How to be the victim on Ebay Fraud in 5 easy steps

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First of all, please understand that I just purchased a 2002 Mercedes Camper Van from Barry Sofraneo, or dirtjumper1252 and he totally and completely has taken us to the cleaners for 6000 pounds.   I will review our mistakes so that you don't get taken like I did.

These are things that I know now:
1. Don't buy from a Classified Ad- it isn't protected by the E Bay protection program- We learned this after the transaction was complete.
2.  Insist, as a buyer, on Paypal; avoid bank transfers- Paypal will offer you some form of protection while a bank transfer is just GONE.  This is why Barry insisted on this even though I requested Paypal.
3.  Don't, even for a second, think that you can purchase a vehicle or something of this magnitude online without being there.  Although I live in the UK, I was coerced into the payment terms and told that he would only bring the van to my house once the transfer had been accepted.  Although this may seem like a "fool and his money are soon parted"; the e-mail that he had created to look like it came from E Bay was very well done, and although I read the fine print, it wasn't E Bay's fine print.  
4.  Don't be bullied.  I so ignorantly believed Barry when he told me that if I didn't send the money in 2 days that he was going to sell the van to someone else.  He used the "don't waste my time" and became aggressive in tone.  That should have been my first clue.
5.  If and when you do make a mistake, don't waste any time in reporting the fraudulent scum bag to the authorities.  The longer you wait hoping that the other person will do the right thing, the more time they have to move away and change all of their contact info., and set up shop again.  We have turned in this seller to E Bay, the UK authorities, the FBI, and the UK Fraud Prevention Action Committee.  We are even hiring a private PI and getting a lawyer.  

Bottom line; if you are going to buy online- use the bidding process only or pick up in person.  It's a hard lesson to learn, but if one less person gets scammed from people this way, then at least something good came of this.
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