Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Kijiji....Helpful and Entertaining

We've been using the Kijiji website to gather up some furniture for our new house with quite a lot of success so far. Kitchen table, bunk bed, crib, shelving, microwave stand, patio set, armoire. It's saved us on moving costs as all these items were already in Fort Mac and all the pieces are in really good condition at a fraction of the cost of purchasing it all brand new. I'm sure Lisa would outfit the entire house if she could. The only things we picked up brand new were a new fridge, stove and dishwasher as the ones already in the house were a little on the worn side....or a lot on the old side in the case of the dishwasher. The new appliances were delivered Tuesday so we turned to Kijiji to sell the old ones. Time to start making a little money rather than spending it we figured.

Shortly after placing an ad, we got a response back from someone by the name of John Carlos. The first email was pretty innocuous.....

Do you still have the item available for sale?

Fair enough. We responded back to let him know the items were indeed still available. It was then that things started to get a little bizarre...

Thanks for getting back to me , I'm really interested in
buying the item ,and i will be paying via Bank Certified check.
I will also need you to provide me with the following
information to facilitate the mailing of the Bank certified check .
1.Your full name
2.Your mailing address be it residential address
3.Your phone number.
**I will like you to know that you will not be
responsible for shipping i will have my mover come
over as soon as you have
the check payment for the item
Awaiting to hear from you
N.B UPS or FedEx does not deliver to a P.O box addresses.

So Lisa answered his questions though we both started wondering why this seemed to be growing into a big complicated production. Shortly after, Mr. Carlos responded.....

Thanks for the mail,i have forwarded the information to my secretary
to issue the check payment in your name and your favor , i would have
handle it myself but i wasn't around ,i travel to Asian Country China
for conference meeting , as soon as it clear to your account then my
mover will come to your location for the pick up of the item and i
want you to consider the item as sold to me and withdraw it from
advert ,i will be looking forward to hear from you
stay in bless

At this point, we figured that he was some sort of landlord. The appliances weren't anything special but wondered why this had to be so complicated. When we were buying something, we phoned the person, agreed on a pick up date, let the two guys we had hired to transport the item to our new address and then went to where the item was, paid for it and carted it away.

It was after this email that my patience started to wear thin. This little flurry of emails had been dragging on all day now and really, we just wanted the old appliances gone so we could get the new ones situated when The Brick delivered them.

I will update you about the tracking number of the check so that you
can know its shipping arrival... I will implore you to have it cleaned
and kept safe to avoid any damages on it before the arrival of the
mover for the pickup and i will like to know the time you want the
crew to come over to your location for the pickup of the set.

At this point I'm both annoyed and amused. I don't like to be "implored" to do anything....unless Lisa implores me, of course. I was amused that the guy was so adamant about us avoiding any damages to the appliances. The dishwasher was in rough shape and we originally debated giving it away just to get it out of our hair. We clearly stated in the original ad the items would be sold "as is". I wasn't about to head up to the new house and clean appliances when I had more pressing matters to deal with. Anyhow, we didn't hear anything back from the guy for the next couple days so we put this whole string of emails out of mind. In the interim, we sold the appliances to a nice fellow from Newfoundland who stopped by an hour after Lisa called him, with cash in hand.

Tonight, we carted up another van load of stuff to the house and we arrived back to find this email from Mr. Carlos......

How was your day ? I want you to understand that the deal is on and my
secretary as posted the payment already. This arrives shortly but there
was a slight error i guess we can handle with care, instead of the
actually amount $400 for the Dishwasher, stove, and fridge,it was
misinterpreted that the check was made out for $2400 ,My secretary claimed
that i requested that a check of $2400 be sent to you but i know quite
well i made a request for just $400 for the Dishwasher, stove, and fridge.
Its was a terrible mistake and it was already out for delivery to your
address before i was alerted about this, so once you receive the check
please cash it at once and deduct the money for your goods plus $50
which is a gift for you. The excess fund should please be sent to my mover via western union
once you get the check, this fund will be use in off setting the cost
of the shipment he as undertaken for me recently. He will be needing
a part of that to come over to your place for the pick up.Please let
me know at once if i can trust you to have the excess funds sent to
my mover.I will be expecting your email with a confirmation on this
issue at once thank you. Best Regards and Stay Blessed

