Live 5 Scambusters: Lowcountry man falls victim to online vehicle scam through eBay Motors

Live 5 Scambusters: Lowcountry man falls victim to online vehicle scam through eBay Motors

CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCSC) - A Lowcountry man trying to buy his grandchildren a truck for Christmas is out hundreds of dollars after falling victim to an online vehicle scam.

The victim, who asked to be referred to as “Rod,” said the scam started when he got an email advertising a truck for sale for only $1,400.

“I’m thinking, gosh that’s a pretty good price, so I started contacting a few people that might be interested in it,” Rod said.

When no one else was interested, Rod thought the truck might make a good Christmas gift so he contacted the seller.

“She sent me a lot of pictures of a beautiful truck and all the good things about it,” Rod said.

The seller also appeared to be very motivated. The woman claimed to be stationed at an Air Force base in Nebraska and needed to sell the truck before her transfer to a base in Alaska. She was selling the truck through eBay motors. She told Rod he would have five days to test out the truck and if he didn’t like it, he could return it for a refund.

“How can I go wrong with that?” Rod said.

An email claiming to be from eBay Motors included payment instructions. Rod was supposed to purchase seven eBay gift cards worth $200 each.

“I was like a fish,” Rod said. “They kept drawing me in, drawing me in, and they finally got me and I sent them the money.”

Rod got an email confirming the truck’s delivery on December 12 at 10 a.m. Before the truck arrived, the purchase hit a snag. He received another email from eBay Motors claiming he needed to have $2,000 insurance on the truck during the test period. The email stated the cost would be split between Rod and the seller.

Feeling suspicious, Rod contacted eBay on his own and discovered he’d been scammed.

“I felt like I’d been taken advantage of and now Christmas is going to be a little slack this year,” Rod said.

The eBay website has warnings about this scam. Typical red flags for this type of scam include a price that’s too good to be true and a seller that is urgently trying to get rid of the vehicle. This sale was also made through a third-party so eBay’s Vehicle Purchase Protection would not apply.

If you’ve been a victim of this scam, you can report it to the FTC here and the FBI here.

If you have a scam story to share, email Kyle Jordan at

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