Trusted Tips and Resources

Trusted Tips & Resources

Trusted Regina Franchise Owner Bonnie Day Shares Tip's on Avoiding Dangerous Scams When Selling a Vehicle Online.

Tip's on Avoiding Dangerous Scams When Selling a Vehicle Online.

In our latest tip Bonnie Day, owner of the TrustedRegina.com directory shares her thoughts on scams we should all try to avoid. 

As the owner of Trusted Regina, I have gained a level of skepticism much higher than most mere mortals. I frequently examine businesses to see if they are trustworthy and look for red flags as part of what we do on a daily basis.  So it would come as no surprise that I would utilize this superpower to ensure that I am not having the proverbial wool pulled over my eyes. 

Recently I listed my Harley Davidson for sale.  I carefully gathered the information, mileage, maintenance on the vehicle and any extras that I had added to the bike.  Took great images and prepared to sell.  I decided on two places to post to the world what a wonderful specimen my bike was in hopes that a savvy buyer would love and appreciate it as much as I have.  I then took it to the masses and posted it on Kijiji and Facebook Marketplace.  


This wasn't the first motorcycle I had placed for sale online so I knew that scammers would likely pop up as I have experienced in the past.   Within ten minutes of posting the first one came in, it was pretty easily identifiable as a scam. The second one, however, was much more interesting... But we will get to that later, for now, let's address the first one.

Enter Scammer #1 Paul Martins - Deployed overseas PayPal Scam

Paul contacted me stating: 

"I read through your advert and from what I have seen it's priced favourably compared to others so I want you to consider it sold to me because I am ready to buy it for the asking price and Presently I am out of town on duty in a remote area. Our phones have been disabled from voice calls as making phone calls is against the code of ethics of my job Military. I work in the army services civil contractor for the D.O.D field artillery unit and won’t be back until November 30th,  otherwise I would have called you.

So,I am ready to seal the deal right away and pay you via my PayPal account that is attached to my bank account as it is the only secure form of payment that I have access to right now.

So, kindly get back to me with your full name and PayPal email address and your cell phone number along with your final asking price so that I can initiate the payment immediately. If you don't have a PayPal account, it is absolutely free to set one up, kindly visit www.paypal.com. A shipper will be hired that will come for the pick-up upon the completion of the payment aspect of the transaction. Let me have the requested details to proceed with the payment if we have a deal.TY "

Let's break it down, Paul has access to the internet and initially contacted me via text from a 615 area code... Nashville Tennessee USA, I am in Canada.  If Paul was an active serving member as he claims he would be allowed to use cell phones for an hour or two per day in barracks, enforced not by the military itself, but by specialized subscriptions from telecoms providers, so he wouldn't have been able to text me from his "disabled" phone in the first place.  Also a little common sence works here:  If a service member is lucky enough to have his personal phone and send a text while deployed overseas he certainly isn't using it to text me about a Motorcycle he can't ride until after November.  I know my bike is amazing but it isn't that amazing!

Paul is trying to portray himself as someone I can trust, he has put himself in a role that is meant to instantly reduce your level of skepticism after all Service members are trustworthy right.  

Paul goes further He is going to give me the full asking price and send me the money via PayPal... a secure source of payments right.  In addition, Paul has conveniently given me the link to start up a PayPal account just in case I didn't have one.  He is also going to hire a shipper to come and pick up the bike.  Paul has red flags everywhere. 

A scammer, posing as a buyer, will fail to negotiate. They may ask a few standard questions to appear to be a legitimate buyer, but this is a facade. Most buyers will ask very specific questions.  The “immediate offer” is a classic scamming tactic.  Of course, it’s never ideal to settle for less than your asking price. 

But a buyer that doesn’t even attempt to negotiate or ask questions is most likely a scammer.  

The PayPal detail is important.  Paul has likely sent me a "fake link"  that sends me to a website that looks identical to PayPal but it is not!  Now if I had entered in all of my details to this fake website Paul would have all of my information: Name, Address, Credit card information and so on; essentially all of the stuff I don't want Paul to have. 

The other trick Paul may be attempting here is that the PayPal site and information is accurate however when Paul pay's me he is going to overpay me.  The “overpay” scam has several variations. In this one, the scammer will offer to pay you via PayPal or a similar service. Then, they will claim they accidentally overpaid you. The scammer will forward you a fake PayPal confirmation email as proof of payment, then ask you to wire them back the amount they overpaid. The trick is that they never paid you in the first place. But you actually paid them when you send them the “difference” they “overpaid.”  

