“Online Vehicle for Sale” Gimmick

thief “Online Vehicle for Sale” GimmickAre you looking for deals on vehicles or other items and researching online?  A consumer recently reported having sighted a travel trailer for sale on Craigslist for $13K. What a “bargain” it was, since the retail price was listed at $35K.  The seller, “Sarah Martins,” lowered the price considerably because she was leaving the country.   To assist with this transaction, she was utilizing a third party, “Amazon Payments (AP).”   This third party intervention would allow the seller to receive the money prior to sending the trailer to the consumer/buyer.

Receipt of the consumer’s “Amazon Payment” guarantees the seller would be secured (paid) for: 1) Delivery of the trailer within 3-4 days,  2) Allowing 5 days for the consumer/buyer to inspect the trailer; and 2) Three days to receive a full refund if the consumer/buyer was not completely satisfied.   Oh, and the seller would pay for the return shipping.

What a deal, right?   Buyers, beware!  The catch is that the third party is not actually Amazon Payments.  The seller deals with the consumer/buyer through email only and provides a link to an “Amazon Payment” website, which is a website set up to look like AP’s.  The consumer/buyer will then be instructed to enter a credit card number and PIN.   Once this form is filled out, someone purportedly from AP will call and instruct the consumer/buyer to send money through Western Union, the fraud receives the money, and the emails stop.  Neither the seller nor Amazon Payment can be reached, and the buyer’s money is gone!

There is one truth to this email transaction:  The seller (aka the fraud) would be secured the money should the buyer fall for it and send the money!  That’s where “the deal” stops!   That’s where the emails end!  If you should receive an email or any other form of contact such as this, don’t fall for their elusive bait!

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About Kristal Heffley

Ad Review and Social Media Specialist of BBB serving Northern Indiana. Kristal spends a great deal of time learning, writing about, and educating the public on scams of the day. She also is quite the social-media enthusiast and community partner. You can follow her posts, i.e. BBB serving Northern Indiana on Facebook, Google Plus, Instagram, LinkedIn, Twitter, YouTube, and of course, our blog.