Now personally, I think Mr. Carlos should fire his secretary but that's just me. We'll be moved in completely this weekend so by the looks of things, I should be checking my mailbox for a sizable cheque. Really, I don't know what to think at this point. We've decided to ignore any further emails since at this point, we are simply too preoccupied with other things to play email tag. If I disappear though you'll know that I had a moment of weakness, cashed the cheque and was taken out by the Chinese mafia or something.


Matt, Kara, Hunter and Cavan said...

I just read an article last week on this scam!!!! Don't cash any cheque!! It was on I just looked for it, but it is no longer posted in the headline area. It must get a lot of people if it keeps going around like this.

Johanna said...

Whatever you do, if a cheque for more than the amount shows up, do not under any circumstances "refund" the difference with one of your own. His money won't clear, yours will.

UnkleB said...

It is a scam, the cheque will be fake and you will find this out later from the bank, usually after you have already sent this fine gentleman the amount that his "secretary" overpaid.
Many people have been duped by this type of set up. The best thing that you can do with it is frame it and put it on the wall.

i find it odd that anyone would buy anything privately sit unseen.

take care!

Anonymous said...

It's a mail scam. The Cheque is not real.

Way Way Up said...

Kara - Thanks, I'll hunt around and see if I can find that CTV article.

Jonanna - We figured it was a scam of some sort. We've lived in the Fort Mac area long enough now to know that no one gives away $50 just as a gift to a total stranger.

UnkleB - We thought it was wierd too that someone would want to buy something sight unseen. Framing it and hanging it is a good idea. We like!

Anonymous - Most definitely a scam. I'm tempted to get in touch with an old buddy of mine from university and ask him to toss a few Chinese phrases my way just so I can see how much of Chinese businessman this scammer really is.

Megan said...

I wonder how much money he makes running this scam.

Anonymous said...

Totally a scam!
As a landlord, I've received these standard emails in the past.

Some say they originate in Africa (ie. the Nigeria email scams), but honestly it can come from any location that has internet available (english tends to not be the first language). They tend to hit all the major websites and I either advertise on local sites or just ignore the spammers. Nevertheless, no matter how many people ignore these attempts, there's someone that falls for it.
Same question I had the first time, who would rent an apartment without seeing it?
And I am also a strong supporter of Kijiji purchases! It's good on the environment, and good on the wallet. Antiques are the best finds, if it has lasted 50+ years, it will last another 50+ years.


Matt, Kara, Hunter and Cavan said...

If you are looking for that story, it was about a woman who was hired to be a mystery shopper. Then she was "overpaid" and asked to send some of the money back. She cashed the cheque, send then some of the money, and then discovered that their cheque didn't clear and she was out a few thousand dollars. Ouch!! I went through ctv and cannot find it. So maybe it was cbc... damn my sleep deprived mind of mush!!

You should report it to the rcmp.

Meandering Michael said...

I used to work at a bank so I've seen/heard of some good scams (we'd get fraud alerts all the time so we could be on the lookout) but this one is a beaut. Minimal work for $2,000. Sheesh.

In Iqaluit said...


I have never sold anything online but can't imagine all of the schemes out there. I just read this story (from the Canadian TV show 'Anna & Kristina') of a potential scam through craigslist:

Nearly scammed!

Anonymous said...

Hey Darcy!!!

Hope you have notified the police & forwarded all your correspondence to them!!!! Classic scam - saw it all the time when I worked for the bank!!!

Way Way Up said...

Anonymous, I haven't heard anything the past few days from this character although I've been off-line for much of the past week (as my woeful lack of posts no doubt shows) helping to get the family set up in our new house.