The Better Business Bureau is issuing a warning about a scam aimed at bilking consumers out of their money which may have been based in Calgary.

In the recent case, the BBB serving Southern Alberta and East Kootenay were notified by Christine Graham, an American woman, who tried to purchase an iPad from their local Craigslist online board for $200.

The seller, who was advertised as being located in Calgary, told Graham she would need to forward the money to a third party, called Parcel Vision, located in the U.K.

Once payment was received, the Parcel Vision agent would then transfer the package to FedEx which would in turn ship the package to her.

Graham did forward the money as requested, but did not receive any merchandise.

After hearing Graham’s report, the BBB began their investigation and found that FedEx was not familiar with Parcel Vision and have never used their services.

Sandra Crozier-McKee, President and CEO of BBB Serving Souther Alberta and East Kootenay, says shoppers always need to look into the background of sellers they come across online.

"Even if you are only shopping on popular, well-known sites, it is still possible for scammers to get to you," she says in a release. "Make sure you understand the shipping and payment process and are familiar with the courier services that will be used. Wired money transfers are usually a red flag, especially if they are required up-front. To ensure you're making a secure purchase, use your credit card and if you're suspicious check with the BBB before you buy.”

The Better Business Bureau is offering the following tips to protect you while shopping online:

Check over the website and make sure it’s legit – URLs for payment pages should begin with ‘https://’, which indicates the website is secure. You should also confirm the address and phone number before ordering anything

Be informed about the transaction process – before you buy anything, learn about the payment method, whether or not payment will be required up-front, and the company’s shipping policy

Never, under any circumstances, wire money to strangers – requests to send money or personal information to an unfamiliar business are always a red flag

Make sure you always pay with a credit card – under the Financial Consumer Agency of Canada, unauthorized charges on credit cards can usually be reimbursed

For more information and other consumer tips, visit