Ontario man loses $1,000 merchandise in apparent e-transfer fraud
TORONTO -- A Brampton, Ont. student who sells collectible running shoes says he was shocked when a $1,000 e-transfer payment he received was reversed by his bank.
“I always thought e-transfers were safe because Interac says once funds are deposited they can't be reversed,” Jaisal Samra said.
Samra was selling four pairs of running shoes, including two pairs of Air Jordans, through the classified website Kijiji. A buyer agreed to pay him $1,000 in advance in an e-transfer which was automatically deposited into his bank account with RBC.
“I got the money instantly and it was in my account. Since I had the money, I decided to go ahead and give him the shoes he paid for," Samra said.
Samra said he met the buyer at a neutral location and dropped off the shoes, but he says days later his account was frozen.
His bank told him the e-transfer was fraudulent and the $1,000 he received would be reversed.
"E-transfers are not what I thought they were. I thought if you got the money in your account the money was safe," Samra said.
After Samra tried to get in touch with the buyer of the shoes he says he ignored his calls and emails.
When CTV News Toronto asked RBC why the funds were reversed a spokesperson said fraud is reviewed on a case-by-case basis.
“We remind clients when receiving requests for personal and banking information, they must take precautions … to ensure they are dealing with a trusted source when transferring or receiving funds,” he said.
Samra said in the future he will be accepting only cash for shoes he sells.
“I’m sad I had to lose the $1,000 and the shoes and considering I’m a student this type of money is huge especially at a time (the pandemic) like this."
Samra had been dealing with RBC for two months without success trying to get his money back, but after being contacted by CTV News Toronto, RBC decided to return the $1,000 to him.
CTV News Toronto also reached out to Interac and asked why funds would be reversed once they were already deposited in someone’s bank account.
While Interac said it was unable to speak to the specifics of the case, a spokesperson said customers should be vigilant regarding online transactions.
“Customers should always be vigilant when they are transacting online and should ensure they are only transacting with trusted websites, vendors and people. “