BRAND FRAUD Consumer Alert! Beware of popular online venue brand names being used fraudulently to steal your money and your identity. Popular brands like Amazon and eBay are a scammer’s favorite target!

Brand Fraud is being committed by scammers offering unbelievably low prices on automobiles, electronics, jewelry, and vacations. You name it – there is a scam running online for it using a popular brand name as the seller. Smartphone apps like OfferUp and Letgo are being used to rip off local item sellers. Sellers are being robbed, and even murdered for their goods.

Brand Fraud Vehicle Scam Example
Scammers are using known brand names such as Amazon, eBay, and others, online to steal your money and identity

Fraudsters claim established brands like Amazon and eBay among others, process orders, and ship to buyers. This is a confidence scam targeting the naive!

On high-value items such as cars, boats, recreational vehicles, and even aircraft. Fraudsters instruct their victim to bank wire payments to a seller’s agent who is responsible for processing the transaction. The seller’s agent is some poor schmuck that has been duped into receiving a fraudulent payment into their bank account. That person keeps a percentage of the received funds for their commission.

Usually, the funds receiving person fell for work from their home job offer, after posting their resume on an online job search site. The receiving person is referred to as a money mule by law enforcement. Who wires the balance of those ill-gotten gains to the fraudster.

Fraudsters will often ‘rinse’ these fraudulently obtained ill-gotten gains several times in an attempt to hide their tracks. Fraudsters will also request payment by eBay, PayPal, Amazon, or other prepaid cash, gift, or debit cards. The victim has been instructed to email or faxes the redemption codes to the seller. Don’t do it – your money will be stolen in a flash!

Gift Card Scam Screen Capture
Gift car scams such as this example are another way fraudsters are stealing buyers’ money.

MoneyGram and Western Union cash transfer is often used on lower value items. Sometimes a fraudster will phish their victim out of a $300-600 or larger deposit. There are numerous angles to this scam so don’t swallow the sucker bait!

Vehicle brand scams brag about Free Shipping and often use known brands such as Dependable Auto Shipping or another well-known vehicle shipper that will deliver the car once payment is made.

This FAKE website is registered in Beijing China. It’s used to set up FAKE vehicle shipping. Don’t be a schmuck and lose your money to brand fraud!

Fake Amazon Domain Name
Counterfeit Amazon website used in vehicle shipping confidence scam. Registered in Beijing China.

When the victim sends the money, the scammer breaks off all communication and the buyer is left without his money.

FBI Report: Vehicle Purchase Protection Fraud
FBI vehicle purchase protection fraud report.

Sellers Agent Brand Fraud got its start on eBay Motors over a decade ago. We honestly believe eBay could have put a stop to fraud by educating their community.

eBay corporate profits were obviously more important than their member’s safety and security. Many fell for fraudulent listings, while eBay either claimed fraud was minuscule or denied its existence.

eBay Vehicle Purchase Protection (VPP) Brand Fraud was claiming so many victims in 2011, that the FBI launched an investigation into brand fraud.

The Federal Bureau Of Investigation (FBI) filed this report on August 15, 2011, advising consumers not to fall for scam listings. In this video, Romanian police bust several scammers. Look at all those Euros! Stay safe and don’t feed the brand fraud scammers!

There are many good deals on the net – but only if you do your homework first!

Doc is a former licensed Florida Auto Dealer with over 40 years of experience in the car business, now retired. During thirteen of those years in the car business, he specialized in Internet auto sales. Used Car Buying And Selling Internet Advice was published to assist consumers in buying and selling vehicles online.