Saskatoon News August 31, 2012

Scams Scams and More Scams!

I read an article in the Saskatoon Star Phoenix that really made me shake my head-yet also made me realize that I could possibly be daft enough to fall for this particular scam with my love of wine and flowers.

Unfortunately with all of these scams going on in this world we are going to have to be ever more distrusting, which is a sad state to have to be in. After the recent Saskatoon real estate scam I went through I am very sensitive to these scams and how they can destroy innocent people. We should be a society who trusts until given reason not to trust-unfortunately there are becoming more reasons not to trust.

The Better Business Bureau is attempting to warn the public of these scams ahead of time, which is responsible of them. It is about time we got proactive and published scams as they are happening elsewhere to hopefully prevent scam artists from trying to bring them to our city. It is frustrating to learn how people are always trying to steal from other innocent victims. I do believe in the laws of Karma, however immediate retribution would be much more fitting.

The jist of this particular one-unexpected wine deliveries! This is a new pinpad scam in which fraudsters call and say they are a “courier service” asking if someone is home to receive the package. Within an hour someone arrives at your home with a basket of flowers and wine. Yum! Who wants to turn that away and what a perfectly normal gift (for some anyways) that may be from a friend or family member who just wanted to brighten your day. The “delivery person” says they do not know who sent it, anonymous if you will, but a card may arrive separately. There is a consignment note with the package and the “courier” claims that they are required to prove the alcohol was delivered to an adult by collecting a small charge (under $5 for example) as a “delivery charge” by way of debit or credit card.

At this point, if you have already started drinking the wine you may wonder why you can’t do cash. I would guess they will have some sort of excuse that cash is not traceable so it must be credit card or debit card. The “courier” has a handheld swipe machine into which the victim enters their access number. And voila, skimmed and scammed! These handheld machines have been programmed to collect your data.

If you have been approached with this or any similar scams make sure to go to the BBB. Even if you are embarassed at falling for it please help alert the public so it doesn’t happen to others. I am so glad, as a trusted Saskatoon REALTOR(R), that we were able to get word to the public about the rental scam happening under my name/listing but this was not before several people almost fell for it and sent money.

If you are looking for an honest Saskatoon real estate agent to help you buy or sell, consider me! Dishonesty drives me mad and I take pride in being trustworthy.

Kari Calder

Saskatoon Real Estate Agent
Century 21 Fusion