INDIANA, (WOWO): With the holidays and gift-buying season nearing, online scams become more prevalent. State authorities are reminding Hoosiers to be alert as a new scam popped up involving fraudulent online postings for the sale of automobiles, boats, recreational vehicles, and outdoor equipment.
“During the holidays, shopping becomes even bigger business, and thieves try to take advantage of buyers,” said John Erickson, Indiana Department of Homeland Security. “Inspect the car, boat or other equipment prior to purchase, or don’t buy it.”
In this particular scam, the scammers are posting false advertisements offering the item for sale. The advertisement usually includes a fraudulent photo. The scammer also includes a contact number. The consumer leaves a message and the perpetrator responds via text message. The text message normally requests that the consumer provide an e-mail address. Once the e-mail address is provided the consumer is sent additional details.
The scammer then gives logical reasons for offering the item at such a discounted price such as moving to another location; therefore, the item needs to be sold quickly; the sale was part of a divorce settlement; or overseas deployment.
The Indiana Department of Homeland Security, Indiana State Police and the Indiana Intelligence Fusion Center recommend consumers buy products from reputable sources after determining the legitimacy of the seller. Anyone who suspects they've been a victim of an Internet-related crime may file a complaint with the FBI’s Internet Crime Complaint Center at www.IC3.gov.