Sales of campers and boats are soaring this summer as more travelers want to reduce the risk of catching COVID-19 while traveling. Unfortunatley, some of the best deals on used models are no deal at all.
Consumer Reporter John Matarese has a scam warning so you don't waste your money.
In this year of COVID-19 many people are looking for ways to avoid crowds. So buying a boat or camper might sound like a great option as long as you avoid getting scammed.
Tracey Beers is a single mom and watercolor artist who wanted a way to spend more time outdoors.
"We like to camp and fish and all that stuff," she said.
Tracy's dream was to take her kids boating and camping this summer to avoid the risk of COVID-19. But the problem was prices at boat dealers were too high. So she turned to Facebook Marketplace where she found a lot of better deals.
There she spotted this 2011 pontoon boat for just $1,800, along with a camper for only $1,000. So she messaged the seller asking why the price was so low.
Tracey said the seller said: "Her husband had passed away a month ago, and it was too many memories, and they needed to get rid of it as soon as possible."
That made sense to Tracey. Also giving her confidence: the seller was using eBay to handle the transaction with a request for eBay gift cards as payment. The contract promised eBay's protection.
"They said we're not going to give the person the money until the product is delivered," said Tracey.
But after spending almost $3,000 on gift cards the seller ghosted her!
"The number was changed. It was disconnected."
Tracey had fallen victim to what's called the Facebook Marketplace Scam. The ad had been stolen, then reposted at a much lower price. That 2011 pontoon boat for $1,800? We found the same model for $18,000.
Whether it is a boat, camper, or car, be suspicious of anything that seems too cheap especially if you can't see it in person.