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Sunday, October 05, 2008

The New eBay Motors Scam

There's a new scam going around, which is a slightly more sophisticated variation of a fake escrow trick.

Scammers post for sale ads in classified services such as Craigslist or AutoTrader, with a too-good-to-be-true price. Here is one example I found: 2005 Honda Accord.

"Email me for more details : .The car is in a perfect cosmetic and engine conditions, and meticulously maintained. No damage, no scratches or dents, no hidden defects, never been into accidents and it is as advertised. Email me for more pictures at : . I cannot get in touch with you if you use the "Email this Seller" option because my email address on autotrader is full so please e-mail me directly at:"
The car is a real car--in the sense that they borrowed some photos and a VIN from somewhere, so if you run it through CarFax it will check out as a real vehicle.

If you respond, they send you a fake invoice from eBay Motors, along with a fake "Vehicle Purchase Protection" service email.

Here are examples, cick for larger view:

It isn't a perfect fake, but it may be convincing to someone who doesn't know much about eBay. The real eBay Motors does not operate an escrow service, and they explicitly don't allow MoneyGram payments! Also note the fake eBay email address, "".

The scammers want you to send a non-traceable payment (MoneyGram, Western Union) to a "payment agent", who is probably some idiot who signed up for a "work at home" job "processing internet payments". That guy cashes the payment, and forwards it on to the scammers.

I tried to make contact with the scammer, but he was being very careful--he wouldn't give me a phone number. He stopped respoding to my emails after I pointed out that eBay doesn't allow Moneygram payments, and asked if he could take a PayPal payment instead.

Update: I am starting to see reports of this scam spreading out into Canada and the UK, using other services such as Moneybookers. The rules are the same. If the price is too good to be true (way below market) or the guy wants you to buy a car without being able to look at it, it's not real.


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Quincy61 said...

Quincy61 said: Kijiji British Columbia > Greater Vancouver Area > cars & vehicles > cars & trucks > Ad ID 400220805
BEWARE: this was the reply to my offer, as I thought the car was local.
Hi, I'm currently located in Salem, OR because I got a new job here and the car is here with me. From the beginning you have to know that I prefer the payment to be done using eBay services. We will use a safe payment method because I am affiliated at eBay and I have a purchase protection account. I supposed to ship the car to other buyer but then he told me that he has a financial problem and is no longer interested. He already paid the shipping charges. So, the shipping is free. I will take care of it and I will send the car with all the papers ( title, bill of sale, full service records, owner's manual, books, etc ). You will have a 7 days inspection period after delivery. During that 7 days testing period I will not be able to get any money until you confirm to eBay that you are satisfied with the product you received. If you are a serious buyer, you have to email me your full name and full shipping address in order to open a case with eBay. They will contact you and give you more details about terms, buyer protection, payment instructions, shipping, invoice, etc. I await your email with the requested details so we can move forward.

Thank you,

Angela Hopper

Amanda Nicholson said...

Here's a doozy! On craigslist:
2004 Mercedes Benz E55 for only $3660. I emailed her for info and she gave me a sob story about how her husband and daughter were killed in a car accident and the MB was her daughters car and she just has to sell it because it brings back painful memories. Uh, yeah. A now she says she's selling it thru eBay...glad I'm the suspicious broad that I am. Remember folks, it it seems too good to be true, it probably is.

Amanda Nicholson said...

Here's a doozy! On craigslist:
2004 Mercedes Benz E55 for only $3660. I emailed her for info and she gave me a sob story about how her husband and daughter were killed in a car accident and the MB was her daughters car and she just has to sell it because it brings back painful memories. Uh, yeah. A now she says she's selling it thru eBay...glad I'm the suspicious broad that I am. Remember folks, it it seems too good to be true, it probably is.

Wandisile Mtshali said...

I almost fell for this, I am in South Africa luckily I work for a law firm and was advised to research before doing anything.

