“Hello my friend, I would like to purchase your (item here) for hundreds more than you’re asking and I would like to send you the payment now.”
If you’ve tried to sell on Internet sites then you have probably heard this scam more than a few times, and, according to city police, you may have even fallen for it.
“We do get calls from people who were approached by these scams and people who have actually lost money. It definitely happens a lot around the world and in Calgary, too,” Acting Sgt. Kathy Macdonald of the Calgary Police Service Internet crime prevention team said.
Macdonald said these types of Internet scams prey on people’s emotions and often seem “too good to be true” because they are.
“Some of them will try to get your empathy because they say they are sick or offer more money. They play on people and they are often pretty smooth,” she added.
Macdonald said scammers will often pay with a fake cheque and if the seller cashes it, they will later be on the hook for the money to the bank.
Mario Yves, 29, said he often sells electronics online and remembers the first time he fell for the scam — almost.
“I took the payment from the guy and he said he accidently made the cheque for $1,000 more than I asked for,” Yves said. “He asked me to cash it and send the money back, but I knew that was sketchy.”