Newspaper article Fraser Coast Chronicle (Hervey Bay, Australia)

Maryb'h Man Pays $12,000 for Ghost Car

Newspaper article Fraser Coast Chronicle (Hervey Bay, Australia)

Maryb'h Man Pays $12,000 for Ghost Car

Article excerpt

Byline: Jay Fielding

Craig Griffiths is going nowhere fast after paying almost $12,000 for a car that doesn't exist.

The Maryborough man is not alone with at least three other people also thinking they'd snatched the bargain.

Mr Griffiths has gone public because he doesn't want anyone else to fall victim to a similar scam.

An internet scammer had advertised the silver 2004 Holden Clupsport after hacking into a legitimate account to use as a front on auction site eBay.

"His advertisement read that he only wanted $11,700 for this vehicle, as he had a few debts to sort out," Mr Griffiths said.

"It also stated that the car could be paid for on the eBay Purchase Protection Program," he said.

"This involves sending money through to a bank account, then emailing the money transfer receipt to a so-called eBay email address, which was obviously linked to the scammer's email, and looked like a very legitimate eBay email address, to say that the payment had been made, and then he could arrange for the vehicle to be shipped to my address.

"It was a bit suspicious that I hadn't had a response from the eBay email that I sent the transfer receipt to, with a confirmation that they had received my email, and were instructing the seller to begin shipment.

The fake seller then emailed saying the car would be delivered in three days - but it never was.

After contacting eBay, Mr Griffiths said he was not the legitimate buyer and they could not help him.

His wife later emailed the owner of the legitimate eBay account which had been hacked, who told her three people had paid for the non-existent car.

eBay spokesperson Daniel Feiler advised people buying cars to act differently than most online shoppers.

He said it was essential to view items like cars, motorcycles, boats and caravans in person to avoid falling victim to what he called a "grey market". …

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