Enter Scammer #2 Richard - VIN SEARCH SCAM ALERT

Richard sent me a text asking if the vehicle was still for sale and other normal buyer questions. 

  • How long have you had it?  
  • Can I come by tomorrow at 2 pm to see it?  
  • Can you provide me with a Motor Vehicle Report?  

It was an out of province number but that is not overly alarming in and of itself.  So I replied sure 2 pm works and sent him a VIN search from SGI showing that it was free and clear of any accidents.

Richard wasn't ok with the SGI VIN search and insisted that I run the VIN on a website he sent registeryourvin.com.  

For me, this was a reg flag so I figured I would have a look.  I check out the website where it asks me to pay $26.00 to run a VIN number via credit card.  Sadly for Richard I'm cheap and had already run a clear VIN search for him and was unwilling to pay the $26.00 however I offered to reduce the amount of the search if he purchased the bike.  

Richard then started to get aggressive and said 

"I want it ran on registeryourvin,  I don’t trust people."

 At this point, I had figured out that Richard was a scammer, but I wanted to see where he would go with it. I decided to offer a compromise. I suggested to Richard that I run a VIN search on Carfax or a site of MY choosing. I told him that people are scamming sellers in this exact way and, dear Richard, I don't trust people either.  Richards reply was short:

I want registeryourvin report!

Sorry Richard I am NOT going to give you my name, address and credit card information so that you can steal from me.


The point is even if a buyer initially seems legitimate, at some point you need to trust your judgment even if something small appears strange.  It's not strange for a buyer to request a VIN search.  In fact, I initially thought that this made him a serious buyer.  But his insistence on where this VIN was run was what set off my alarm bells.   Here are some tips to look for when avoiding these types of scams.  

 

Here are some tips to avoid being scammed when selling online.

#1 -  Guard your personal information.  Never enter your personal or credit card information on a website a potential buyer has sent you! It may appear real but in all likelihood, it is NOT and they want to steal your money, identification or both.

#2 - Profile the buyer. If your buyer is legit — and reasonable — the sale will flow smoothly.  Exchanging text messages about buying a used car is normal these days, but push for a quick phone chat. As you talk with the potential buyer, pay attention to your intuition. If the buyer makes any unusual requests or if anything makes you uncomfortable, just wait for another buyer.

#3 - Never accept an offer to Ship the Bike/Car - This is a common scam anyone asking you or offering to ship an automobile is likely a scam and should be avoided. Even if they claim they are so “busy”, they’ll most likely insist you ship the bike. They’ll pay will a stolen credit card or send you a fake PayPal payment confirmation. 

#4 - Don't be overeager.  A real buyer will likely ask you questions about your vehicle and make you an offer that is below your asking price.  

#5 - Don’t let emotions cloud your judgment.  Some scammers will have a sob story or try and play on your heartstrings to convince you of their scam.  Think of it as a business transaction and nothing else.

 

If all else fails take your vehicle to a dealership or reputable Auto dealer and sell the vehicle to them.  

At Trusted Regina we share all kinds of tips to protect our community; we aim to ensure you have some peace of mind and information to help you.  


TRUSTED DIRECTORIES ANNOUNCE PARTNERSHIP WITH FIX IT UP!

& E TRUSTED ONLINE DIRECTORIES INC & FIX IT UP -JOINT  MEDIA RELEASE

For Release - January 26th, 2021 at 10 am SASKATOON, SK  

TRUSTED DIRECTORIES ANNOUNCE PARTNERSHIP WITH FIX IT UP! 

S & E Trusted Online Directories is a multi-award-winning Saskatchewan marketing company headquartered in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan. Founded in 2011 by local award-winning entrepreneur Sara Wheelwright, it has a local online directory division, that includes Trustedsaskatoon.com and a licensed market in Regina operated by Bonnie Day, Trustedregina.com. In addition there is a full serve marketing agency, . Our company focus is  supporting local businesses operated with integrity as a priority. 


FIX IT UP is owned by Brad Fekula and Dwayne Melcher. Brad has over a decade of marketing expertise at Cubbon Advertising, primarily dealing with Saskatchewan businesses. Dwayne is the owner of Melcher Media, a previous Trusted Regina website company and a highly respected Saskatchewan tech agency specializing in software and virtual reality (VR) development.  The Fix It Up software allows consumers  a convenient and reliable way to save time and money when looking for a local quote. The FIX IT UP quote software was created by the developers at Melcher Media to revolutionize the way quotes are provided. 

