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Elderly woman speaking into a microphone and a screenshot of a Facebook conversation.

Scammer Tries to Fraud Elderly Woman on Facebook Marketplace

CBC
Uplifting News

Elderly Woman Tries to Sell $30 Table On Facebook - Realizes Something Is Very Wrong

Fraudsters almost tricked this unassuming woman on Facebook.

There are so many online scams out there that it can be hard to keep track. That’s especially true for older folks who may not have access to the latest technologies or warnings that are common in workplaces. So when one woman listed a table for sale on Facebook Marketplace, the last thing she expected was for someone to try and fraud her.


An Innocent Sale

Online scammers tried to fraud a Canadian out of $3,000

Sandra Pond on CBC News

YouTube/CBC News


Canadian Sandra Pond was getting rid of an old table and thought someone might be interested in it online. So she posted an ad on Facebook Marketplace asking $30 for the piece. When someone responded almost immediately, her first thought was, “Gosh, I should have asked for more,” reports CBC News.

According to Pond, the potential customer wasn’t in town but asked if she would hold the table for him. He offered to pay in full via Interac (a common online payment method in Canada) in exchange.

Pond sent her email address and immediately received an email indicating that the person in question had sent her $30. It was an official-looking email complete with the Interac logo, so the woman didn’t think twice about clicking through and entering her banking information.

That’s when the trouble began.

A Suspect Transfer

Immediately, a loading symbol began spinning on the page, and a note instructed her not to refresh it. It was taking a long time, and Pond grew suspicious. She knew something didn’t feel right, so she clicked out and stopped the process.

“In retrospect, I was thinking afterwards, 'A few minutes while I take all your money,'” she said.

She thought that was it, but then Pond received an email from her bank asking her to change her password. Instead of following through, she called her bank. They told her they had locked the account and that someone had tried to withdraw her daily $3,000 limit.

Luckily, Pond and her bank had acted just in time. Had it gone unnoticed, the scammer could have hypothetically withdrawn $3,000 daily. Unfortunately though, Pond had to go into the bank in person to get everything reset.

Spreading the Message

After Pond got everything back in order, she contacted the scammer on Facebook and called him out. Shortly afterward, the purchaser deleted the account.

Pond was happy she didn’t lose money and that the scammer had moved on, but she wanted to share her story in hopes of educating others and preventing someone else from losing their money. After all, this scammer had all of her information in a matter of minutes.

“If you aren’t checking your account every day, this could happen to you,” she told the publication. “It just makes you shake, it just makes you think, ‘Wow, how easy it is for them to scam you.’”

Trusting Your Instincts

Unfortunately, cybercrime is all too common, and fraudsters are always looking for their next target. But Pond reminds us that there is power in trusting your instincts, educating yourself about online safety, and in sharing your story.

If something feels fishy to you online, never hesitate to click out of a situation and call your bank. Furthermore, if you are the subject of a scam, be sure to share the story with friends and family. These criminals are sophisticated, but by communicating their methods, we can help ensure that we continue to protect ourselves and the people we love.

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