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Cyber transaction goes from deal to steal
Published Tuesday, December 11, 2012 4:44PM MST
Last Updated Tuesday, December 11, 2012 6:24PM MST
A local student was left empty handed after an online buyer made off with his laptop before paying the agreed upon price.
Rami Abou Ghanem is a student at the University of Calgary and was trying to raise a little extra money for a new computer by selling his old one online.
Ghanem listed his MacBook Air laptop on the popular online consumer site Kijiji for $700.
He made arrangements to meet the prospective buyers at a busy parking lot near Dalhousie LRT Station.
The buyers met him, tested the computer and asked if they could think about it for an hour.
When the buyers met with Ghanem again, they grabbed the laptop and took off.
Police say postponing the sale for an hour was likely a manipulation tactic used to increase Ghanem’s interest in the sale and decrease his ability to sense that something was wrong.
Investigators say these tactics are referred to as social engineering.
“It may be emotions where they build trust or they make this sense of urgency like oh I better do it right now or I’m going to lose out on this deal. They may use things that make you feel sorry for them or very official language. So they're really good at what they do and they get better every time they do it,” said CPS Cst. Kathy MacDonald.
Police are investigating and are looking for two men who were driving a beige or tan GMC Envoy.