THE story of a Gower tree surgeon who lost £5,000 on a pick-up truck he "bought" on the internet has prompted Post readers to share their online scam experiences.
Jeff Gibbon, of Penclawdd, contacted the "seller" via eBay's classified ad section and ended up transferring the money into a bank account, as reported in the Post this week.
He thought this person was sending bona fide emails, which had eBay branding and have been seen by the Post. But the Mitsubishi L200 truck never materialised, and Mr Gibbon alerted the authorities.
Post reader Helen England, of Sketty Park, said she could understand how gutted Mr Gibbon felt after she said she bought two mobile phones in succession on eBay, neither of which worked.
She said she did not receive any refund from the sellers, despite assurances otherwise, and would steer clear of eBay from now on.
"These people have closed their eBay accounts, opened new ones and are selling the same items," she said, adding that she feared other people may fall foul of this scam. "It's absolutely devastating," she said.
Graham Colwill, meanwhile, said he was tempted by an eBay advert for a Volvo estate for his son, but became suspicious when he could not locate the seller's address. "They said they lived in Ogmore Vale and were moving to Scotland," he said. "I said I wanted to see the car, but they said they only dealt through eBay's 'guaranteed purchase scheme'."
Another reader, Keith Clements, of Llangyfelach, said he was drawn to an advert for a Toyota Auris on internet classified ad site Gumtree. He replied, and said he was given a plausible story that the "seller" — a Jessica Jones — was a recent divorcee now living in Spain who faced the extra expense of registering her car overseas.
Alarm bells started ringing, he said, when he was advised that the £2,000 for the car should be transferred by Western Union to a representative in Madrid.
A spokesman for eBay said criminal activity was not tolerated on its website and that it worked closely with law enforcement authorities. He said the "seller" who apparently conned Mr Gibbon had been suspended, and that eBay would co-operate fully with any police investigation.
He added: "Thousands of these sales complete successfully every day, but it's important to remember to stay safe by following the guidelines on our eBay Safety Centre."