It’s the start of cary buying season. But if anyone’s thinking of buying a used vehicle, watch out: Fake car ads selling used cars that don’t exist are everywhere this spring.

Heather Wolf wants a used car. So she checked Facebook Marketplace and found a gorgeous VW convertible a few hundred miles away from where she lives.

“It looked like an amazing deal, $800 for a VW bug,” Wolf said.

Why so cheap? The seller told her in an email that their son died in a bike accident at 26-years-old and wanted to get rid of the car.

It was the deal of a lifetime until the woman told her to pay in gift cards, eBay gift cards.

Suspicious, so Wolf kept looking.

She soon found a 2006 Honda Accord for just $1,000.

“I thought, this looks like a good deal, too,” Wolf said.

This time, the seller’s husband had just passed away. In each case, someone had died, and Wolf needed to pay in eBay gift cards.

It’s a scam so common, it has a name, “The eBay Motors Scam.”

Back in September 2020, Dayja Wallace told abc27 she lost $1,200 trying to by this Honda with the same story.

“Her husband had just passed away and she needed to hurry up and sell the car,” Wallace said.

The stereotypical dad buying a used car would pop the hood, check it out, give it a test driver — and of course — kick the tires. And it seems dad was right.

According to, a potential used-car buyer can protect themselves by never buying gift cards to pay for a used car, beware of cars that are priced too low and avoid used cars they can’t see in person. Lifewire also reminds buyers to watch for suspicious reasons for the sale.

“She said she lost her son and the car had eyelashes on it and, it’s yellow?” Wolf recalled.

Want to avoid a used car ripoff? Shop locally and do a test drive.