Phoenix veteran loses $1,000 in eBay vehicle scam

The seller said the truck was being sold through eBay and claimed Angel could only buy the truck using eBay gift cards.
Updated: Jun. 28, 2022 at 5:45 PM MST
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PHOENIX (3TV/CBS 5) -- Angel Lebron enjoys zipping around in his little Mercedes coupe. But it only holds two people, so there’s not a lot he can take with him when he drives. “You don’t do a lot of grocery shopping with that car, do you?” On Your Side’s Gary Harper jokingly asked. “Not much,” Angel said.

So, when Angel used his smartphone to look for a second, bigger car, he was excited when he came across a pickup truck for sale. It had a rock bottom price of only $1,000 because the seller claimed to be in the military and needed to sell the truck before being deployed. “It was about a $1,000, and I bought into the story that she needed to get out of town rather quickly, and I thought the price was rather cheap,” Angel said.

The seller, who was actually a scammer, said the truck was being sold through eBay and claimed Angel could only buy the truck using eBay gift cards. So, Angel went to Safeway and purchased five eBay cards at $200 a piece for a total of $1,000. It should be noted that a Safeway manager questioned Angel about his purchase, telling him there are many scams involving eBay gift cards. Angel says he told the manager he didn’t believe it was a scam and went through with the purchase.

Angel then called the scammer, believing the truck sale was legitimate, and told them he had purchased those eBay cards. That’s when a strange request was made. “They wanted me to scratch off the back of the cards and read it to them over the phone,” he explained.

He didn’t know it then, but when Angel revealed those secret numbers, he had just been scammed. Providing those numbers is as good as eBay cash, and all $1,000 was immediately redeemed.

Angel says it’s a bitter pill to swallow. As a military veteran, he thought he was getting a great deal and helping out someone in the military. “They portrayed themselves as a veteran, and you don’t know. You just don’t know,” he said.

Remember, gift cards might be a good idea to give as gifts. But if you’re ever asked to use gift cards like eBay, Amazon, or others in order to purchase something, you’re most likely getting involved in a scam.