eBay Motors Scam: How To Spot and Get Your Money Back

If you’re in the market for a new or used vehicle, one online listing site you may be looking at is eBay Motors. If so, you should be aware of the existence of eBay Motors scams and know how to spot them to avoid losing thousands of dollars.

What Is an eBay Motors Scam?

eBay Motors is a subsection of eBay for buying and selling new and used vehicles and auto parts. Unfortunately, wherever large sums of money are involved, there are scammers, and eBay Motors is no exception. Scammers post fake car-for-sale ads on the site to try and trick victims into paying for a car that they will never actually receive.

How Does an eBay Motors Scam Work?

In an eBay Motors scam the scammers post a car for sale on eBay and make false promises related to the sale. Most commonly, the fraudsters will offer you an eBay protection plan and try to get you to send them money in advance via an unapproved payment method, before you even see the car in person. Then, they simply disappear with your money and you never get to see the car, let alone receive it. This type of eBay Motors scam is also known as an eBay Buyers Protection Program scam.

Is the eBay Buyers Motor Protection a Scam in and of Itself?

eBay Buyers Motor Protection is a vehicle purchase protection coverage offered by eBay to protect against certain losses associated with vehicle sale fraud. The coverage is legit, but it can only be provided directly by eBay, and no independent seller has the authority to offer you the eBay Motors Buyer Protection Program themselves. For legitimate sales conducted through eBay Motors, eBay covers up to $100,000 through its Vehicle Protection Program.

eBay Motors IS a Legit Site, But Scams Still Exist

eBay Motors is a legitimate site for buying a new vehicle, and you can definitely find some great deals on the site. However, it’s important to be aware of the risks and know how to spot an eBay Motors scam to protect yourself.

Keep in mind that eBay does not sell cars for people, and that it is just a platform for facilitating sales between independent parties. As such, eBay is not responsible for listings, and there is always a possibility that a for-sale listing is fake. Scammers steal photos and information from real new or used car ads and upload them to eBay Motors to make the fake listings look very believable.

The fraudsters will communicate back and forth with you, answering questions you have and gaining your trust, but they typically won’t show you the car — because they don’t actually have it. In recent times, scammers have been known to use the COVID-19 pandemic as an excuse to not show interested buyers a vehicle in person

How To Spot an eBay Car Sales Scam

The Payment Method Is in eBay Gift Cards or Via Another Dodgy Payment Form

Scammers often ask for payment in eBay gift cards or another alternative payment form, such as cryptocurrency. They prefer these types of payments for eBay vehicle scams because they are untraceable. If you’re interested in a vehicle on eBay motors and the sellers ask you for one of these sketchy, unapproved eBay motors payment methods, it’s a red flag.

The Vehicle Price Is Very, Very Low

If the price of a car on eBay seems too good to be true, it probably is. eBay motors scammers use low vehicle prices to lure their victims in, who think they are going to get an amazing deal on a vehicle. You can look up a car’s Blue Book value to get an idea of how much the vehicle you’re interested in should cost. If the listing price on eBay Motors is significantly lower, it could very well be a fake eBay Motors listing.

They Guarantee You Are Under the eBay Buyers Protection From the First Round of Negotiations

As we touched on earlier, fraudsters try to trick you into a false sense of security by claiming that you are covered against any type of scam by the eBay Buyers Protection Program. Remember that this fraud protection can only be given by eBay itself, and not by individual sellers.

The Reviews Online Are a Giveaway

Always type the name of a seller into Google and add the keyword “review” to pull up reviews or complaints from past customers. If there are any bad reviews of the seller, this is a dead giveaway that they are fraudsters and you shouldn’t proceed to do business with them.

You Are Unable To Inspect the Car Before

Scammers often pull images from real vehicle-for-sale ads and use them to run an eBay Motors scam. Since they aren’t really in possession of the car they are “selling,” they won’t let you inspect the car in person before you pay for it. Real sellers will make the effort to let you see a car in person in order to close the deal.

Their Emails Are Not Sent From the Official eBay Domain

All communications via eBay Motors should go through the eBay platform itself, and thus emails should have the official eBay domain on them. If a seller is sending you emails from another address, it could be a sign that they are trying to hide their actions and are conducting eBay car sales scams. Emails from scammers may also contain many spelling errors and grammatical mistakes or use overly formal, awkward sounding language.

Tips for Buying a Car Safely Online, To Avoid Being Scammed

Don’t Send Payments Through Wire Transfers or Gift Cards

To avoid getting scammed out of thousands of dollars on eBay motors, never send a payment for a vehicle via wire transfers or gift cards. Stick to secure in-person payment methods, such as cash, a cashier’s check, or a personal check. Make sure that you can drive the car away after making a payment to avoid getting scammed.

Check the Background of the Seller

Do your research by Googling a seller’s name and add keywords like “scam” or “complaint” to see if they have been flagged for fraud or have some kind of criminal record. You can also check their profiles on social media to make sure they are a real person. If you find anything that looks sketchy, or if it seems like they’re using a fake name, don’t do business with the seller.

Always Inspect the Car in Person and Check Its History Report

Never pay for a vehicle that you haven’t seen in person. You should always be able to see a car and test it out to make sure everything is in working order before you agree to purchase the vehicle. Ideally, you should inspect a vehicle with a reputable mechanic or someone who is knowledgeable about such things in order to ensure you are getting what’s advertised. During your inspection, make sure that the vehicle’s VIN number matches its history report and all of its legal documents.

What To Do If You’ve Been Scammed On eBay Motors

If you’ve fallen victim to an eBay motors scam, or any of the other types of eBay scams out there, the fund recovery specialists at PayBack Ltd can help you get your money back. Our team of fund recovery experts has dealt with hundreds of cases just like yours and knows what tactics to use to increase the odds of successfully retrieving your stolen funds.

Contact us today to schedule your consultation.

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