GREENDALE (WITI) — You can buy just about everything online, including a car. Before you snag that great deal for a new set of wheels — there's some important information that can steer you in the right direction.
Jason Gallitz was on the hunt for a truck and found one on Craigslist.
"It was a real nice F150 for only $1,500. It was an incredible deal," Gallitz recalled.
Gallitz e-mailed the seller who responded. The seller claimed that they were being deployed overseas and needed to sell their car quickly.
After a few e-mails back and forth, a deal was setup.
The seller said they would use eBay Motors as a third party. Gallitz then received an e-mail from what appeared to eBay Motors with payment instructions.
"I would use the Reloadit cards and then this 'eBay' would take those numbers. Once they had the money, then the truck would be shipped to me on a flatbed," Gallitz explained.
Gallitz put $1,500 on Reloadit cards and sent the information, but eBay Motors never got the money and Gallitz never got a truck -- so he reached out to the company.
"They kind of just told me straight up…you've been scammed," Gallitz said.
The scam is so common eBay Motors has a fraud alert on their blog and is working with the FBI.
eBay Motors gave FOX6's Contact 6 this statement about the issue:
"Auto shoppers can be confident in their purchase by ensuring they start and complete their transactions on trusted sites like eBay Motors and never use money wire services to send payments. When you start and end your transaction on eBay Motors, you're covered."
Gallitz learned a tough lesson.
"Never ever pay for a truck you cannot go see in person," Gallitz said.
If you're buying a car online you can spot red flags. They include:
Another good thing to keep in mind, if a deal looks too good to be true — it probably is.
If you think you've been a part of a similar scam, forward any suspicious e-mails to eBay Motors at firstname.lastname@example.org. In addition, file a complaint about the crime with the Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3).