Sharon Hopkins of Marble Hill, Missouri works in the finance industry. So when she decided to sell her vintage car on eBay, she took some extra steps to make sure that the sale was legit.
"It's a 1978 Chevrolet Camaro", Hopkins explained. "So I put it on eBay to sell. There's a good market out there for those type of cars."
Hopkins posted her car on the site. The next day, she received several poorly worded emails.
"I saw your post on eBay.com today and wise to buy the unit," Hopkins read from one of the emails.
The contact from one potential buyer kept coming. Hopkins says he wanted to move quickly, and actually wanted to send her $5,000 more than her asking price.
"And wanted me to send the money on to another party in Colorado so they could ship the car," she recalled.
Hopkins checked out the Mississippi company named on the check and learned it does exist. So she decided to call.
"They said, 'Yes, this is something going on because we've had four or five of these type of calls today,'" Hopkins said.
There were actually three legitimate parts of what turned out to be a phony transaction: The company name on the check, the business name on the FedEx package, and the FedEx tracking number belonging to a third company.
"Anything that you're selling on eBay, if someone is too eager to give you money and wants to do it off the eBay process and not through the bidding process on eBay, don't do it," Hopkins advised.
Hopkins says she actually got two other suspicious email offers on top of the one profiled here. She turned over all three addresses to eBay's fraud line.
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