June 16, 2024

My Journey from Financial Foolishness to Falling for a Scam

Kleo Mitsis, a public servant in Chelsea, Que, recounts his unexpected experience of falling for an internet scam despite his stringent financial principles.

“Moral of the story: never give money to internet strangers.” Kleo admits that despite this foundational financial principle, he failed to heed it on a fateful occasion.

From a young age, Kleo prioritized adventure over fiscal responsibility, often spending more than his income. Despite the thrill of gallivanting as a make-believe teacher and journalist, financial hardship forced him to learn financial prudence. His reckless monetary decisions led to two cases of bankruptcy, teaching him the perils of financial foolishness.

![Image of a collage drill](https://investmentshoax.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/05/power-tool-scam-illustration.jpg)

After vowing to make smart financial decisions, Kleo returned to Canada, secured a better job, and started saving part of his income. This frugal approach helped him buy a house. Alongside homeownership came the inevitable need for home repairs, which he tried to offset with DIY projects.

Kleo had a weakness for deals that served his passion for DIY. This vulnerability compelled him to seize a superb deal on Facebook Marketplace from a potential scammer. Seeing an assortment of power tools at an unbelievably discounted price, Kleo was blindsided by a cloud of emotions. The bait was set, and he caught it, hook, line, and sinker.

![Image of a man with a shovel](https://investmentshoax.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/05/kleo-mitsis-shovel-roof.JPEG)

A wave of desire to save, coupled with greed and FOMO, took over. He was drooling over the toolset that he predicted would be in high demand. Eager, he contacted the seller proposing to pay cash and pick up the items the same day.

However, the seller was elusive. The deal had drawn attention from other interested parties, the ad’s owner informed him. He would have to give $150 in advance to secure the purchase.

![Image of a man with a fence](https://investmentshoax.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/05/kleo-mitsis.JPEG)

Without hesitation, he sent the e-transfer and went to withdraw the remaining amount from an ATM. It wasn’t until he reached the secluded, dimly lit meeting point that doubt crept in. The seller informed him that he was “running late,” and they would have to postpone the meeting.

Soon after, the seller claimed his truck had broken down on the way and solicited an additional $150. Kleo refused, maintaining he could handle venturing a dirt road at night but lending money to a stranger was a step too far.

![Image of a man holding an axe](https://investmentshoax.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/05/kleo-mitsis-lumberjack.JPEG)

That refusal stopped the communication, leaving him conned of his deposit and feeling ashamed. On reaching an impasse, he warned the seller about informing the police and consequently filed a report.

After a fortnight, the police contacted him, informing him that he wasn’t the only one swindled. It was then he added another rule in his finance playbook: people involved in clandestine activities shouldn’t maintain their anonymity with their real details.

By the day’s end, his money was returned. Even if no charges were laid, one vital lesson remained. As the officer imparted, “Don’t give money to internet strangers.”

Do you have engaging personal experiences that can promote understanding or inspire others? Contact us at ottawafirstperson@cbc.ca.

**H2: Inclusive FAQ Series**

– **H3: How can I avoid social media marketplace scams?**
Conduct transactions in person if possible and insist on seeing the item before purchasing. Be cautious of sellers who ask for advanced payment without guarantees. Always do a thorough background check on the seller, including looking at their reviews and rating on the platform.

– **H3: How can I safeguard my financial assets from scams?**
Always deal with reputable, regulated institutions. Ensure you understand the financial product you are investing in or purchasing. Make sure to read and understand all documents before signing them. Regularly check your account statements and report any suspicious transactions immediately.

– **H3: What should I do if I fall for a scam?**
If you believe you’ve fallen victim to a scam, report it to your local law enforcement agency right away. Document all interactions with the scammer, including dates, times, methods of communication, and financial transactions. Save any correspondence to provide evidence to the police and potentially recover your lost assets.