In LaPorte, police say two teenage girls were the victims of a fraudulent scam when they tried to purchase two-vehicles online. LaPorte Police report the girls, ages 16 and 18, each paid for the vehicles on what they believed was an eBay site using a MoneyGram fund transfer. Each victim paid for their vehicle, along with transportation, with an agreement the vehicles would arrive on Thursday, March 6th. Police says the vehicles never arrived and eBay officials informed the girls they do not allow sellers to use MoneyGram as a form of payment. The victims reported receiving no answer from the seller's listed phone number in Alabama.
According to eBay's Motors Security Center (found under their "Stay Safe" link) these are some common warning signs someone may be trying to scam you:
eBay's Vehicle Purchase Protection (VPP) covers only certain vehicle transactions that are completed ON eBay.com. If a Craigslist seller "promises" you eBay protection programs, walk away. It is fraudulent. Only cars bought and sold on eBayMotors.com can legitimately offer up to $50,000 in vehicle protection.
Common warning signs:
•Sellers who want to move the transaction from one platform to another (for example, from Craigslist to eBay Motors).
•Sellers who claim that eBay's Vehicle Purchase Protection covers an auto transaction conducted outside the eBay site.
•Sellers who push for speedy completion of the transaction and request payments via quick wire transfer payment systems. See example.
•Sellers who refuse to meet in person, or refuse to allow the buyer to physically inspect the vehicle before the purchase. See example.
•Transactions in which the seller and vehicle are in different locations. Criminals often claim to have been transferred for work reasons, deployed by the military, or moved because of a family circumstance, and could not take the vehicle with them.
•Vehicles advertised at well below their market value. Remember, if it looks too good to be true, it probably is.