Milan man gets scammed with eBay gift cards while buying car | #phishing | #scams

Steve Dobbins, 66, found a 2011 Toyota Rav4 on Facebook selling for $1,200 and 105,000 miles.

MILAN, Illinois — A Milan man says he is out of $1,200 after being scammed while trying to buy a car.

Steve Dobbins, 66, found a 2011 Toyota Rav4 on Facebook selling for $1,200 and 105,000 miles.

“I always thought, I’d never fall for a scam like that,” Dobbins said.

Dobbins said he’s been looking to purchase another car with low miles.

“I just thought God was smiling at me; that I was getting a break,” he said. “They told me that I was the first one to reply.”

He said the seller told him, the sale could not happen face-to-face because they now live out of town.

“She said that her husband had died and that was his car and that’s why she had to get rid of it, because it brought back too many memories,” Dobbins said.

To buy the car, Dobbins said he had to buy eBay gift cards and send that information to the owner.

“I was told that I’d have to buy eBay gift cards (for) a total of $1,200.”

Dobbins bought the gift cards and received what appeared to be a contract from the seller that also said to send the gift card’s pin codes for the purchase.

“It had the entire eBay logo on it and all the information listed here,” Dobbins said.

He then read the back of the gift cards that said not to share any of the card’s information with another person. He also called eBay which said it was a scam.

“If I hadn’t read the fine print on the card where it said, ‘do not share this.’ It’s like, ‘Oh my God,'” Dobbins said. “I was more interested in buying the gift cards so I could get the car.”

“Once you do give the scammers those numbers, that money is gone,” said Laura Chavez with the Better Business Bureau.

She said this is something she sees all the time.

“They’re asking you to pay for it through some other method. You should only pay for a car with a certified check or cash,” Chavez said. “Always use the entire eBay platform and process.”

“I really do hope that karma gets around to the people that do stuff like this,” Dobbins said.

Dobbins was not able to return the gift cards due to a no-return policy. He also tried to file a police report. Police said it was not necessary since Dobbins still has the gift cards. 

As of Wednesday, May 4, the car was no longer being sold online.

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