Toronto man selling e-bike out $2,500 after thief rides away while viewing it
TORONTO -- With many stores closed during the pandemic online classified sites have become a popular place for people to buy and sell items.
The websites are free and easy to use, but if you have a problem there is little protection if something goes wrong.
Toronto man Tom Alfandary was selling an e-bike on Facebook Marketplace when the person looking at his e-bike sat on it and then drove it away.
“I should have known not to have the bike running, but it happened so quickly. I really didn't have time to think," Alfandary said
Alfandary only had his e-bike for about a month when he had a bad accident and suffered a concussion.
“I was riding on one of the city streets in Toronto and I hit a bump and fell off and fractured the bones in my elbow and I haven't been comfortable going back on since," he said.
He listed the white Emmo Bison Electric bike for just over $2,500 and right away had potential buyers interested.
Someone met him outside his building and asked if he could sit on the bike to check it out.
Alfandary said the man said “You’re taller than me. Do you mind if I sit on the bike to see if I fit?"
While he was explaining how the e-bike worked the man drove off.
“I explained this is the peddle assist and this is the throttle and this is what you need to turn it on and right after I finished telling him, he took off," said Alfandary.
The man in his 30s was about six feet tall and brought a bag with him that he left behind, so Alfandary thought he may have gone for a test drive, but when he didn’t return Alfandary checked the bag and it was filled with junk used as a distraction.
Alfandary contacted Facebook Marketplace but they told him there was nothing they could do and advised him to file a police report. He did but one week after the bike was stolen he hasn't heard anything.
Facebook advises sellers to view a buyer's profile, meet in a public place and accept cash or PayPal but on its website it says “Any sale made through a Facebook buy and sell group or an individual seller on Marketplace is between you and the seller.”
Alfandary said it’s hard to accept he's out $2,500.
“I've always viewed Toronto as a good city for the most part and I’ve never had issues with anyone. It kind of smacks you in the face that this is what happens when you trust someone" said Alfandary.
Alfandary hopes if someone recognizes the e-bike, which was stolen April 15, they will contact the police and he advises others to be careful selling bikes of any kind through classified websites to make sure the same thing doesn't happen to them.