How often have you come across something wonderful only to later find out that it wasn’t what it was represented to be. This happened to me a couple of times this past week and thankfully I had been around the block once or twice and was able to not get caught up in it.

On one of the events I noticed a 1997 Jeep Wrangler on one of the online “for sale” websites. I’m not really looking for a Jeep, but the price was spectacular. Asking just $1,600 is what really got my attention. It had the right engine, transmission, tires and winch accessories that moved it from the nice category to the I must buy it today category.

I replied over the internet telling the seller that I was very interested and wanted to buy it. The actual market value for this Jeep would have been around $10,000 in the condition it was in so $1,600 was a total bargain. The reply I got back was from an unnamed person on the other end of my email telling me he was placing this for sale for his aunt, telling me what her email address was.

Wanting to be first in line for this bargain vehicle I again mentioned that I was very interested in owning it. The reply that came back had about ten pictures attached and came with a little story. The seller said that she had recently been divorced and she was just getting rid of this Jeep as soon as possible. When I asked where I could see it in person and actually take it on a test drive, I was told that she had just recently moved in with her parents in Billings, Montana.

But all was not lost. She had worked out a plan with eBay where they would take care of everything. They would handle the transaction and then ship me this Jeep from Billings, Montana to Burley, Idaho for free, no added costs to worry about. I was told that I could keep the Jeep for five days as a test drive and that if for any reason I wasn’t happy then I would be given a full refund.

This was a very complicated scam that would be easy to get caught up in. After all, who doesn’t want a good deal? I quickly bowed out of this deal and decided to share my experience with my readers as a warning that they shouldn’t be falling for this kind of scam.

There was a second car in the online marketplace this week that appeared to be too good to be true as well. This one was a little easier to get information about and I got a local address to see it. The car was a little two-seat convertible with low mileage and a listing about $5,000 below book value. What was different with this deal is that as soon as I got out of the car to look it over I was informed that the car was on a salvaged title. This essentially means that the car was totaled at some time in its history and somebody bought it and did all the work on it to bring it back to standards. Though fixed, it didn’t have the same book value because of its history.

Both deals appeared to be too good to be true and in a way they were too good to be true. The second seller was honest and forthcoming on the flaws the car had while the first seller had no intention of delivering the car they had represented that they had for sale. It was a scam from the start.

How does one protect himself from these tempting deals? It’s simple, if it appears too good to be true, it probably is too good to be true.

Also, in the news this week was an elderly gentleman who was scammed out of his life’s savings of $200,000 on an online dating scam. The person he though he was in love with was just an opportunist who preys on the older population. The online girlfriend had described a business opportunity she was involved in and just needed a little extra money to get it off the ground. He liquidated more than $200,000 to get her the money she needed to start, but it never got off the ground. These are the worst of people in society who prey on the elderly knowing they can be easily conned out of their life savings.

Other scams involve the victim buying gift cards and reading the numbers on the back to someone on the other end of the phone. The kinder of a person you are, the easier it is for these people to scam you.

I have often wondered how people live with themselves after they have scammed someone out of their life’s savings, but sadly these people have no trouble sleeping at all. It is such a shame. Better for you to miss out on 100 deals than to get caught by one of them.

The old adage is so true “IF IT SEEMS TOO GOOD TO BE TRUE, IT PROBABLY IS.

My too good to be true, $1,600 Jeep

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