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$30 Facebook marketplace sale almost cost one woman thousands after being targeted by 'sophisticated online scam'

$30 Facebook marketplace sale almost cost one woman thousands after being targeted by 'sophisticated online scam'

She almost fell victim to a sophisticated online scam that's currently on the rise.

A woman who was trying to earn money almost lost all of it instead.

Sandra Pond of Fredericton, N.B., was looking to make a quick $30 on the Facebook Marketplace by putting her table up for sale. However, she nearly fell victim to a scam that tried to take $3,000 from her account.

The Canadian lady shared her story with CBC News. Pond said, immediately after posting the ad, she received a response from an interested buyer - at least she thought.

'Gosh, I should have asked for more for that table,' she recalled thinking when she saw the message.

Pond asked the "buyer" if they wanted to see the table in person but they replied saying they couldn't because they were out of town.

Instead, the scammer asked if Pond would hold it for him and offered to send the money via Interac e-transfer - a common way for transferring money directly between bank accounts in Canada.

Being familiar with e-transfers, Pond willingly sent her email address and instantly received a reply to say there was a $30 Interac e-transfer waiting for her.

CBC News/YouTube
CBC News/YouTube

She clicked through, selected her bank, signed in, and tried to deposit the money.

Things started getting a little fishy when Pond noticed a loading symbol spinning on the page. It came with a note saying not to refresh the page as it may take a few minutes.

'In retrospect, I was thinking afterwards, "A few minutes while I take all your money,"' Pond said.

Feeling uneasy and noticing it taking longer than presumed, the seller clicked out of the loading page. Good thing she did as she then saw an email from her bank asking her to change her password.

In response, she immediately called her bank, which advised her that there was suspicious activity on her account. The bank had locked her account after someone tried to withdraw $3,000.

'I found out now, through Interac transfers [you can] take [out] $3,000 a day,' she added.

Aware of this, the scammer had tried to withdraw $1,000 from different accounts under Pond's name.

nomadnes/ Getty
nomadnes/ Getty

She had to visit her bank in person to unlock her account, where she was told that this kind of scam is common. She was lucky she closed the page and that the bank detected the suspicious activity.

The bank informed her that if the scam hadn't been caught immediately, the scammer could've withdrawn $3,000 every day.

The scary thing is the email looks incredibly legit, with the Interac logo and the same format users see when they are asked to deposit received money.

According to David Shipley, CEO of Beauceron Security, this type of sophisticated online scam is on the rise.

The Fredericton-based cybersecurity expert said organised crime online is 'like nothing I have ever seen' and it gets worse every year.

He also criticised the popular Meta marketplace saying that Facebook is 'profiting off of offering a service without having any accountability to prevent fraud.'

He added: 'We have to have a serious conversation about what it means for this company and its impact on our society.

'Because the financial amount is significant. The emotional amount — you never get that back. There's no redepositing the lost trust or the fear that this has caused.'

Featured Image Credit: CBC News/YouTube / nomadnes/ Getty