DIAMONDHEAD, MS (WLOX) - A Diamondhead lady says when she went to buy a Jeep on Craigslist she realized something wasn't right. She contacted WLOX hoping to warn others about the possible pitfalls of buying a car over the internet.
Joy Dinella was in the market for a vehicle and was highly interested in a Jeep that she saw on Craigslist.
Dinella said, "My son was retiring from basic training so we were trying to surprise him with a vehicle."
These are the pictures of a 2001 Jeep Wrangler Sahara Sport that was advertised on Craigslist. As you can see the Jeep looked to be in tip-top shape and had only 17,356 miles. The seller, through an email sent to Dinella... said the vehicle was valued at $14,000 and and she was willing to sell it for $2,000. The email went on to say... I have a clear title, free of any liens or loans on it, under my name.
She says the first red flag was the mileage. A 2001 vehicle would most likely have more than 17 thousand miles. And she questioned the price, asking why would anyone sell a vehicle stated to be in great shape, for only $2,000.
"I found the same jeep on several other websites with different contact information, but I was able to find out it was the exact same jeep, "started Dinella.
Dinella says the seller wanted her to wire the money and once that was done, the vehicle would be shipped to Mississippi. Dinella says she knew something wasn't right and she asked more questions.
Dinella said, "The first thing I noticed is that they wouldn't give me a phone number. They only wanted to communicate through email. The jeep wasn't at the location they said it was. They said it was out of town."
Dinella says besides Craigslist, the Jeep was advertised in Cars.com and Ebay.
Dinella says the seller sent emails under the name of a Colonel in the Air Force.
Dinella called that Colonel who said her email had been hacked. I also called the Colonel and she confirmed her email address had been hacked and the hackers were apparently using her name to hook others. The Colonel, who wants to remain anonymous, says she has contacted three government agencies, including the FBI in hopes of finding who is illegally using her name.
I called Craigslist and the internet exchange recommends these guidelines before finalizing a deal:
•Do not extend payment to anyone you have not met in person.
•Beware offers involving shipping - deal with locals you can meet in person.
•Never wire funds.
•Don't accept cashier/certified checks or money orders .
•Never give out financial info.
•Do not rent or purchase sight-unseen—that amazing "deal" may not exist.