Woman scammed on Jeep purchase

OKEECHOBEE — A woman is out $2,800 after a scam artist told her to buy eBay gift cards to purchase a Jeep, and she did.

Okeechobee County Sheriff’s Deputy Stephen Paladino spoke to the complainant on Feb. 14. She told him she attempted to buy a 2002 Jeep Wrangler off eBay Motors for $1,800 and had messaged a woman named Laura Hosmer on Feb. 10 asking about the vehicle. She said they wrote back and forth about the vehicle and she finally decided to buy it. Hosmer told her she would need to pay for the Jeep with eBay gift cards, so the complainant purchased three $500 cards and one $300 card, and gave Hosmer the information from the cards. She then got an email from eBay Motors telling her she owed $1,000 for insurance, so she bought another $1,000 in gift cards to pay for the insurance and sent that information to Hosmer. She was told the Jeep would be delivered on Feb. 14.

On Feb. 14, she called eBay and spoke with someone who told her they had no record of her paying for anything and that she had been scammed. The eBay gift cards were wiped clean. There is no way to reclaim the money on those cards.

As Detective Bill Saum said last week, “When in doubt, don’t.”

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