Craigslist, eBay Scam That Cost Us $3,000
By JOHN M. DERBY
Times Founding Publisher
July 4, 2018
The deal seemed too good to true. It was a 30 ft. travel
trailer for $2,000, and it was to be shipped free to California.
It was listed on Craigslist with a picture. The owner and
the trailer were in Billings, Montana. The trailer was said
to be located in an eBay warehouse, and therefore the payment
needed to be made to eBay in eBay cards.
There were lots of red flags, however, with two very reputable
firms, and pictures of the trailer inside and out, we e-mailed
to find out more about it.
It seems the owner was a woman who had just been involved
in a divorce, and the trailer had belonged to her husband.
She just wanted to get rid of it.
Everything seemed so professional. The manner of payment.
The e-mails back and forth with eBay logo on all the communication.
There was a call number listed as 1-818-287-6651. So we
called and talked to the eBay “agent.” We e-mailed
back and forth to the owner, and she seemed on the up and
Not long after we decided to buy the trailer, we were notified
that in order to have the trailer shipped, we would need
to send another $1,000 to cover the insurance for transporting
the trailer, and the seven days of inspection during which
we had an opportunity to decide if the trailer was what
we had been told it was. This money was fully refundable,
according to the information we received.
Our final payment was made, using the local Target store
to purchase the $1,000 in eBay cards.
We had never purchased eBay cards before, and did not know
how they regulated the fraudulent use of their cards.
Several days went by after the final paynment. The eBay
representative said that delivery of the trailer would be
in three days. We believed her and prepared a site on our
property to locate the trailer.
Another day went by, and we called the chat number to find
out how the shipment was going. We called 15 times that
day. No answer.
We called eBay’s head office in San Jose and they
had no record us. They had no live chat line at that number.
Then we asked if they had a problem with fraud. They said
there had been problems.
We asked what they were doing about the problem. They said
they were trying to stop it, however, they were not optimistic
about getting our money back. They took down the name and
email address of the woman, and said they would check her
The chat line phone had long since been cut off.
Our next contact was to Craigslist, and the same question
was put to them. How did they try to stop the fraudulent
use of Craigslist? While it seemed to be a problem, there
presently didn’t seem to be a solution.
This editorial is published as a warning for others who
may find things on Craigslist which are “Too Good
To Be True,” and to people who use eBay, assuming
their monetary system is safe. It is not.