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How does the Craigslist and eBay car scam work?

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The ad usually offers a very good deal on a car and looks very legitimate. The seller appears to be looking out for your best interest, because they tell you that they would like to insure the transaction through eBay, for both your protection and theirs.

You then receive an e-mail which appears to be coming from eBay's Transaction Services division (which doesn't exist), and it even has a Transaction Service ID number for you to reference. The e-mail tells how you will be protected and provides payment instructions using Western Union, or some similar money transfer service. You send the money and waits for the next instruction regarding delivery of their car. That's where the happy store ends.
Your money is gone. You'll never see the car. You'll never be able to reach the "seller" again.

Any time someone wants you to pay through Western Union or some other money transfer service, that's a huge red flag. Those services are the next best thing to sending cash through the mail. They're great if you are sending money to someone you already know and trust, a family member for example. However, they're immediate and non-cancellable. Once you've sent the money, you can't get it back and the thief knows that too. The thief is using a fake name too, so when they pick up their money (and it is theirs now), it's gone forever. Do not pay using a money transfer service!

Transaction Steps Step 1:Both parties agree to terms, which includes a description of the merchandise, sale price, number of days for the Buyer's inspection, and shipping information.
Step 2: Buyer sends payment informations to eBay International Trading: When payment is received, it will be verified.
Step 3 :After payment is secured, the Seller is notified by eBay International Trading to ship the merchandise to the Buyer.The Seller ships the merchandise to the Buyer using an approved delivery service.
Step 4: When the Buyer accepts the merchandise or the inspection period expires (at which point, the Buyer automatically accepts), the disbursement of payment will begin.
Step 5: If the Buyer accepts the merchandise, the Seller will be paid.
If your merchandise arrives in a much longer period than the one you agreed on or it is different than the pictures, you are also entitled to refund.

Under these circumstances you have to send back the item.
You are also entitled to a refund if the item doesn't arrive at all
eBay Protects Online Buyers and Sellers from Fraud Details of the Transaction


eBay reduces the potential risk of fraud by acting as a trusted third party that collects, holds and disburses funds according to Buyer and Seller instructions.

Internet fraud costs victims millions of dollars each year.

Protect yourself with eBay!
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