The eBay listing said, “2011 Honda Accord only $1,000.” That right there should have triggered all kinds of red lights and warning bells. But Latrice Goodwin thought she had found the car of her dreams at an unbelievable price. It was. Car buying doesn’t have to turn into a massive scam as it did for this woman.
The Accord owner was a woman who claimed she was in the Army. Oh, and that her husband had died three months earlier. The woman sounded really nice and instructed Goodwin to pay for the Honda with eBay gift cards. Though a bit strange, what could go wrong?
She also told Goodwin to email her the gift card code numbers. You know, just to verify Goodwin actually had the money. Goodwin told news5cleveland, “She was selling her car because she was already at the base, and was about to get ready to get shipped out within the next few days.”
Goodwin received an email saying there was an additional fee of $1,000
So far so good, right? A day after sending the gift card code emails Goodwin received an email saying there was an additional fee of $1,000. “Another email turned around and hit me back up saying that you now need another $1,000 for a shipping fee,” Goodwin said. “I paid the shipping fee, but then I was told that there was now a charge for state taxes, but that’s when I finally realized I had been scammed.”
She contacted eBay thinking that maybe they could help her get her $2,000 back. They told her that they couldn’t. “I was literally in tears,” Goodwin said. “I was in my kitchen talking to her, and I was just crying through the whole thing.”
Buying with gift cards combined with the price should have been the first clue this was a scam. Actually, either one or the other should have been enough to pass. As for the email address, you can Google it to see if other people report being scammed by the same email.
Buyers can get robbed because the seller knows you’ve got cash
You should take a look at the car if everything else checks out first. Bring a friend but don’t bring any money. Make sure that is clear to the owner. There have been instances where the buyer is robbed because the seller knows you’ve got cash.
If the test drive and general vibe are good and you want to buy it you can do the transaction at a bank. It’s public and they’ve got your money. You can withdraw cash or have the bank make out a bank draft.
Most sellers are honest and most listings are not a scam. But if anything seems odd then pass. Most of the time there is another dream car without the sketch right around the corner.