If you’re in need of a car, but don’t want to spend a bunch of money on a used car lot, there are plenty of online resources we can go-to when it comes to looking for a new car. There’s Craigslist, Facebook Marketplace, and also eBay. However, eBay has been known lately for it’s eBay motor scam, which is when a scammer sells a stolen car or a photo of a car they don’t have in order to make a profit.
How the eBay Motor Scam Works
Scammers realize that if you need a car, you will do anything to get your hands on the car as quickly as possible. Here are some ways they get you to buy a phony car:
- They don’t let you see the vehicle in-person before purchasing it. There’s a reason as to why the scammer won’t talk to you in person or on video chat and why they only share photos of the vehicle to you. It’s because the scammer doesn’t actually have the car to show you, it’s an online shopping scam. They are trying to sell you a car they don’t have so they can take your money and run.
- They tell you that your car will go through the retailer’s famous buyer protection program. This is supposedly supposed to show you that the purchase is legit and if anything is wrong with the car, you can report it back to eBay. However, this is fake so that scammers can get you to rush the purchase of the car.
- They send you fake invoices that look legit. You can even call the phone number on the invoice, and the scammer answers it pretending to be an employee of eBay Motors.
- They ask for personal information that isn’t needed to purchase a vehicle. This information could include your SSN, full name, date of birth, address, and other information that a scammer can use to commit identity theft and steal your information.
- If they demand payment in eBay gift cards or wire transfers, that when you know the sale is fake. Only scammers will require these payment methods.
- Even after making the purchase, if the scammer demands more money chances are the sale isn’t real. If they ask for more money for shipping/transportation costs, that’s when you should report the scam immediately to try and get your money back.
How to Avoid the eBay Motor Scam
- Check the reviews before purchasing a vehicle. This will allow you to see if other people have gotten scammed by that same person.
- Don’t make the purchase if the sellers try rushing the sale. This usually means they are hiding something and want your money quickly so they can stop talking to you.
- Don’t agree to purchase the vehicle unless you are allowed to inspect it in person. This will allow you to see if there is actually a car you are buying, or if you are going to be tricked into purchasing a picture of a car instead.
- If the seller only accepts gift cards and/or wire transfers as payment, chances are the sale is fake. Only a scammer will ask for these types of payments, while legit salesmen would ask for cash, card, or check.
- Look at the vehicle history report and make sure the VIN matches the one on your future vehicle. If the VIN’s don’t match, that is a huge red flag that you are about to purchase a fake vehicle.
Social Catfish is Here to Help You!
If you feel like you’ve been sold a fake vehicle or have been scammed out of your money, Social Catfish is here to help you! We can help you reverse search the scammer to see who scammed you out of your life savings. All we need is a name, email address, phone number, house address, social media username, or image to see who it was that you were really talking to.
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