Warning for eBay shoppers

Published On: Jul 29 2014 07:53:31 AM EDT
Updated On: Jul 30 2014 06:20:00 AM EDT

It's a scheme that would have been easy to fall for. It unfolded on eBay and victims lost hundreds of thousands of dollars.

Berry Younce used the user name "sq20" to post ads on eBay saying he had computers for sale.

"This was quite a big scam throughout the whole country," said Christopher Davis, a U.S. postal inspector. "Mr. Younce is basically selling the computers on the Internet, but not really having the product."

Here is how Davis said it worked. "He is posting computers, but people kept underbidding the cost to purchase it. Therefore, since he did not have the computer people were bidding on, he would have to go buy it at a larger cost."

Eventually, postal inspectors received several complaints about orders not being fulfilled through eBay.

"We got seized computers, various documents, lulling letters from victims who are saying, 'Where is my computer, where is my computer, Mr Younce?'" Davis said.

Inspectors say more than 250 orders went unfilled and losses were more than $200,000.

This is why Davis said, "Do more research on your seller on eBay before you buy. You can contact eBay and they'll give you feed back and you get more info on the seller."

Younce was sentenced to one year of home confinement, followed by three years of supervised release.

Here is a list of warning signs and red flags from eBay to help you avoid being scammed.

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