Buyer beware of online scams
Doug Fowler was looking forward to traveling and camping with his wife, Sheila in the 2004 Fleetwood Pioneer 19T he had just purchased online for $800 using eBay gift cards. Pictures and information from the internet showed it to be in pristine condition and on a military base in Nebraska. Fowler fell for what is called the Military Logistic Department Scam. He explains, “I was looking for a camper and I went to CraigsList looking for campers and I found one in Little Rock. And it was something like I was looking for so I sent a request for more information on it. I requested an address so I could come and look at it. I never got any response for a few days. The next time I went to look on CraigsList it was gone.” After the camper had been removed, the next morning he got a text message from the seller claiming to be a female Army sergeant asking if he was still interested in the camper. “I told them I was interested and if it was as stated I’d like to come and look at it. And if it was the way the pictures showed, I’d take it,” Fowler explained. The sergeant told Doug that she was on maneuvers and getting ready to leave the country and that was the reason for the low price to ensure a speedy sale. She said she was going to be gone for a year and she didn’t want to pay the rental on the lot where it was sitting.
Doug further explained, “So I emailed back and she said it would have to be handled through eBay so I’d have a protection in case it wasn’t as stated. But she said the service pays for moving one trailer a year and she had one left, free; and they’d ship it to my door in Corning, Arkansas. I had seven days to accept it and then after seven days she’d get her money from eBay. But if I didn’t want it, let them know and they’d pick it up.” This is the basic premise of the typical Military Logistic Department Scam. Doug thought, “You can’t beat a deal like that. If it ain’t what I want, I don’t have to go look at it.” Fowler got instructions from the seller that appeared to be from eBay on how to pay for the camper. There was even a support number which he called to verify. “They answered it as eBay Support Department, but it was not. It was this spoofing company,” he said. Fowler thought he was talking to eBay’s operator. “She said, “Oh yeah, it’s for a Fleetwood camper just like you’re talking to eBay. And I thought, well, okay, I guess I’ll go that route.” They asked him for his transaction number and he gave it to them. “They said for my protection I’d have to send gift cards. They said they wouldn’t pay until I accepted it. I said, ‘Well, I can’t beat that. If I don’t like it, I just won’t accept it.’”
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