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This question is similar to this one from 9 years ago, but I don't think it's a duplicate.

I want to receive payment for a car that I don't personally own (money to be subsequently sent to my friend in Africa, but that's not important here except as it might interest the CRA- so a paper trail is required).

What is the safest way to receive the payment in Canada, assuming the buyer will be some random local person on Kijiji etc? Amount will be between 10 and 20k CAD. I'm thinking a bank draft would be a good method, but even between branches of the same Canadian big 5 banks they can hold the payment for days for large-ish amounts in my experience. Unfortunately, it's well above the limits for Interac e-transfer.

The accepted answer for the other question mentioned going to open an account at the same bank (and branch) as the seller. Is that the best way to irrevocably receive an amount in that range in Canada?

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    So you don’t own the car but are nonetheless going to receive the sale proceeds which you will forward to your friend in Africa. Does your friend own the car? Is it in Africa? Why is your friend to get the proceeds of the sale? This whole deal sounds a lot like a scam that is being pulled on you and possibly on the alleged buyer of the car. – Dilip Sarwate Dec 15 '19 at 18:27
  • @DilipSarwate Nah, it's not a scam, though you could be forgiven for thinking so. I have physical possession of the vehicle and know the guy very well IRL. – Spehro Pefhany Dec 15 '19 at 18:31
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    In Germany you can just walk into your bank with the buyer and the money in cash and deposit it directly to your account. That´s the usual "safe" way regarding forged bank notes etc. Can´t you do the same in Canada? – Daniel Dec 15 '19 at 18:37
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    Ok ... suddenly Canada sounds like a gangster movie to me ;) – Daniel Dec 15 '19 at 18:47
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    @Daniel It's not common but the police recommend doing relatively high risk things like cell phone purchases some place with security cameras. On the other side of the equation a guy just trying to sell his truck on Kijiji was murdered by a wealthy brat boy and his thuggy friend a few years ago. – Spehro Pefhany Dec 15 '19 at 18:57
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I'm only going to answer about the safe payment aspect, not the friend in Africa.

While it is true that the most secure ways to receive payment is either cash or a cashier cheque that you see being cut by the bank, with little higher risk tolerance you might consider some easier ways.

I would accept a pre-made cashiers cheque with some extra security precautions. The precautions I would want are:

  1. Meet the buyer in person, not a representative
  2. Photograph them with their permission
  3. Photograph their drivers license
  4. No red flags or suspicious behaviour.

Additional ones might be:

  1. Visit the address on the buyers drivers license and see them go inside the house.
  2. Receive part of the payment by Interac transfer.

I understand that this is not quite as secure as the above, but the logic is as follows.

A cashiers cheque cannot bounce or be stopped. The only way it can fail is if it is forged. Forging a cheque is a serious criminal matter. No criminal is going to run a scam which ends with you knowing they forged a cheque and having a photo of them, still less if you know an address where they are known.

The Interac transfer is only possible from an account they own, so that allows the police to trace them. And of course you are guaranteed the $3000 of the transfer.

  • Thanks, sounds like a very good approach! – Spehro Pefhany Dec 26 '19 at 19:13
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This sounds like a scam. I'm going to assume you are in Canada and will be the one showing the car to prospective buyers. Irrevocably paying you is pretty easy. Cashiers check (one where they cannot stop payment) would be enough here. Wire transfer would also work.

If you're extra paranoid, you could also have the buyer follow you to the bank after you sign over the car at the title office and pay for a wire transfer from there.

The best place to meet is at the title office where you and the buyer can sign over the car title. These buildings usually have well-lit parking areas, cameras, and security guards. You'll both sign the paperwork after which the buyer will hand you the cashiers check

Now for the tricky part (and the part that makes it look like a scam). Getting the money to Africa. As you've mentioned international transfers of large sums of money are scrutinized.

Make photo-copies of the title transfer paperwork and bring it to the bank. Go ahead and transfer the money via wire transfer. There will be a hold placed on it, but your friend will be able to "see" the money in their account, they just won't be able to spend it.

The bank may ask why you're transferring the money. Explain exactly what you said here, and you'll have paperwork to back it up. The bank will likely still place a 5-day hold on the money.

  • I think you meant “follow you to the bank”. Following you to the “back” sounds dodgy. – Lawrence Dec 25 '19 at 12:47
  • Thanks for your suggestions! – Spehro Pefhany Dec 26 '19 at 19:12

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