eBay Motors VPP Vehicle Purchase Protection Craigslist Scam!

Posted by jeresk on September 14, 2010 in Uncategorized |

Have you found an AWESOME deal on Craigslist?  Did you just find a car, truck, trailer, powersport item, something that’s for sale where it looks like it’s about 1/3 of the price it should be?  Now, after you email them, did they ask you to send you name and address to them so they could forward your information to eBay so you would be protected by the VPP (Vehicle Purchase Protection Plan)?  Did you get a very nice invoice claiming to have been generated from eBay with instructions on how to transfer the money via Western Union or MoneyGram to an eBay Agent who will hold your money for XX days while you get to inspect the vehicle?

If ANY of this sounds even remotely familiar, this is a SCAM!  Remember, they change up the scam all the time, but essentially, most of these are in some kind of local classified, Craigslist, AutoTrader MySpace, Facebook, Oodle, and I’ve seen some in local papers…  They generally won’t talk to you, they are going through a divorce, their son was killed in Afghanistan, their husband was killed in Iraq, they are flight attendants, or SOMETHING like that – they just need to get rid of this “bad memory.”  It’s always something.

Please do not be taken by this scam…  eBay DOES have a VPP program, but you have to buy the car ON eBay, and you can’t pay via Western Union or MoneyGram. 

I spent some time writing to these guys to get some screen shots of what you might see.  One actually DOES put up a website that looks like you are buying it on eBay and then the site tells you to Western Union the money over…  Don’t get fooled – if you are buying on a local classifieds, the car needs to be local – the MOMENT someone starts talking about money transfers and shipping vehicles, it’s fraud.  If it IS on eBay, then you CAN have it shipped, but you never do anything other than bank 2 bank wire transfers, and only AFTER you have bought it on the eBay site.  If it never asked you to log in (asked for your information afterwards), then you weren’t on eBay.  Start off at www.ebaymotors.com or www.ebay.com, start your search there.  Can’t find it?  Put the item number in the search – if it’s on eBay, it will show right up!

Here are some of the emails and what-not I’ve received, including screen shots of the fake website they set up.  My only goal here is to help people NOT send their money over!!!!

Here is the ad I initially found on Craigslist - many of the scams are just one large image, there is no actual text.

This is the invoice I recieved (in 3 parts)

This is the invoice I recieved (in 3 parts)

This is the invoice I recieved (in 3 parts)

From here, these are the emails that led up to getting the invoice:

tanafm@aol.com to me
show details Sep 10 (3 days ago)

Thanks for being interested in buying my 2001 Chevrolet Silverado 2500 4×4 Extended Cab LS. It is in a good condition, no scratches, no damages, never been implicated in any accidents, no problems. At the engine, runs very well. It has an 8 CYLINDERS, 31,500 miles, clear Title, a perfect truck. I was recently promoted and had to move to the Bangor, ME and from here will be shipped. The price is not negotiable $2,900.00. The only thing because I am selling it because I divorced with my husband and after the divorce I own this truck, now as a woman I don`t need it(I don`t Have driver license)…we will use only eBay Vehicle Purchase Protection to complete the sale.
If you are interested and you have the funds available email me your full name and shipping address.
Thank you for your time!

Have a nice day!

Awesome!  Can you send me a copy of the title so I can make sure this is all good?

My name is Jeremy Eskelsen
Address is 1904 birdsong lane
Everrett Washington

Can I test drive the truck before buying it?

Sent from my iPhone

tanafm@aol.com to me
show details Sep 11 (2 days ago)

Thanks for reply. The truck is with me in Bangor, ME and from here will be shipped. The price for 2001 Chevrolet Silverado 2500 4×4 Extended Cab LS is $2,900 and the shipping cost to your address is included. I’m sorry but I can’t send any copy of the registration due to the high volume of the documentation cloning. I will inform ebay about this sale and you will receive the payment details within the next 24 hours. At this point the car is reserved for you and you are the buyer. Let me know the date of payment after you receive the email from eBay so I can organize the delivery.
Many thanks,


tanafm@aol.com to me
show details Sep 11 (2 days ago)

