Shark of the Month October 13
Join Date: Nov 2011
Location: Was northern Maine, now gulf coast of Florida
Beware EBAY Ultra CVO scam!!!
I came within a couple hours yesterday of losing $15k on an EBAY scam that was selling a 2016 RG Ultra CVO. I originally saw the ad 5-6 days ago and sent the seller a couple of questions. The scam story line here is that the seller is a Major in the military who lives in Wisconsin, is currently stationed in Alaska going through some training because he is deploying to Afghanistan for the second time at the end of June. The seller sent me additional pics of the bike and also a video taken in his garage. I've purchased literally hundreds of things over EBAY since it's inception and am always looking for signs that something is a scam and have never been burned once. Let me stress here that every aspect of this scam was well rehearsed and very authentic looking. He had all the right answers to every question I threw at him.
The scam works like this: The seller gives you his whole story and then reassures you that everything is on the up and up by telling you that he's already made the arrangements to use EBAY's "Vehicle Purchase Protection" program in order to take away and risk for either the buyer or seller. Once we had struck a deal on price, I had to give him my name/phone/shipping address which he (supposedly) forwarded to EBAY as the buyer of the bike. I then received an email that had all the earmarks of being from EBAY (proper logos, forms, and wording). That form instructed me to wire transfer money into a supposed EBAY account. They then hold the money in an escrow account and notify the seller to go ahead and ship the bike. Once the bike arrived, I would look it all over and if everything was what the seller promised, I'd notify EBAY and then they would release the funds to the seller and forward me the title. Sounds good right? Everyone is protected. Not so fast!
Let me stress again that every aspect of the story sounded legit and every aspect looked genuine. Part of the reason for that is that they start by stealing a real ad off of EBAY. It all looks real because it was a real ad at some past point. This is how they get the pictures, the seller's EBAY name, the video, etc. It's all real - or at least it once was a real ad. What is not real is the money wire transfer address. It was to be sent to TD Bank in Ocala, FL. For the first time in days, they gave me a reason to be suspicious again. I had taken the money out of a retirement account and was within an hour or so of taking it to my regular bank and have them do the wire transfer. It was at this time that I thought of the old axiom that "if the deal seems too good to be true, then it probably is", and called EBAY. It must have taken 40 minutes to wade through the layers of menu options to finally get transferred to someone in that "Vehicle Purchase Protection" program that knew what they were doing. That's when I found out that the transaction number I received was not in their system. I about shit my pants when it hit me that I had come so close to losing $15k in this scam. I also noted the warning below that is on EBAY's site under the Vehicle Purchase Protection" plan, which, if I had seen at any time during this past week, would have caused me to report the incident to EBAY and stay clear of this 'purchase'.
Forewarned is forearmed guys! There's always some lazy, low down, no account SOB that is looking for a way to steal some of your hard earned money rather than getting a job and earning the money.
Alert: Internet Vehicle Scams on Craigslist and Other Non-eBay Sites
eBay's Vehicle Purchase Protection covers only certain vehicle transactions that are completed ON eBay.com. If a Craigslist or non-eBay seller 'promises' you the eBay protection plan, this is fraud and you should walk away. Learn more.
Common warning signs:
Vehicles advertised well below what it is worth may be tempting, but should be a red flag. If it appears too good to be true, it probably is.
You are unable to see the vehicle in person first or have it physically inspected prior to payment
There is an urgency to complete the sale quickly because the seller has a health or family issue, is being deployed to the military, moving out of state/country or is going through a divorce/marriage
Seller pushes to get money in advance and transferred through a fast payment method, or sent to a fake escrow account to avoid you as the buyer losing out on the deal before another buyer purchases the item first
Criminals want to lure you into feeling safe and may also disguise their websites or emails to look like they are from eBay, when they are not
“Life should not be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well-preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside in a cloud of smoke, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming “Wow! What a Ride!” - HST
Last edited by Uncle Fuzzy; 05-11-2019 at 10:48 AM.