Caught out by a scammer

Published: 28 February 2012

2011 was a good but hard year for me, but 2012 started a lot worse.

Over the last few years I have been saving a little each month, birthdays and Christmas gifts etc. so I could purchase a classic Triumph T120 Bonneville.

As I am sure we all do, I trawled through the ads on a weekly basis always looking for one I could afford and that was in good condition. I dare not contemplate the actual hours spent.

However all my efforts appeared to have paid off in January 2012 when I found a 1970 T120 US spec on eBay. It looked good and over a period of time I exchanged details with the owner.

Unfortunately as it turned out I was taken ill for a few days and missed the auction - devastated! On February 9 the seller contacted me and said the sale has fallen through and the bike was available again.

Well you can imagine my delight - I told my wife and all four children repeatedly. Obviously they didn't care but were happy for me as it kept me out of their way. The seller was very keen to make sure the sale went through the eBay process and duly sent all the official forms about the sale.

As the bike was in Scotland and I didn't have enough time to get there we agreed to use eBay’s apparent buyer protection scheme. The money isn't released until the purchaser has received the bike.

A few more days passed and a few more eBay forms. Eventually all completed and sent off so it was now time to transfer the money to eBay. It all looked sound so I went ahead and authorised a bank transfer to what I thought was eBay. Well, I'm sure you can all see what is coming and you are right. No bike and money gone.

They even advertised the same bike on eBay the next day - I found out as eBay sent me a message saying “are you still looking for one; we have found it”!

On reflection the scammers job of cloning the eBay site to make it all look legitimate was a clever tactic - eBay were not interested at all, I quote “not our problem”.

Surrey Police were really helpful and tried to chase the contacts but alas the money had gone.

Something I have also found out is that Barclays and Natwest banks will not return money that is stolen if you have authorised it - which I had. 

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