Hello again,
eBay has sent you the invoice.
Please check your inbox, junk or bulk folder and read the invoice from ebay and email me after you make the payment.
I will start the shipping after I receive your confirmation.
Best regards,

(Note here – the format is lost – but I want the words to show up – if you want to see the format, please see my additional photos for this post, above)

eBay Motors to me
show details Sep 11 (2 days ago)
eBay sent this message to the buyer and the copy to the seller to ensure a better communication between our valued members.
This message originated from eBay.
Your Invoice for eBay Item Purchased: 2001 Chevrolet Silverado 2500 4×4 Extended Cab LS
Purchase Protection Granted!
This message was sent by eBay’s Customer Support team!
You were allowed by the seller to buy this item and this is your payment invoice.
We have verified all the details of this transaction. We concluded that they are accurate.
Please follow our instructions on this notice to complete the transaction safely.
We also verified and confirmed the seller’s ability to deliver the merchandise and meet the terms described in his listing.

Seller Verified Profile
eBay Member in good standing from 09-26-2006

Registered e-mail address: tanafm@aol.com
Identity and Contact Information Verified.
Continues to meet strict Membership Criteria.
Committed to Dispute Resolution and Mediation.
Purchase Protection Coverage up to $50,000.00
Here’s the invoice for your item,
Thanks for your purchase!!
Once payment is received, items are shipped within 48 hours.
Please e-mail the seller with any questions to tanafm@aol.com
Item PictureItem TitleQty.Price

2001 Chevrolet Silverado 2500 4×4 Extended Cab LS1US $2,900.00
US $2,900.00
Shipping and handling(Paid by seller):

Shipping insurance (Paid by seller):

US $2,900.00

Satisfaction guaranteed or your money back!!
Shipping and payment details:
Shipping Details
Jeremy Eskelsen

Shipping address:
1904 birdsong lane, Everrett, Washington
E-mail address:

Delivery Information
Delivery Start time:
Same day with the payment confirmation.
3 to 5 days Door to Door
7 days return policy

eBay Agent Details
Bret Lambert
2223 Shakespeare St, Houston, TX

How to complete the payment?

1. The payment must be sent by wire transfer using Western Union to our agent.
2. Click here to locate a Western Union agency in your area.(For fast payments, eBay recommends Western Union money transfer)
3. Send the payment using eBay Agent Details.
4. After the payment is made, please fax us a copy of the Western Union payment receipt or the following payment information: Western Union MTCN – 10 digits number found on the payment receipt, Sender’s Name and Address, Receiver’s Name and Address, Total Amount Sent.
5. Fax the payment confirmation* to the following fax number: 1-863-582-7762.
*if you don’t send us the payment confirmation this transaction will be void and the buyer lose the right to refund
Additional Instructions:

1) Western Union money transfer is designed mainly for sending cash to friends and family in need, so telling them you are sending the money for an auction you will pay a higher fees.

2) When making the payment tell them you are sending money to a relative so you can get a lower service fee.
Once the payment transfer cleared and our eBay representative confirms the payment, we will instruct the seller to start the shipping process. We will hold the funds until you send us your confirmation that you are satisfied with the product you received. As soon as we receive your confirmation we will release the payment to the seller.
The payment details are confidential and will not be released under any circumstances. Our customer chose this payment method in order to speed up the transaction.
Purchase protection and refund:

The eBay Motors Vehicle Purchase Protection (VPP) is a subsidiary of eBay Inc., dedicated to insuring safe and honest transaction between online buyers and sellers, especially for deals involving large amounts of money. Each of our seller clients is required to open a Purchase Protection Account (PPA) which is managed by VPP department. The amount of the account provides protection up to $50,000 against certain losses associated with some types of fraud.
When a seller initiates a transaction with his/her corresponding buyer, VPP checks the seller’s PPA and, if it’s value is equal or greater than the transaction price, automatically locks it for a period of 90 days from the day the transaction was started.
Conditions to be met before you may ask for a refund:
1) If the item doesn’t after the payment was received;
2) If the merchandise you receive has different specifications than the ones you agreed on;
3) If your merchandise arrives in a much longer period than the one you agreed on (more than 15 days from the payment clearance day);
For situations 2) and 3) you have to send back the merchandise to the seller prior to ask for your refund.
Notice that each of the transaction has a method of payment which is selected by the eBay Motors Vehicle Purchase Protection, taking into account the seller’s location and background check. The selected method of payment is always the one which offers the most reliable protection against fraud. Please, be advised that if you did not pay the seller by payment method required by us, your refund request will be declined.

