Internet Car Scam Costs Local Woman $1,000

A Johnston County woman thought she was getting a good deal on a used car but instead lost all her money.

The online car sales scam is very common but many people have never heard about one of the latest ways online thieves are taking your money.

A 38 year-old Smithfield woman found out the hard way. She was searching on the internet for a used car. She found a Nissan SUV listed for thousands of dollars below wholesale.  The seller claimed he was in the military and was about to be transferred and needed to sale his SUV before leaving the country. He only wanted $1,000.

The scammer had the woman wire $1,000 to a specific account claiming that account had eBay buyer protection, when in fact it was not associated with eBay.

After receiving the money, the scammer attempted to get another $1,000 from the victim for “transportation fees.”  She then became suspicious and after alerting Johnston County deputies learned she had been scammed.

Authorities said the scammers have no mailing address, no telephone numbers, and for some reason you can’t see the vehicle in person. They car is often very far away in a warehouse or shipping container. In some cases they claim they will ship the car to you for free for your inspection.  Any type of third party escrow or bank account to keep your money safe for 5 to 10 days before deciding on the purchase is not legitimate.

Scammers also use the eBay name in the scam. eBay does not offer any services for cars sold outside their site.