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Online Vehicle Sale Scam – Military Scam

Online Vehicle Sale Scam - Military Scam - The Beacon


By: Tom

Online Vehicle Sale Scam – Military Scam

Periodically we see this scam appear, and your BBB wants to let our readers know that they need to be cautious when responding to this kind of ad in any online publication. In this case, a vehicle is being offered for sale by an alleged military service member. The service member alleges that he/she is being deployed overseas and needs to sell his/her vehicle. The buyer contacts the scammer and is told to pay for the vehicle with gift cards. Once the buyer has the gift cards, he/she is instructed to send photos of the gift cards (the front and back) to the perpetrator.

Unfortunately, the buyer never hears from the scammer again.

Apparently the conman requests that the victim purchase gift cards in whatever denomination and then to photograph these cards with their phone. The fraudster obtains the information from the card and drains the card of its value.

When doing a little more research, I found suspicious looking e-mail examples involving similar offers with offers nearly $3000.00 below book. These e-mails also show trusted organizations who handle the transaction making you feel like you should be safe, but the offers aren’t sincere, and you would lose your investment. For more about this scam, visit

To report a scam, visit or to obtain a BBB Business Review or BBB Charity Report, visit where you can Start With Trust®.

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Tom is Vice President for the Tri-State Better Business Bureau. In addition to answering the needs of our accredited businesses, Tom can be seen on WEVV providing tips for businesses and consumers. He also works closely with other local media outlets to keep our community informed of marketplace issues affecting our area.