Avoided the ebay auto scam

Sent an email about a car for sale online

Ooooookay a scam right? On the off chance that it wasn’t I reply
“You’re in the Denver area correct? Why not a cash deal?”

Her reply

I was thinking of replying to this about how I’ll be in Omaha this weekend or my cousin lives in Omaha but considering she has my real email I’m just going to let this drop.

Color me naive, but what was going to be the scam? Does the alleged seller get money up front with eBay?


I may be mistaken, but I didn’t think one was allowed to notarize their own documents; kinda defeats the purpose.

Maybe she meant “The title and the bill of sale will be signed by me and notarized”?

Not sure what the scam is, but yeah, it’s scammy. We went thru similar crap when selling a motorcycle a few years back. Some guy in the PNW wanted to buy it because, well, no one out there sells Harleys, right? :rolleyes: He also fed us some crap about using his work email because he’s in the military and had a classified position and some such crap.

Similarly when I answered an ad for an RV, it was in Omaha (hmmmm, I sense a trend) but they’d send it to me on approval so if I didn’t like it… yeah.

I guess this crap works on some people.

I searched for ebay auto scam and got a thread with about a dozen very similarly worded offers to ship through ebay services.

Apparently, they want you to pay up front with some kind of untraceable method, gift cards, or such, then they just skip out on you.

Scams like this that involve any kind of shipping company are all about paying the so-called shipping company. I know this one says that the shipping company was holding the vehicle because the previous sale fell through, and the shipping is already paid. But after you get a bit more involved there will be some other, minor fee that needs to be paid, in this case probably some storage for the time that the shipping company has held the vehicle.

So you get really involved, it is a great deal, and the owner just wants to get rid of the thing. So you think that another $300 for the storage is a minor issue and you pay it.

There never was a vehicle for sale, never was even a seller, there isn’t even a shipping company. The storage fee (or whatever they come up with) is the whole scam.

Thanks, Dallas and Cheese.


You say they just skip out on you as if they actually own the vehicle they’re pretending to sell.

I know you know, but just to be clear, it’s fake right from the very beginning. When I was selling my bike, I’d say well over half the people that were ‘interested’ in it asked me to get a VIN report. They’d even provide a link. I can assure you that every single person who asks the seller for a VIN report never had any interest in buying the vehicle. They just want you to pay for the VIN report (either to steal your credit card info or because they get a referral fee).

Saint Cad, if you received this email randomly, out of the blue, then yes definitely scammy. Who sends out mass emails to people saying that you are the priority buyer of a car they are selling on ebay?

But if you know the person that sent it…

Saint Cad emailed them, asking to buy their car. The two quotes in the OP are the replies. It wasn’t unsolicited.

If you reply with something like 'That sounds great, let me know as soon as you have it listed on ebay. Just send me the link and I’ll buy it" I’ll bet you either never hear from them again or they start trying to explain what they meant by ‘ebay motors’. As soon as the person asked for all your info to have ebay send something to you (ya know, to explain how ebay works), that was a red flag.
Remember, in order for ebay to have any involvement, the sale has to be completed on ebay.
This person will probably try to explain how everything will happen on some other site or you’ll paypal/mail them the payment etc etc etc, but somehow ebay motors is involved to cover you in case there’s a problem. It’s just a scam and they’re using the ebay name to A)invoke trust and B)get a headstart when you realize you were scammed. They’ll have a few extra days while you try to file a dispute through ebay.

This got my scam antennae twitching:

Maybe she also has a vintage Corvette that another family member passed away in and wants to sell it really cheap. :dubious:

Exactly. That and the part about the shipping company and everything is already paid but it fell through. Waaaaaay too many weird things going on.

Ebay has a excellent guide to avoid scams.

The scam is: send me, a complete stranger, $$$ and I promise to send the car from a remote location so you can’t verify that it really exist and since it’s Ebay Motors it’s totally NOT a scam.

Odd… I thought it was in a shipping facility in Omaha.

Or maybe…maybe… the daughter is including the wife in the deal and she’s also at the shipping company! :eek: