I'm a vet and I think I may have been scammed, on the purchase of an automobile. I need some advise and direction as to

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Customer: I'm a vet and I think I may have been scammed, on the purchase of an automobile. I need some advise and direction as to how I may get my money back if possible.
JA: Because consumer protection law varies from place to place, can you tell me what state this is in?
Customer: I live in Michigan
JA: Have you talked to a JAG attorney about this? Or anyone in the chain of command?
Customer: No I have not , and I am not currently on active duty. honorable discharged in 1971
JA: Anything else you want the Lawyer to know before I connect you?
Customer: I attempted to purchase a automobile and I paid for it, along with Insurance to be delivered to me at my address in Michigan, I never heard back from the seller. I did reach out to the seller with an email but I never heard back
Answered by Zoey, JD in 1 min 2 years ago
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Zoey, JD
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Zoey, JD, Expert

Hi,

I'm Zoey, and I will be the lawyer assisting you today. How did you pay for the vehicle?

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Zoey, JD, Expert

This sounds like a very popular scam that we see quite a bit of. Were you led to believe this was an eBay transaction and that you'd be covered via their protection policy? If so, here's what you need to know:

There is only one way to buy an eBay item. That is to see the vehicle on www.eBay.com and bid on it and win it in the auction or at its buy-it-now, fixed price. You can't buy an "eBay" item privately off of eBay.com. You can't buy it on Facebook, Craigslist, Offerup or anywhere else. It MUST be purchased on www.eBay.com and paid for over eBay.com's own payment portal for it to be a real eBay deal and for eBay to stand behind it.

The real eBay will never insist upon payment by gift cards. You can only pay for an eBay item via PayPal on the eBay portal. Through PayPal, you can charge the vehicle to your credit card or debit your bank account.

The real eBay NEVER acts as an escrow agent between a buyer and a seller.

You are dealing with a scammer hiding behind fake documents and the name of eBay.

eBay warns of this scam here: https://pages.ebay.com/giftcard/faqs.html

And here: https://pages.motors.ebay.com/buy/security/index.html

So does the FBI:

https://www.fbi.gov/scams-and-safety/common-scams-and-crimes/online-vehicle-sale-fraud

So do individual states:

https://www.atg.wa.gov/all-consuming-blog/fbi-ebay-warn-car-sales-scam

If this describes your situation, then unfortunately, this is a job for law enforcement because unless/until someone can find your scammer and bring him to justice, you're not going to be able to recoup your losses.

If it is not an eBay matter let me know what happened and how you paid for the vehicle and I'll be happy to revise my answer.

Customer
Thanks Zoey for your feedback and valuable information. I lost $3,500 I actually thought I was buying a vehicle. and yes Zoey, I did use Ebay gift cards to pay for the vehicle. I just learned a valuable and expensive lesson. I have emails from the seller and invoices from the fake eBay. And emails with the eBay logo. I appreciate your assistance Zoey. Should I email the FBI?
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Zoey, JD, Expert

Yes. You'd report this to your police and also fill out an online report with their Internet Crime Complaint Center at https://www.ic3.gov/default.aspx and with the Federal Trade Commission at https://www.ftc.gov

I'm sorry that I didn't have better news for you.

I strive for 5-star service. Please take the time to rate my service to you by selecting 5 stars from the rating scale at the top of the page, as a rating of okay or better is how JustAnswer knows to give us Experts credit for our work.

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