Recently, a friend emailed inquiring about paying via Western Union on eBay motors. Apparently, the seller provided a non-Western Union address for the money to be wired and my friend was smart enough to realize something wasn’t right. She emailed asking what I thought and my initial response was PayPal is the ONLY method I’d personally use if an electronic payment was required since they provide a buyer protection program.
A quick Internet search confirmed my suspicions, “eBay does not allow MoneyGram or Western Union as payment methods, so any instructions that suggest using these payment options are scams.”
eBay provided the following Fake Money Gram example that has been circulating from Craigslist (click here to view). Scammers go to great lengths attempting to disguise their scam. Here is a public service announcement from the FBI which provides information about how you can recognize a scam and ways to safeguard yourself.
eBay also provides safe online car buying tips, you can review those here. Again, I want to highlight the following quote from that link:
“Never send payments via wire services. Never use Western Union, MoneyGram or other wire services—bank to bank transfers are okay. If you plan to pay in cash, do so in person and obtain a receipt.”
If you experience something similar, report it here!
- Forward suspicious emails to firstname.lastname@example.org
- Report the crime to Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3)