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Seller BEWARE! Warning for anyone selling online. Red Deer man bombarded by scam artists

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5 minute read

This article is submitted by Tim Lasiuta of Red Deer

Kijiji, navigating scam buyers

It all started with what seemed to be a good idea.

I needed to sell a few items and other than eBay, Kijiji was the next best option.  After all, I had success on precious occasions selling other items and services to help make ends meet in a tough Alberta economy.

Comic books in hand, my ad seemed pretty simple.

“Collectors comics for sale, $1000 in value. Asking $500.  Contact Tim at….”

Not that I expected people to come running out of the electronic bushes to fight over my well cared for comic books and anthologies, but I did not expect what happened over the next 3 days.

I had included my cell phone number so I could at least talk to people about what they might want.  However, with the advent of the global marketplace sellers are exposed to international buyers.

Shortly after posting my ad, I received a response via text asking what seemed to be a legitimate response.

“I want to buy my son a birthday present.  This is a surprise.  What is your firm price?  Why are you selling?  What is your phone number?  What is your paypal account?  What is your address so we can pick them up?”

That all seemed good once I answered the questions and sent pictures of all 70 comic books and 30 hardcovers.

Within a few minutes, I received the following response:

“Okay, sound good.  I will pay you through PayPal, you can easily get money in your PayPal and transfer it into your bank account.  Let me know if you accept my method of payment and I will also contact the shipping company that will come down to your location for pick up after the payment clears to your account.”

It still sounded okay, but not quite normal.  After all, I had sold much through paypal and people just transfer funds as required.

That did not prepare me for what was next though.

I received what seemed to be a PayPal notice for $850 usd.  However, I wanted $500.  And the note included a shipping agent contact stating I had to send $300 to the agent to release the $850!

By this time, I was very suspicious and knew that was a scam.

I continued with the conversation and was assured this was not a scam and the funds really were on hold.  They did want them.

By this point, I gave up on this particular scammer and waited for a legitimate local buyer.

The end was not near however, as 3 more individuals contacted me over the next 2 days to offer the same thing!  All were out of country phone numbers, Colorado, Nevada and Indiana.

Looking back on the transaction, I researched their methods and discovered that the pay to release funds is not new and was based in Nigeria originally.  Now, it seems to come from the United States.

Their pattern can be summed up in four steps.

  1. Contact you saying they cannot come to see the asset in person and ask you questions.
  2. They agree to the price, no matter how large.
  3. They theoretically send you more than you ask for, demanding an advance payment to release the funds.
  4. You will never receive the rest, your paypal account is zero with no option to recover.

The buyers, as it were, hide beneath foreign cell phone numbers and redirected email addresses.  Once you engage them with the $300, you can no longer fight the battle.  Report these individuals IF you can identify them, but otherwise run!I write this cautionary tale so other sellers can be aware of those who prey on potential sellers, no matter where you live.

By the way, there is no happy ending to this story yet.  My comic books are still for sale and I still need to post items to make rent this month.

May you all find real buyers.

Tim Lasiuta

403-396-1773

 

After 15 years as a TV reporter with Global and CBC and as news director of RDTV in Red Deer, Duane set out on his own 2008 as a visual storyteller. During this period, he became fascinated with a burgeoning online world and how it could better serve local communities. This fascination led to Todayville, launched in 2016.

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Alberta

Holiday Mental Health – It’s Okay if it’s not the Most Wonderful Time of the Year

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The stores are stocking up on red and green everything, the shelves are lined with ornaments and dancing reindeer and you can’t ignore it even if you want to – the holiday season is nearly here. 

For many, Christmas means celebrations, decorations, rum and eggnog and time with family. From sledding and snow days to hanging the lights and putting up the tree, there are lots of things to love about the holiday season.
However, for others, there are lots of reasons why it might not be the most wonderful time of the year, and that’s okay too. 

While the claim that suicide rates spike during the holiday season has been repeatedly misused and ultimately disproven as the “holiday suicide myth” (1), the holiday blues are a very real phenomenon. In the midst of the celebratory season, feelings of anxiety, isolation, depression and grief can be overwhelming, particularly when combined with additional stressors such as strained personal relationships and financial uncertainty. Not everyone is looking forward to Christmas, and in the midst of the 2020 global COVID-19 pandemic, which has left many people without employment and unable to travel, the emotional toll of this holiday season promises to be increasingly complex. 

The Canadian Mental Health Association (CMHA), Alberta Division released a statement regarding coping with the holidays during these unusual and uncertain times. 

“The pandemic has disrupted many yearly holiday traditions and has increased collective anxieties and social isolation. As we look for alternative ways to spread joy and take part in new ways of celebrating the holidays, Albertans must focus on their mental health during an already busy and often overwhelming season.”

According to the CMHA, these are some simple but useful ways to maintain your mental health during the holidays. 

Focus on what you can control. Like the food you eat, the time you have a shower or the media you consume.  

Anxiety is normal. During times of crisis it is normal to feel increased anxiety. Acknowledge those feelings are valid. 

Limit your consumption of media. Allow yourself time to focus on activities you enjoy instead. Reading, listening to music or meditating are all great ways to de-stress when you are unable to attend regular holiday festivities. 

Remain connected to your body. Exercising regularly, getting outside, eating well and resting will support positive mental health. 

Be open with your support system. Identify supportive people you can connect with if you begin to feel overwhelmed or lonely. 

Reach out for help. If you or a loved one needs help, call 211 (Alberta only) or the Mental Health Help Line at 1-877-303-2642. 

As the holidays arrive amid the fog of the ongoing global pandemic, remember – it’s okay to feel confused, frightened, and uncertain of the future. You are not alone, and there are always resources available to help you and your loved ones through these complicated times. Be gentle with yourself and others, ask for help if you need it, and above all, be kind. 

For more stories, visit Todayville Calgary.

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Central Alberta

Understanding My Own Grief was Life changing for Me

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Understanding My Own Grief was Life changing for Me

A personal story:

“…I connected with the PCN program through my doctor’s recommendation. I have always been a thirsty learner of better ways to navigate through life. The Coaches of the program Journeying through Grief showed up every day with their humanness and wisdom.

I appreciated their loyalty to improve our wellness through learning to manage our grief. They were willing to be vulnerable in a way I have never seen in any kind of therapy or counselling. Their own histories with grief nurtured my trust and receptivity to the information.

They shared their personal experiences in dealing with life’s challenges. For me, I would describe my experience as emotional debridement. I am thankful for the contribution and support of everyone in the class. Several of us had mastered supporting others but needed to learn how to do this for ourselves.

Connection with empathy as in this group is nothing less than GOLDEN in creation of a better life of wellness in arguably a better world. Reflectively I now feel that my own grief was due initially to the loss of my dreams too quickly as important people did not believe in me. Not learning how to handle this made subsequent losses more difficult to manage.

I learned that dealing with grief is a journey and to never give up. If things get tough, have faith that things will get better soon…”

About Red Deer Primary Care Network (RDPCN):  We are a partnership between Family Doctors and Alberta Health Services. Health professionals such as psychologists, social workers, nurses and pharmacists work in clinics alongside family doctors. In addition, programs and groups are offered at the RDPCN central location. This improves access to care, health promotion, chronic disease management and coordination of care.  RDPCN is proud of the patient care offered, the effective programs it has designed and the work it does with partners in health care and the community.

Learn more about the Primary Care Network.

From Night to Day – how a visit with our clinic’s psychologist changed Steven’s life

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november, 2020

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