Craigslist Car Scam Affects Local Man

Man Avoids Scam While Trying To Buy Car For Son

A local man who turned to Craigslist looking to get a deal on a used car got a scam instead.

Gilbert Mello was trying to buy a car for his 19-year-old son Anthony. So he turned to Craigslist, where he found a great deal on a tricked-out Honda, listed as being sold overseas by an apparent-soldier who need to get rid of it before he was deployed.

Mello's older son is a Marine, currently serving in Afghanistan, so he wanted to help out the apparent soldier, who said he was stationed in Hawaii, and was trying to sell his car in Madrid, Spain, where his brother was living, before they were both deployed to Afghanistan.

But Mello got wary that it may be a scam when the soldier told him to wire money through Western Union, and pay just $1,700 to buy and ship a Honda Civic with a BMW conversion kit, but claimed it was all being tracked through eBay Motor's secure system. He also said he could have the car delivered from Spain to California in just three days.

The problem was, eBay uses PayPal, a more secure online payment system where the transaction can be tracked, and the seller can be held responsible if the sold item is not delivered.

Mello said he talked to representatives with Western Union and eBay, who each told him this was a confirmed Craigslist scam that is being investigated by the FBI.

Mello filed a complaint with the FBI, and said a representative told him the people running this scam are making up to $2,000,000 a day from people who wire money to them.

Mello said he and his son will now go through eBay Motors to buy a car locally.

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