Before I left South Africa I had prearranged the deal with eBay Motors so my presence isn't necessary. The car is in their possession in South Africa, ready for delivery.You will have 10 days to test drive and inspect the car. So if you want to make this deal I need the following information:

your full name and address
shipping address(street,city,zip code)
phone #

Then I will forward them to eBay Motors and I will proceed the order. Ebay will contact you with all the details that you need to complete this deal and also to see that i am covered by them and that I am legit seller.

Here is how this deal will work:
1. I will forward the details of our transaction to the eBay Buyer Protection .
2. They will process the paperwork and will email you the Payment Invoice and the transaction details.
3. You will have to submit the deposit ( 50% from the total amount so you can prove that you are a serious buyer), as instructed to one of the eBay agents.
4. The payment will be verified and if everything is OK, eBay will deliver the vehicle to your address on my own cost. The vehicle will be shipped insured to your location with DAS ( Dependable Auto Shippers).
5. After you receive it, you will have 10 days to inspect and test drive the vehicle (You will receive the car in 2 days).
6. If you accept the vehicle by confirming to eBay, they will release me the money (if not you will receive the full refund of the amount sent before shipping). They will then FedEx overnight the signed title to you and all the car documents that you need to register it under your name. If you decide to NOT accept the vehicle for any reason, they will refund your full payment price within 48 hours. They will then make the necessary arrangement to have the vehicle picked back up by the transport company...


I am based in India and this is what i got a couple of days back! I was tying to contact the owner but she would never give me her phone number!! Go through it guys...


I'm Lisa, and I am glad to see so much interest in my car. Its in really good shape, has only 19000 kms,the price is 120000 rupees,I never had any problems with it, no scratches or dents, and its free of any accidents.I have the title, in my hand, clear, free of any liens or loans on it. At first I tried to sell it at its Blue Book value, but I changed up my mind and reduced the price drastically I got divorced recently from my indian husband, that is how I got the car and I am trying to sell it because my personal vehicle is enough, I don't need a second one.I want to use ebay to help us make the deal.I just need your full name and address to open a deal with ebay!
In case of anything, just e-mail me.


Lisa Dalton

Gil Garcia said...

I have just recently responded to this "to good to be true" auto scam using eBay Motors.

The female scam artist used the name Linda Foye. This is the e-mail content I received once I indicated that I wanted to buy 2006 Acura TL on Craigslist Bakersfield.

You are receiving this email because a seller (Linda Foye) has
registered you as a potential buyer.
The complete transaction details have been attached to this email. To
view the attachment, you need Adobe`s Acrobat Reader software.

eBay Team

Tweetyjazzlyn said...

Hi there,
My name is Tricia ( first of all I want to thank you for being interested in buying my 2007 Toyota Solara. Has automatic transmission and low miles. It is in EXCELLENT condition; the body and paint are great, no scratches and no dents; the interior is clean; it has never been involved in an accident; the title is clear. The car belonged to my wife, who passed away last year ...
I have recently moved with my job in Sydney to study the Ocean (I'm Oceanographer). I was hoping to take it here but when I found out how much shipping and registration would be I've changed my mind. As I'm unable to travel in the near future and I don't have anyone in the US to help me with the sale I decided to make this transaction through eBay Motors. It acts like an escrow service and will protect both buyer and seller and it's the safest way to do this.You will benefit of 5 days inspection time period and the option to accept or reject the car on my expense. If you want to buy it, just send me your complete name, delivery address and phone number. I will forward your info to eBay and they will notify you about all the details. So, after you will forward me the requested details I will confirm the shipping for you and send the documents to eBay ! After eBay checks with the shipping company that is a reservation on your name they will send you the payment invoice. The title is clean and clear !
The final price is $2,200 which include delivery at your home address.Please note that there are no hidden taxes or extra-cost for this car. If you decide to buy this car or need further information and pics please get back to me as soon as possible.

Thank you!

Found on Craigslist on 6/2/13

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