Watch out for the Airstream Trailer Scams (and many other big ticket items like boats, motorcycles, cars, etc...). These scammers have hijacked people's ebay accounts. Don't ever answer an email saying you need to respond to verify your ebay info. This is how they hijack your info. Commonly called Phishing. If you did respond to one of them, go change your password now, or they will change your password and lock you out of your own account. (ebay is not very responsive, so it may be a while, if ever, before you get it back)
Price too good to be true? (nothing is free, stop thinking you'll get something for nothing)
Private bidder ID's? (yup, they don't want you to correspond with another possible Victim, and Also to SHILL the bid up to make it look Legitimate. For those who don't know what Shilling is, it's when a user will create several bogus accounts or get friends to bid up the item in small increments to either raise the amount or make the auction look legitimate.)
Private Auction? (they want to see an email from you for the chance to talk you into the deal, and Steal your Money)
Email address? (they will provide an email address instead of using the ebay mail system, they don't want you to communicate with the person they hi-jacked the account from)
Ebay or Square Trade Warehouse? (That's just Stupid, There is no such thing)
Seller is overseas (usually UK) but the unit is in the US? (There is no unit, it's a Scam)
Shipping a trailer? (have any idea what it would cost to ship a Camper Trailer? Don't fall for the "free shipping" line.
What they are looking for, is for you to send them (usually via western union) a sizable down payment. If you do, that will be the last you hear of them and You will lose your money.
I've bought several Larger ticket Items on ebay before including a $20,000 motorcycle and a $30,000 car. I negotiate a very small down payment if any, before bidding. (enough to cover the ebay fees) If they won't accept those terms, I don't buy. I'll Fly or drive to view and pickup the Item, and pay for it then, not before. Seller's who are honest will accept these terms, they have nothing to hide or worry about.
Since I posted this a few months ago, I've had dozens of emails, people telling me their horror stories of being ripped off by these Scams. Ebay doesn't seem to have the resources to patrol millions of auctions, so we (all of us) need to do it. Please use Common Sense when buying large ticket items. If something is to good to be true, it is, 99.9% of the time.
Another email I received from a guy who was looking at an auction. In the picture gallery, he clicked on a picture to enlarge, and it took him to an ebay sign-in screen. He signed in, not realizing the scam artist had linked that photo to a bogus ebay sign-in website. Another way a scam artist phished for info to steal an account. If this happens to you, hit the "back button", but don't re-sign in. If you do, go change your ebay password quickly.
(from another emailed suggestion) Something else you can do, is to report a Scam auction to ebay. It's easy to do. At the bottom of every auction is a link to "report this item". Click on it, then choose Fraudulent Listing. The rest is self evident.
There are thousands of scams going on like this throughout ebay, not just Airstream Trailers.
If I've missed anything, let me know and I will add it.
I feel I need to add a little something about Private Auctions. I've received a few emails from sellers telling me I'm wrong about Private Auctions. All sellers who use Private Auctions say the exact same thing, I'm trying to protect my bidders from people contacting them, posing as Me. That Statement is plain Hogwash. . Here is My statement I give to all of them:
Your wrong about Private Listings. NOBODY can Pose to be You, unless You've allowed your account to be hijacked or Phished, but you sound too smart for that.
It is common knowledge about private listings. It has been talked about for years (since 1997 that I know of) that ebay looks the other way when it comes to private listings,, for obviou$ rea$on$.
Basically Sellers with Private listings are saying "Trust Me". Just because a seller who uses private listings has a great feedback rating (and that's a topic all on it's own), doesn't mean the Winner will ever know He's had to outbid the seller to win the auction.. Hence, I make the VALID suggestion to not bid on Private Auctions (notice I said suggestion). Bidders aren't your next of Kin, they don't know you from Jack, so you can't expect them to trust you. Therefore you have to make your auctions as open as possible to match your excellent feedback rating...it's common sense...
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