayPal favors the buyer in these matters. The problem with this is all they have to do is file a dispute through PayPal saying the amp wasn't working, damaged or any other believable excuse, and PayPal will give the buyer back their money. It's the responsibility  of the buyer, to return the merchandise they got reimbursed for. And PayPal has no way of knowing if this was done or not.

There are also fraudsters out there who ask for your PayPal info, and then have a way of sending you phoney messages that appear as if they are from PayPal.

If I can get caught up in this kind of scam, you can too.  The book pictured to the left titled Outsmarting the Scam Artists: How to Protect Yourself From the Most Clever Cons is written by Doug Shadel and is available in paperback form Amazon.  He says, "While anyone can be targeted, many victims are older." In his book you will:

  • Get practical tips to combat all kinds of scams, from simple lottery tickets to non-existent oil and gas deals and religious ponzi schemes
  • Learn how to protect yourself by securing your mailbox and fraud-proofing your trash
  • Get inside the head of sophisticated scam artists to discover how you can become the type of individual they avoid

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