SASKATCHEWAN TECH COLLABORATING TO CREATE ADDITIONAL VALUE FOR SMALL SASK BUSINESSES
 

In 2020 Trusted and FIX IT Up entered into a mutually beneficial legal partnership agreement with the view to providing more support to local businesses in Saskatchewan.  On the surface the 2 companies may seem to be in competition as local web based directories; but in fact on closer inspection it became obvious that they instead complement each other's activities. They share a common goal, to   provide the best solutions and advertising value to their clients in the Saskatchewan services industry. 


The Trusted Directories partner with a select and restricted number of locally owned  businesses. These businesses fall into 40 specific categories and most are based  in and around  Saskatoon and Regina. These businesses are mostly service providers, and to become partners they must meet a unique set of standards, pass a Trusted qualification process, and sign a contract to commit to upholding specific standards of service ‘ The Trusted Guarantees’.  Trusted then promotes the partners individually and as part of  the ‘Trusted Community’. Essentially, we sell the Trusted Partners as our only ‘product‘ to the local marketplace via a comprehensive marketing campaign - including, but not limited to,  billboards, radio, social media, CPC campaigns, event marketing, sponsorship, and more. This gives the partners significant exposure in their local marketplace, drives quality leads, and helps their SEO. Trusted also contributes time and money to help  the partners community support efforts, and the Trusted community holds each other accountable as a group of like minded, quality driven, locally owned businesses. 


FIX IT UP directories on the other hand, primarily provides a comprehensive quoting platform for local service providers in over 220+ categories. A detailed and industry specific online quoting system saves service providers significant time. In addition, to  build such a platform/feature on their own websites would be a significant cost that most service providers would not invest in. FIX IT UP businesses pay a very small lead fee, which they only pay if they are selected for a job they quote. The benefits for consumers and corporations is that they can provide all their information in one easy to use platform and await quotes from local service providers.  This is a managed process and also saves consumers time shopping around and the frustration of businesses not getting back to enquiries in a timely manner. 

The Trusted/FIX IT UP partnership involves the following elements:

1. Integration of  the FIX IT UP quote software into the Trusted Directories clouded database platform. 

This means that Trusted Partners will be able to receive detailed quotes from local consumers who want a Trusted local service provider. This saves the consumer time and as the partners have to respond in a timely fashion customers are not left ‘ hanging ‘ waiting for a reply. In addition they can request a quote at their convenience as our platform is open for business 24/ 7 !


A bonus for the Trusted partners, is that the quote link and landing page is unique to each business. This means they will not be competing with other businesses in their category that are signed up as a FIX IT UP provider.

See a listing example here: https://www.trustedsaskatoon.com/listing.aspx?lid=334 



2. Trusted Saskatoon & Regina Partners who are listed on Fix It Up will be highlighted as Trusted on Fix It Up.


This differentiates Trusted Partners and recognizes the steps they have taken to invest in their integrity.
It also shines a spotlight on their consistent high standards of quality work and customer service and gives them an advantage in the selection process.



3. FIX IT UP operates on a ‘ typical online directory model’.
They aim to sign up as many businesses as possible and charge a very small fee per lead.  After staffing and development costs this does not allow for much capital to invest in local marketing to drive consumers to use the platform, especially when it comes to mass media like print, broadcast or billboard.  


The Trusted Directories model is different, they charge more for an annual fee and severely restrict the number of businesses in each category to offer much more individual promotion, marketing value, and personalized service for their partners. They appreciate the quality of the FIX IT UP quoting software and in return for integration they are committed to promoting the feature and their FIX IT UP Partnership as part of their ongoing marketing strategy in the cities they serve . 


The owners of Trusted and FIX IT UP believe that local businesses like themselves should actively seek out collaboration opportunities in order to become more successful. We appreciate each other’s strengths, and we are proud to enter into a partnership as two established and recognized leaders in the Saskatchewan marketing industry. A community whose tech sector collaborates is a valuable asset to the province and we believe is crucial for the success of Sask tech as a whole. 


Support local and we all win!

Our Trusted Regina Tutors and Educators Oxford Learning can help your child achieve early excellence with their Little Readers® Program

Oxford Learning Center works with all ages from 3 up to College age, and they are there for you and your child if they are struggling with a particular subject, having difficulty concentrating or you want to prepare them for secondary school. What you may not know is there is help and the answer is Oxford Learning Center.


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Would your child in Kindergarten benefit from an early reading program? If you can't bring them to the center during the daytime, we hold evening and Saturday morning classes as well.