'Second chance offer' scam

Published On: Mar 13 2013 06:47:08 AM EDT
Updated On: Mar 13 2013 06:20:00 AM EDT
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -

A "second chance offer" nearly cost a Jacksonville business man thousands of dollars.  Now he wants everyone to know how he was the target of a scam on eBay.

It was a van Tom Braddock needed for his Servpro business. When he found a used one for sale on eBay, he was excited.

"Painted Servpro green and with a decal, it's a rolling billboard," Braddock said. "Hey,  I thought if I can get it for my price, it's a good deal."

But as the bids kept going up, Braddock lost out to someone willing pay a little more.

"The winning bid was $22,000. My bid was $19,000 and something and it said that I didn't win," Braddock said.

He thought the auction was over, but a couple of days later he opened his email and saw a second chance offer. Braddock responded and said he wanted to buy.

"He sent me another email that the guy that won was avoiding him and he was in an airport getting ready to go out of town and that if I was still interested, I could buy it," explained Braddock.  "I emailed him and asked what the price would be? He said it would be your highest bid."

The offer looked really legit, exactly like the real second chance offers.  But, it was the email address that tipped Braddock off.   It didn't match anything about the dealership selling the van. The company's information  was listed in the ebay auction. Braddock decided to call them.

Braddock explained to Channel 4 how he confirmed the scam.

"I said 'I'm calling about the van.' He said the van sold last week. I said 'I just got an email for a second chance bid' and he said we don't give second chance bids."

Braddock was lucky. Had he sent the money, he would have been out just shy of $20,000.

"I just happened to look. Had I not, I would have sent him the money thinking I got the van and I would still be waiting for my van to show up," Braddock added.

Here's what fraud investigators suggest eBay shoppers should do; For starters, don't assume a second change offer that comes in your email is real.  Anyone can look at an auctions bid history and get your information.

You should only trust auctions and offers that come via the eBay site. Even then,  double check. Call the dealership, store or individual seller to make sure that the sale is legit.

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