HOQUIAM, Wash. - Chris LaDue thought he found a good deal on a used car. But after spending $11,000 on a SUV he's still waiting for, he's having his doubts.
"I'd love to be able to trust everybody," said LaDue, "But you just can't trust sight unseen."
Hoquiam police said Ladue and another man were both bilked out of thousands of dollars within the last month in what appear to be cases known as "spoofing." In both cases, the shoppers went looking for cars on craigslist.com.
The victims told police they started e-mailing the sellers, who eventually suggested they work through an eBay account.
LaDue said he then received an e-mail that appeared to be from eBay.
"Everything looks official," said LaDue as he showed us his e-mails. "Right down to the eBay logo."
But eBay had no connection to the e-mail.
When LaDue thought he was wiring the money through an account backed by eBay, he was wrong. He's not expecting to get his money back.
"It would be nice," said LaDue, "But it doesn't look like it, not from that person."
An eBay spokesperson said shoppers should not trust an e-mail just because it includes the eBay logo or the return e-mail address appears to be from eBay.
The spokesperson said eBay is only involved with sales of items posted on eBay.com.
Anyone who receives an e-mail that appears to be from eBay should forward it to firstname.lastname@example.org to have it checked out, said the spokesperson.
Kristin Alexander, a Media Relations Manager for the Washington State Attorney General's Office. said scams involving wire transfer of funds are "rampant."