Sheriff warns of new online scam involving Craigslist, eBay and prepaid cards

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JOHNSON COUNTY, Ind. (September 8, 2015) - A local man is out $2,000 after he tried to purchase a four wheeler on eBay. The victim responded to an advertisement for a 2009 Polaris ATV for sale on Craigslist Bloomington. The scammer directed him to eBay where he completed the transaction using prepaid PayPal cash cards.

"Unfortunately what we see in a lot of these scams is these people are very good, very convincing and in this case I think that's exactly what happened," said Johnson County Sheriff Doug Cox.

The victim, Troy Brownfield, exchanged several emails with the seller. He said the person made up an elaborate story to go along with the ad. The seller claimed to be a recently divorced woman who moved back to her home state of Missouri. The ploy continued when a man who said he was with eBay's Motor Department called and left a message with Brownfield.

"It was definitely well thought out," said Brownfield.

The seller would only accept PayPal cash cards as payment for the four wheeler. Sheriff Cox said buyers should be wary anytime a seller has a special request like that.

"Do your homework before you make that sale or before you send any money, the red flag in this one probably should've been to the gentleman when somebody is going and asking him to go get a certain card in order to make payment that should've been a big red flag," said Sheriff Cox.