ON YOUR SIDE: Tractor scam surfaces on Craigslist, Facebook Marketplace and eBay

Published: Oct. 8, 2020 at 6:31 PM CDT
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SPRINGFIELD, Mo. (KY3) - If you scroll on Craigslist, Facebook Marketplace or eBay, be aware of this scam.

A woman in Billings thought she found a great deal on a tractor, but it was a big lie.

She lost $2,000.

“I decided to tell people, because I have to step out of my embarrassment and out of my shame,” said Darlene Eck as she laughed.

Eck says she knows what you’re thinking.

“People will say you should have known. You are so stupid. They’re right. That’s exactly how I feel, but I just want others not to do it either,” she said.

Darlene and her husband started a garden. They borrowed a neighbor’s tractor. Then one day, while looking on Craigslist, she spotted one for sale. A 2013 John Deere 4120 with a loader and backhoe for $14,000.

“It was the kind of tractor he wanted. The size he wanted. He has been looking for a really long time,” Eck said.

The description read it’s in excellent condition and was recently serviced. She emailed the so-called seller. She was told the tractor is in Nebraska. The seller said he was about to transfer to the Air Force Base in Pearl Harbor.

“It was more believable because he was in the military. He claimed he was,” Eck said.

Eck was instructed to use her debit card and download the Cash App. Then send a $2,000 deposit through eBay Buyer Protection Program. It was sent as a Bitcoin Purchase.

“I don’t know what’s a Bitcoin. I’ve never heard of a Bitcoin,” she said.

Bitcoin is basically digital money. Eck made a three-way call to the so-called seller with her husband on the line. Her husband caught on quick.

“Darlene, this guy is a scam. The guy heard him say he’s a scammer. I thought Oh my God,” she said.

Eck canceled her debit card. Then called the real eBay, which confirmed the invoice number she got is bogus.

Darlene filed a complaint with Attorney General. It was transferred to the Federal Trade Commission.

Typically, what happens here is a swindler will take a legit ‘for sale’ listing and steal the photos and description then make one of their own. It’s a fake listing.

If you found an item on Craigslist or Facebook Marketplace and the seller wants you to use the eBay Buyer Protection Program, use caution. Also be skeptical of low ball offers and sob stories from the seller.

See the item in person before sending money. Meet at a safe place, like a police station. If you’re shopping on eBay check the seller’s history and feedback.

Copyright 2020 KY3. All rights reserved.

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