• Orange Park woman loses $1,500 in gift card scam

    By: Jenna Bourne , Action News Jax

    Updated:

    ORANGE PARK, Fla. - An Orange Park woman was scammed out of $1,500 she had purchased in gift cards.

    It’s a scam so many people have fallen for, eBay Motors put out an online warning.

    “I was devastated. I was hoping that I’d see this car in the driveway,” Monica Acosta said.

    It sounded like a great deal: $1,500 for a 2003 Toyota Camry that Acosta saw on Craigslist’s Jacksonville page.

    The seller, who called herself Vanesa Thomas, told Acosta, “My child of only 26 years died four months ago in a bike accident, the car belonged to my son and it brings me bad memories and that’s the reason I want to sell it ASAP.”

    “That just broke my heart because I’ve got two boys, 22 and 18,” Acosta said.

    Then Acosta got an email with an invoice from what she thought was eBay Motors.

    The invoice had eBay’s logo, detailed instructions on how to pay, and how to get a refund if you’re not satisfied.

    But a closer look at the email address revealed it didn’t come from an eBay.com domain; it came from “support@ebay-motors-protection.com.”

    Acosta faxed eBay gift card information to the number she got from that email. 

    The car never arrived.

    “The transaction in question DID NOT take place on eBay Motors or through eBay checkout. Unfortunately, scam artists will list vehicles for sale on fake landing pages, Craigslist or other non-eBay trading sites, and promise eBay’s protection as a means of completing the scam. Criminals often exploit well-known, trusted brand names like eBay to attract consumers and then lure them onto fake websites and into fraudulent transactions. We always encourage all our shoppers to be cautious when they aren’t purchasing a vehicle directly through the eBay website. We provide tips for safe car shopping and warning signs to look out for scams on the eBay Motors Security Center page,” an eBay spokesman told Action News Jax in a statement.

    eBay’s online warning said you can only buy an eBay Motors car on its website, not through websites like Craigslist.

    Red flags also include asking victims to pay with eBay gift cards and emails that don’t come from the domain “eBay.com.”

    An eBay spokesman recommended that victims work with local law enforcement and file an IC3 report. He said eBay has no way of taking direct action since the transactions did not occur on the eBay platform, but asked users receiving emails about scams or fraudulent sales to forward them to spoof@ebay.com

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