Scammer targets Omaha couple shopping for camper

Published: Jan. 19, 2021 at 4:05 PM CST
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OMAHA, Neb. (WOWT) - A heart-wrenching story about a loved one lost in the pandemic convinces an Omaha couple that an online sale is legitimate, but as it turns out even that sob story is too good to be true.

He can repair any chainsaw, but Raymond Whitbeck found out that recognizing a scam takes a sharp eye.

“When she tried to get ahold of them, they won’t answer no more. I don’t have the money to buy nothing now,” said Whitbeck.

Searching online his girlfriend Sheila Sanchez spotted a 2002 camper van for $1,200 but the seller’s reason for such a low price sounded convincing.

“Used COVID and her dying son. She said it was his van and she had too many memories, she wanted to get it gone. That’s the story she told,” said Sanchez.

The sale required payment by eBay cards, so the couple loaded eight of them with $200 each including $400 to cover shipping.

Raymond Whitbeck said, “That’s what they asked us for.”

Then emailed the pin numbers so the $1,600 cash could be downloaded anywhere. But the van and seller are nowhere to be found.

The couple says they are buying a workplace but need a place to live. The city only allows occupancy during the day.

Instead of spending nights in Sheila’s suburban, they thought that by buying this camper van they could park it here and make that a home, right next to what they hope is a growing business.

After losing hard-earned money to an online scam the couple says now, they’re cut out to be more careful.

Sheila said, “Be smarter about it and look into it more.”

Our email to eBay hasn’t been returned for this case. However previously, the company has told us these scams actually take place on other trading sites, but the eBay brand is hijacked to gain the trust of victims.

Be leery of any sale telling you to load cash onto a card then asking for the access code on the back.

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