SCAM WARNING: Beware of Craigslist, AutoTrader - eBay Motors Car, Motorcycle, Truck Scams Using Western Union and MoneyGram
If you come across an ad on Craigslist or AutoTrader, that looks like a great deal, chances are, you may have responded to the ad.
Later, that day, you may have received an email from someone who tells you a story that he will only facilitate the transaction on eBay, so that you will be protected by their SquareTrade Vehicle Protection Program. But in order to start this process, he will need your full name, address and telephone number.
The next day, you may receive an email that appears to be from eBay and the email will contain your name, address and telephone number. (Geezzz, I wonder how they got your information 100% correct? Think about it). The email may contain the eBay logo and it may look like an official invoice. In this email, it appears that eBay is giving you the OK to send the money to the Craigslist Seller by Western Union wired transferred or Money Gram. The email will also tell you that the purchase is backed up by eBay's SquareTrade Vehicle Protection Program because the Craigslist Seller has over $20,000 in an escrow account. And if you're not satisified with the vehicle within 10 days, you can ship it back and your full payment is refunded.
Sometimes, the email may go as far as to tell you that, the vehicle has been inspected and is kept in an eBay Warehouse and once the payment has been wired to the Craigslist Seller, an eBay Employee will deliver the vehicle to you.
Wow, what a great deal and plus the transaction is protected by eBay, which is known for their protection programs.
If you stop to THINK clearly, you will see the scam.
Why would an ad placed on Craigslist or AutoTrader be facilitated on eBay.com? Why would eBay send an email to authorize the transaction, when I didn't even bid on the vehicle? Is there really a warehouse that eBay store all the items they have listed by their Sellers? Do eBay Employees deliver the items to the Buyers?
These are great questions. But sadly, some greedy people do not think about it and just allow their greed to take over.
Never pay for an eBay item if you did not bid and win it on eBay.com. You must be able to sign on to your My eBay and see that you are the Winner in the WON page. It is then, when you pay for the item with PayPal (for regular eBay items), you have Buyer Protection for 45 days against items not received or items arrived but not as described. On an eBay Motors listing, such as a vehicle, if you did bid and win it, you have the Vehicle Protection Program for 30 days from the end of the auction.
Ebay DOES NOT inspect or have a storage for any of the items listed by the Sellers. Ebay is only a venue (like the local newspaper that people place ad on). Ebay will not deliver the item to the Buyers.
Western Union and MoneyGram are prohibited forms of payment on eBay. Seller listing these types of unsafe payment will have their listings removed and accounts may be suspended. Even if you go to Western Union or MoneyGram to wire the cash, they will ask if you are paying for items found on the internet. If you tell them yes, they will advise that you do not send cash using their service to a stranger. Their services are used to send money to family, friends and people you do know.
If you've come across the above situation but was smart enough to stop, forward the emails to spoof @ ebay.com. However, if you were a victim of the above scam, do not contact eBay as they are not responsible. They did not send you those emails. Instead, contact your local Law Enforcement and the payment service for assistance. Chances are, you will never recover your money - live and learn.
If it's too good to be true.................think about it.