Should We Buy a Truck With eBay Gift Cards? Or Is This a Scam?

Welcome to Ask Clark, a column designed to answer your financial questions, by money expert Clark Howard.

We Saw a Truck for Sale, and the Seller Wanted Us To Buy It Through eBay With Gift Cards. Is This a Scam?

Joe in Georgia asks: "We saw a Toyota truck for sale for $1,000. When we inquired, they said that they were going through eBay to protect us and them. eBay invoiced through email. The email requires us to buy five $200 eBay cards, email them the pictures [of the gift cards] with ID and they will deliver the truck. Does eBay do business like this?"

Clark’s Take on Whether You Should Pay for a Vehicle Via Gift Cards

Clark says: You definitely shouldn't buy a vehicle with gift cards.

"No, this is a scam! This isn't eBay doing business like this. This is flat-out a scammer," he says.

If you ever encounter a situation like this, Clark advises that you take the following steps to protect yourself and others.

  • Drive by the vehicle to see if it's still being advertised as such.
  • Report it to your local police department.
  • If you see this scam online, flag it on the website so that it can be removed.

As for the involvement of law enforcement authorities, Clark says, “You’re giving them on a silver platter a criminal enterprise that maybe they’ll be able to chase down and you would be doing a big service to other people.”

To hear Clark’s full take on this question, listen to the segment here:

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If you have a question but don't want to go on-air, contact Clark's Consumer Action Center for free money help.

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