eBay Customer Support (Trust and Safety Department)
This e-mail message was sent to you from eBay Motors Vehicle Purchase Protection team, with the full support of the SquareTrade center.
eBay treats your personal information with the utmost care, and our Privacy Policy is designed to protect you and your information. eBay will never ask their users for personal information, such as bank account numbers, credit card numbers, pin numbers, passwords, or Social Security numbers in an email. For more information on how to protect your eBay password and your account, please visit User Account Protection.
This eBay notice was sent to tanafm@aol.com based on your eBay account preferences and in accordance with our Privacy Policy. To change your notification preferences, click here. If you would like to receive this email in text format, click here
Copyright ©1995-2010 eBay Inc. All Rights Reserved.
Designated trademarks and brands are the property of their respective owners.
eBay and the eBay logo are trademarks of eBay Inc.

ANOTHER one led me to a site that actually LOOKS like eBay, but never asks you to sign in (and is using the old eBay formating.  But it walks you through, and then the SITE actually tells you to send the money – here is what this looks like:

Here is the "eBay" ad (Fraud)All the way to the bottom, looks pretty convincing - but TELLS you to use Western UnionOnce you hit the Buy It Now button, it confirms you want to buy this (just like eBay)

NOW It wants your info (never needed when buying on eBay)

WOW! You Won! But didn’t even have to sign in…

Instructions on how to pay to Western UnionWOW! In Euro's AND in $$! Now, if you "View Order Details" you'd actually just see that the "auction" is still running...WOW! In Euro's AND in $$!


Now, if you "View Order Details" you'd actually just see that the "auction" is still running...


  • In SMART recovery we have drug users of all types. The meth users are always asking about this.

  • jeresk says:

    It’s really sad, but so many people have been taken with this scam. If people believe this is real, send them here, or have them email me! I’d be happy to explain it all to them. 🙂

  • DC says:

    Thanks. I almost fell for this one.

  • rockel says:

    can you get your money back?

  • shaeontay says:

    omg i just got scamed the exact same way for 2500, but ima put it in gods hands. it says the moneygram was recieved and with the office hours being closed right now i cant get a hold of antone to see if it was cashed yet!!!!! this is the worst feeling in the world.

  • jjh says:

    Just saw an add for this on Craigslist, Norfolk for something that did look to good to be true. So naturally I googled it and found this website. Just like you said: I inquired and got an email about going through ebay and yes I get time to inspect, seller is “going through divorce and needs money to pay daughters education”…
    If it sounds to good to be true, just google it! and then you will find the truth!

  • Cory says:

    Cory C
    Mar 10 (1 day ago)

    to andrewjefferso.
    How much are you asking on the GSXR? I am am looking to pay cash and comparing a couple different bikes right now.


    Andrew Jefferson
    12:32 PM (21 hours ago)

    to me

    Sorry for the delay, and it’s still for sale. The bike it’s in excellent condition. I am the first and only owner of the bike,it has no scratches or damage, never raced hard, has only been hand washed, hand waxed and in the garage with a cover. It has almost 1400 miles. I am working on a cruise ship as captain now, and i will be here for a while and i can’t use the bike anymore… The bike has a clear title with no bank loan and all papers come along with the bike. The price is $2700.Let me know if you’re still interested.


    Cory C
    2:19 PM (19 hours ago)

    to Andrew
    I am very interested. Where is the bike located? I am from Marion, and found your ad locally. Do you have more pictures you can send me? I would like to make arrangements to see it soon. I believe the add said helmets were included?

