Holden Beach, NC (WWAY)– These days, most people know to be careful when selling something on craigslist.
But now there’s a scam going around that just may tug on your heartstrings enough to make you fall for it. That’s why one Brunswick County man is warning others of a new scam.
Michael Robeson lost his job nearly three years ago. Times are tough. He repairs and sells antique peddle cars for a little cash, but that doesn’t go far. The time has come to sell a prized possession, his 1999 Pontiac Firebird.
“My selling this car was supposed to be a way of paying my bills and making sure my four year old has a Christmas, which is tough,” Robeson explained.
He posted an ad on craigslist. Eventually, he got an email from someone named Jenny Lewinksy, who said she was a Marine working at sea. She wanted to buy the car as a Christmas gift for her father. The only problem? No access to a bank. So, Lewinsky asked for Robeson’s paypal email address.
“Naturally I was wanting to reach out somewhat to the military aspect of it and I was trying to help them out as much as I could,” said Robeson.
Robeson contacted paypal and says he was reassured it was safe to give out this information. Soon after, he got an email, allegedly from paypal.
“I get this email stating the money had been withdrawn from her account in the amount of $5,300, which was $700 above asking price of my vehicle.”
Since the alleged Marine couldn’t come pick up the car, that extra money was to pay for someone to come pick it up for her. Here comes the scam. Robeson was to Western Union $700 to her pickup agent in Washington. Once that was done, paypal would release the funds into his account. Robeson called paypal back and they told him it was a scam. They never sent that email.
“I hate to see, this time of year, anybody being ripped off and for them to portray themselves as a serviceperson, I mean that’s giving U.S. troops a bad name,” Robeson said.
Robeson never sent any money, so he wasn’t scammed. He also called the Brunswick County Sheriff’s Department to report this.
Keep in mind, there’s also a warning on craigslist to deal locally with folks you can meet in person – following this rule can help avoid 99% of scam attemps.