Petaluma man loses $5,400 in online scam
Published: Friday, October 7, 2011 at 10:05 a.m.
Last Modified: Friday, October 7, 2011 at 10:05 a.m.
A Petaluma resident lost $5,400 in an online scam when he paid for a vehicle that he never received.
In August, the unnamed victim answered an ad on Craigslist for a 2006 Toyota Tacoma pickup truck for sale, according to Petaluma Police Lt. Tim Lyons. The purported seller responded by e-mail and instructed the buyer to transfer $5,400 to a bank account in Valencia, Spain.
The seller stated that the vehicle would be shipped from Ohio and arrive in Petaluma in September. But when vehicle did not arrive by the end of September, the Petaluma man attempted to contact the seller, but was unable to do so.
He then contacted eBay Motors, which the seller had said was brokering the sale. But eBay Motors said they had no record.
The victim contacted Petaluma Police this week to report the incident, but was told that there was little that local law enforcement could do.
“They do a great job of setting up the sale, including a photo of the vehicle in a nice neighborhood so it looks authentic and taking a photo of the vehicle identification number so it looks official,” said Lyons. “But it’s a total scam setup.
“Usually they use a fake e-mail addresses, and if you try and find their account through Craigslist, it turns out to be a fictitious account that they’ve set up.”
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