    On Sun, Mar 11, 2012 at 2:19 PM, Cory C wrote:
    I am very interested. Where is the bike located? I am from Marion, and found your ad locally. Do you have more pictures you can send me? I would like to make arrangements to see it soon. I believe the add said helmets were included?

    On Mar 11, 2012 12:34 PM, “Andrew Jefferson” wrote:

    Sorry for the delay, and it’s still for sale. The bike it’s in excellent condition. I am the first and only owner of the bike,it has no scratches or damage, never raced hard, has only been hand washed, hand waxed and in the garage with a cover. It has almost 1400 miles. I am working on a cruise ship as captain now, and i will be here for a while and i can’t use the bike anymore… The bike has a clear title with no bank loan and all papers come along with the bike. The price is $2700.Let me know if you’re still interested.


    Andrew Jefferson
    3:09 PM (18 hours ago)

    to me

    As i have told you before, I am working on a cruise ship as captain now, and i can’t handle the sale myself. The bike and all the papers are already in the custody of ebay company and it will be delivered at your home address. We use their services to take care of the transport,payment and papers and to make sure that your money and my bike it’s safe and protect. After the bike arrives at your place,you have an inspection period between 3 and 30 days to test and inspect the bike yourself.If you are satisfied with the bike at the end of your inspection period, then the money is released to me. If not,the eBay`s gives you the complete refund. Let me know if you want to make this deal. I will need your full name and address (name, address, city, zip code, country, phone number.) to start the transaction. The price is $2700 including delivery to your address.

    I have attached some pictures too to this email.

    22 attachments —

    Cory C
    3:42 PM (18 hours ago)

    to Andrew
    The bike looks amazing, and I am interested in making the deal. Is there a way to verify everything through ebay before proceeding?

    Cory C
    3:43 PM (18 hours ago)

    to Andrew
    Also, if it’s through Ebay, is paypal the method of payment?

    Andrew Jefferson
    6:39 AM (3 hours ago)

    to me

    After the transaction is started ebay will contact you and provide you all the info you need about the transaction. If you want to ask ebay more questions you can contact them directly at vppshippingmotors@representative.com

    Let me know if you want to start the transaction.


    I googled the Ebay email he have me. vppshippingmotors@representative.com It returned a result of: “did you mean vppshipping_motors@ representative.com” I clicked yes and then your page popped up. I am so glad I did my research and found your site. Thank you soo much. Needless to say, I believe this is nothing more than a scam. I have not provided him with my personal info in order to receive contact from “eBay”. I decided to do my own checking first before I provided any information since I know that is not the way it usually works. Of course he says eBay holds all of the paperwork, so obtaining any copies would be shot down with this excuse. I fell in love with this bike and wanted to pull the trigger. Something just told me this isn’t right. The price, including shipping from Texas to Ohio was too good. Thank you for posting this. Is there another step I should take to report this or any suggestions? It also through up a flag that this was advertised in Central Ohio, but his zip code came for Houston, Tx….

  • shari says:

    I also was “almost” just scammed and started to google before I went to western union. Thank you so much. As we are all told “IF IT LOOKS TO GOOD TO BE TRUE, DON’T GET IT”

  • Nicholas Ellsmore says:

    In its earliest days, eBay was essentially unregulated. However, as the site grew, it became necessary to restrict or forbid auctions for various items. Note that some of the restrictions relate to eBay.com (the U.S. site), while other restrictions apply to specific European sites (such as Nazi paraphernalia). Regional laws and regulations may apply to the seller or the buyer. Generally, if the sale or ownership of an item is regulated or prohibited by one or more states, eBay will not permit its listing. :*

    Check ya later

  • Dyneisha says:

    Yes I almost got scammed by Laura baker on Craigslist for 2002 white honda for1400 thank god I called eBay to verify the id number and the explained everything apparently she is in army yeah not!

  • Erika says:

    I was about to buy a car this morning… Through Craigslist that lead me to eBay … Right!?!
    Thks for posting this … It helped me !
    Very greatful !!!


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