Car Scam Costs Victim $19,654

Each year an estimated $15 million is lost to criminals selling cars, trucks and RV’s online they don’t even own.   A Johnston County woman is one of the latest victims.

The 46 year-old victim said she saw an online ad for a red 2013 Mercedes Benz. She responded to the ad and agreed to buy the car sight unseen for a bargain price of $19,654.

The woman wired the money to the seller who had promised to ship the car immediately upon receipt of the money. However, the criminal kept the money and the car was never delivered.

The Johnston County Sheriff’s Office is investigating the incident. According to the FBI, be cautious of online items advertised for below their market value. Avoid sellers who refuse to meet you in person to show you the car.  Ask for the vehicle identification number (VIN) and the name of the person the car is registered.  Also do an internet search to verify the individual and business that has the car listed for sale.

And if you are suspicious about the transaction for any reason, it is probably a scam.

In this case, the victim waited several weeks before reporting the scam to authorities. It is unlikely she will be able to recover the $19,654 she wired to the crook.