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Fake motorhome eBay listing cons buyers out of thousands

A motorhome eBay listing, which has now been taken down, has been reported to police and Action Fraud after a woman was scammed out of £10,000, the Liverpool Echo reports.

Eileen Allen from the Wirral has since been in contact with the motorhome’s legitimate owner, after seeing the same vehicle listed for sale on Auto Trader.

He claims he reported the listing to eBay “several times” on Thursday, April 27, but the post wasn’t taken down until the following evening.

The nan of five told the ECHO: “I thought I might as well buy something and enjoy my life. I’m 63 this year.

“This is a dream, I’ve always wanted one of these. It’s heartbreaking really.”

Eileen initially replied to the £27,500 listing for a 2017 Elddis Evolution 196 asking if the seller would take £24,000, and after no reply she upped her offer to £26,000.

She added: “The seller said she’d had a dealer on the phone but would rather sell it to a person to get more enjoyment out of it.

"She said if I paid 30 per cent it would be mine and she'd send me an email.

"I didn't think for one minute I was being duped. I said I'd pay as long as she sent me a receipt."

The initial payment of £7,800, to a bank account under the name 'Jemma Hancox', took longer than expected to process.

Eileen said the seller called her the next day crying and told her she would have to give her the money back as she was "scared" the remainder of the funds wouldn't go through on the day they had arranged for collection.

Eileen agreed to pay a further £2,200 in order to secure the motorhome, which she said she would pick up on Sunday, April 30, from an address in Sheffield.

Eileen added: "She had the answers at the click of a finger.

"We actually went looking for places to store it. She answered the phone every time, told me there was a tracker on it and even what insurer to use."

Alarm bells started to ring for Eileen on the evening of April 28.

She said: "After I asked about the tracker she rang me back and said the £2,200 payment didn't go through. I said it had, it had left my bank account.

"I rang the bank and while I was on the phone they said 'do you think it's genuine?'

"I started to suspect her because she was insisting the money hadn't gone through.

Related: No evidence Facebook motorhome ‘giveaway’ is real, watchdog warns

"I left a voicemail saying I'd pay the full amount and she rang me back straight away. I told her I knew it was a scam and she put the phone down."

Eileen has also been in touch with a family in Northern Ireland who transferred the same eBay seller £6,500 to secure the motorhome.

Mum of three Jacqueline Crawford, 43, from County Antrim, told the ECHO her family are "devastated"

She added: "We've been looking for a campervan for a couple of years. I fell in love with it."

After responding to the eBay listing, Jacqueline carried out some due diligence and eventually sent a £1,000 deposit to 'Jemma Hancox', although they were different bank details to the ones used by Eileen.

The seller then pressed for a further £5,500 as 'another dealer in Ireland was interested'.

Jacqueline said: "I asked her for photo ID and a receipt for the deposit.

"They sent me the name, address, registration - they were so, so, so convincing. No matter what I asked she had the answer. I did a vehicle check and everything was matching up."

Jacqueline was shown a VC5, or log book, for the motorhome, which was registered to an address in Sheffield.

She was unable to send the full deposit in one go due to limits on her account and the seller called Jacqueline crying the following day, just as she had with Eileen. Under pressure, the family transferred the £5,500.

Related: Director of Scottish motorhome dealership defrauded customers of nearly £350,000

Jacqueline said: "I sent her daughter an email and asked for the photo ID and receipt.

"There was no response. I rang, got no answer.

"I called on the Saturday and the phone was off. I kept thinking 'what am I going to do? We've lost this money'."

Both women reported the ads - which have since been taken down - to eBay and are now in touch with each other.

An eBay spokesperson said: "We strongly recommend that anyone buying a vehicle on eBay view it in person before transferring any money.

"In the very rare instance that one of our users is a victim of a scam, we advise them to report it immediately to their local police force, Action Fraud and eBay.

"We have dedicated teams that work closely with law enforcement, and they can investigate reported sellers and provide evidence to police as requested."

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1 comment

Derek Osborne May 7, 2023 at 6:42 am

I have reported loads of these scammers to eBay but they still persist.
To avoid a scammer do this, click on the listing and go down to sellers other items. If there are loads of pictures of other motorhomes outside different houses it’s a scammer.
Buying a motorhome is an old school thing, you arrange to view it, you view it outside the house it’s registered to, you pay cash or bank transfer while with the vehicle and you drive it away with the paperwork.
You do not pay for it and leave it with them for a new MOT to collect a few days later, another scam.
Never send a deposit to view it. secure it or any other reason. When you ring to enquire about a van tell them you don’t do deposits and they will put the phone down.

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