Sheriff’s Office warns of area eBay scams

News Release, St. Mary’s County Sheriff’s Office

The St. Mary’s County Sheriff’s Office wants to alert citizens to various eBay scams that have affected several residents recently.  The most recent scam reported to the Sheriff’s Office is the buyer offers to overpay for an item for sale, and the scammer will then send a fraudulent cashier’s check or personal check.  

Typically, by this point, the item has already been sent to the scammer.  A variation of this scam is to request some of the extra money sent to be returned or forwarded to another party. 

When selling vehicles on eBay, another common scam is the buyer will send the seller a check to cover shipping costs.  The seller will wire money as directed to cover the shipping costs, and the scammer will then decline to purchase the vehicle.  The seller sends the remaining funds back as directed and ultimately the seller discovers the check was fraudulent after having sent the money to the scammer.

Other similar scams involve fraudulent checks wherein the sender requests gift cards are purchased and the serial numbers forwarded to them.

A safe waiting period for any deposited check to be fully verified is seven business days; more than seven business days may be required for banks outside the United States. 

Tips for selling items on eBay:

  • Don’t send the item before you receive payment or before the transaction has gone through
  • PayPal is an electronic option and produces digital logs of the transactions
  • Keep all dealings as a seller on eBay where it can be monitored
  • Refuse any requests to bypass eBay or cut auctions short for a “buy it now” price

For additional information and proper buying and selling of items on eBay please go to www.eBay.com.

Anyone who has been the victim of an eBay scam and wishes to make a report can contact the St. Mary’s County Sheriff’s Office at (301) 475-8008.


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