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TCSO: Beware of scams targeting online vehicle shoppers

6 credit card scams and how to avoid them
Posted at 3:40 PM, Apr 13, 2021
and last updated 2021-04-13 18:17:23-04

TULSA, Okla. — The Tulsa County Sheriff’s Office warns the public to be aware of scams targeting online vehicle buyers.

In the last week, deputies said two people filed reports and lost money while trying to purchase vehicles from buyers online.

They said the first victim located a car she wanted to buy online. The seller required $1,800 to purchase the vehicle and have it delivered. The victim bought $1,800 worth of gift cards and emailed the card numbers the email given to them.

The buyer should have gotten the car on March 24, but it never arrived. When the victim contacted the website she found out the email address where she sent the gift card numbers was not associated with their website. The cards had already been cashed out.

The second victim found a truck on a different website. Detectives said the seller’s profile indicated she lived in Lawrence, Kansas. The victim offered to purchase the truck, and they sent him a link to what looked like finance website. The victim purchased $1,600 worth of gifts cards and emailed the gift card numbers to the seller.

The victim got suspicious when the seller said he needed to purchase another $1,200 worth of gift cards to cover the shipping cost of the truck, according to detectives. When the victim contacted the website, he learned the company never requires payment via gift card. The cards had already been cashed out.

Detectives don’t know if these two cases are connected. They warn online shoppers to be cautious.

A legitimate seller will never ask you to:

  • Pay for a vehicle using gifts cards
  • Provide the gift card numbers to the seller before taking possession of the vehicle

Detectives said once the scammer has gift card numbers, they can instantly cash in the value of those gift cards, and there’s no way for the victim to get their money back.

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