ORLANDO, Fla. — Kim Gwyn wanted a bigger car, pickup truck, or SUV, and he told Channel 9 that his wife found one on Facebook Marketplace.
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“She sent me a picture. It was a Toyota. Beautiful vehicle,” he said.
Gwyn says the seller had a sad story to go with it. “The lady comes back to us … ‘Well, my husband just died and I’m being deployed and I have to get rid of it because all I do is cry every time I look at it,’” he said.
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He says he almost sent her money, but he was scrolling through Facebook Marketplace and noticed the same photos of the truck for sale all over the country. Facebook says sellers can only list their items for one location.
“This is a no-brainer, so I hollered down (to my wife), ‘Forget it. Not happening,’” he said.
The seller had also mentioned she was with a medical team in the military and she didn’t want to store the vehicle, and that eBay was somehow involved.
It’s hard to say for sure whether it was legitimate or a scam because Gwyn cut ties before sending money, but Action 9′s Jason Stoogenke did find multiple news reports in other states warning consumers about sellers with this same backstory, where buyers allegedly did lose money.
“The old phrase, ‘If it’s too good to be true, it is,’ that’s the case. That’s something people should realize when they’re trying to buy things,” Gwyn told Stoogenke.
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If you’re shopping for a car on any social media platform:
- Never send money without seeing the car in person.
- Be suspicious if the seller wants you to pay using gift cards.
- Ask for the VIN to ensure the car matches the year, make, and model the seller is advertising. If the seller doesn’t have it, gives you the wrong one, or ghosts you, that should scare you off.
- Test drive a car before buying it.
- Take it to a mechanic you trust before buying it.
- Check the vehicle’s history on AutoCheck and CARFAX. If there is a fee, see if the seller will pay for it.
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Click here for information on how to report questionable sellers and buyers to Facebook.
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