Sheriff’s Office warns of eBay scam

Published 8:00 am Friday, February 3, 2023

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Online shopping can be a very convenient way to find items at a good price without leaving the house. However, a new scam warns buyers to be cautious as they browse.

The Charlotte Sheriff’s Office warns of a new scam that local residents have reported when shopping and selling online. This scam has been prevalent in e-commerce marketplaces like eBay and Poshmark.

According to Capt. J. A. Colbert, this is a new take on an old theme. These scammers will list high-priced items at low prices to draw the customer in to make a purchase. However, these scammers will ask for payment in untraceable payment methods like gift cards or cashier’s checks and never deliver the advertised item.

Another tactic is the scammers sending a check for an item they are buying from these websites and overpaying. Due to the overpayment, they ask the seller to send the difference back in these payment methods. Unfortunately, once the gift cards are sent and the check is cashed, the check turns out to be fake.

“If it looks too good to be true then it’s too good to be true,” warned Colbert.

Scams like this have taken place for years. According to Colbert, in the past, it would be by email or phone claiming to be from companies like Publisher’s Clearing House. These scammers are always looking for ways to take advantage of people so it is always best to use caution when looking for deals on these shopping websites. According to Colbert, this is the “scam of the month” so folks should always stay diligent as the methods may look different in the coming weeks.


When making a purchase or sale on these or similar sites, be vigilant and make sure the other party is who they say they are. If there are any doubts, Colbert encourages folks to reach out to the Charlotte Sheriff’s Office and they can take a look before anything is finalized.

If scammed, people can call the Sheriff’s Office and they can look into catching the culprit. Many times these scammers have taken many precautions to keep themselves hidden, but the Sheriff’s Office is willing to try to see what they can do, or at the very least warn others that this is occurring.

“Victims can give us a call and we’ll look into it,” said Colbert.