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Loren, Attorney
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 29061
Experience:  30 years experience representing clients.
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My husband and I thought we were buying a 1996 Winnebago

Customer Question

My husband and I thought we were buying a 1996 Winnebago Brave for $2,500 from a woman in Rapid City, SD that was listed on eBay. We received an email from her that eBay would send us an email with instructions how to pay. They did and it said to purchase eBay gift cards and call the number listed for customer service. We did that and instanly the cards were drained. I got on eBay to look for something else and the exact same rv (confirmed because the pictures she sent in her email were the same as the new listing on ebay) was just listed for auction from a dealer in Ozark, MO. I instantly called eBay and filed a complaint as well as my local police department. I called the eBay number back and when I said we had a problem he hung up on me and now the number goes instantly to voicemail. The police officer also called and once he disclosed he was an officer he was hung up on and again went straight to voicemail. I researched the address that was given for the buyer and it belongs to a community center in Rapid City. I went to their website and called the number listed on that site and the guy who I talked to there was the same voice as the guy I talked to at the so called eBay number. He said he had been contacted before about the same thing. The next day I received emails from both the seller and the fake eBay that they need a deposit of $1,000 for insurance purposes. I tried to call the seller but she won't answer or call me back, same for the eBay number. I sent her an email demanding either my money back or the rv that I supposedly purchased by Monday July 18th, 2016 or I would pursue legal action. Also I researched the dealer in MO and found out he has been involved in several lawsuits. Do I have a case?
Submitted: 4 months ago.
Category: Legal
Expert:  Loren replied 4 months ago.

Good afternoon. I am Loren, a licnesed attorney, and I look forward to assisting you. I am sorry to hear of your dilemma. I realize how frustrating this is for you and I hope to provide you information which is accurate and useful, even though it may not be the news you were hoping to get.

We see this fairly often and it is a fairly common scam through Ebay. The emails with payment instructions were not, in fact, from eBay and I strongly suspect that the person is actually located in the US.

Unfortuantely, unless you know how to find these scammers in the US to serve them, all you can do is to file a police report and write off the lost money on your taxes as a casualty loss.

Ebay does not take responsibility for these scams.

Expert:  Loren replied 4 months ago.

I realize this is probably not the answer you were hoping to receive. Also, please remember that this is not a moral judgement on my part. As a professional, however, I am sometimes placed in the position of having to deliver news which is not favorable to a customer's legal position, but accurately reflects their position under the law. I hate it, but it happens and I only ask that you not penalize me with a bad or poor rating for having to deliver less than favorable news.

Customer: replied 4 months ago.
I do have an address for them
Expert:  Loren replied 4 months ago.

Then file a police report and press charges for fraud and theft by deception. If it is a valid address then you can sue them, as well.

Expert:  Loren replied 4 months ago.

Did you have further questions? Have I answered your question?