General Crime

Thieves Defraud Auto Buyer Through Craigslist Ad

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A South San Francisco man was scammed out of $3,000 earlier this month when he tried to buy a used car online through a Craigslist ad, police said today.

The victim attempted to purchase a 2002 Toyota Tacoma for $2,000 after locating the offer on Craigslist on Oct. 2, according to a statement by police.

After responding to an email address, the victim was instructed to make an online payment through Ebay using a Green Dot Money Pak pre-paid money card, said police.

The Green Dot pre-paid cards can be purchased at any convenience store, and once a card is activated, anyone with the card’s authorization number can obtain the money placed on the card, according to police.

The victim followed directions from the seller that led to an Ebay look-alike website, and made a payment of $2,000 using Green Dot Money Pak, police said.

The victim then received an email that appeared to be from Ebay asking for another $1,000, for shipping costs. When he paid it, he received another email asking for another $1,000 payment, this time for a security payment.

At this point, the victim became suspicious and called authorities, according to the statement.

Police said each Money Pak card warns consumers to avoid giving anyone a card’s authorization number to avoid becoming a victim of fraud.

The South San Francisco Police Department is asking anyone with information about the incident to call (650) 877-8900.

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