Avoiding Vehicle Scams

 
Kijiji is now Canada’s largest Auto site and safety remains our number one concern. We certainly do our best to keep the site clean, but as losses can be very costly in this section, we highly encourage users to exercise caution when making a purchase. 

Here are a few things to keep in mind when purchasing a vehicle on Kijiji; 
 
If it looks too good to be true - it probably is.
 
  • Is the price out of line compared to other similar models on the market?
 
  • Be cautious of scammers who falsely claim that they will put the seller of a vehicle in touch with a buyer in exchange for a fee of a few hundred dollars.  They’ll often tell the seller that they had undervalued their vehicle and that the price the buyer was willing to pay would cover this fee. They may make it sound legitimate by offering a “refund insurance”, falsely promising sellers who purchased this insurance a risk-free refund of their initial fee if the vehicle is not sold in 90 days.
 
Do your homework. 
 
  • Do you know what is required of both you and the seller to make the transfer of ownership legal in your province? 
  • Have you seen the vehicle’s CARFAX Canada report? A CARFAX Canada report can confirm the vehicle's current condition, as well as reveal information about what has happened to it in the past. 
  • If the ad claims the vehicle has recently passed Air Care, Drive Clean (or your province’s equivalent) make sure you call to confirm. This can be costly if the car hasn’t passed due to serious problems. 
 
It’s in the details. 
 
  • The most common scams are basic ones like trying to pass off an older vehicle than advertised, so know what to look for in the details. Be sure to verify that the kilometers and features listed in the ad match that of the vehicle. 
  • Take a look at the pictures. Does the setting resemble the location where the vehicle is being sold? For example, if you see a desert scene for an ad listed in Vancouver or palm trees for an ad listed in Edmonton - this should be a red flag. 
 
Remember - being able to thoroughly inspect an item before paying is a necessity for any purchase, so make sure you can see the vehicle before committing to it.  Also, with the potential for large sums of money being exchanged, consider paying for the vehicle with PayPal, a safe alternative to carrying cash. PayPal is a reputable company where you can securely link your bank account, your credit cards and your VISA Debit without the seller knowing your account numbers.  Never mail a cheque or wire money to sellers.  Services like Amazon Payments, Google Wallet, Android Pay, Canada Post, Western Union or MoneyGram should be avoided. Typically, scammers will use these services and will even falsify documents from a legitimate company. It’s best to avoid them entirely and keep things local!