We all want the best deal available when shopping for a car. But beware when buying from a private owner. Tonight, Contact 13 looks at a scam, that could have cost a local woman big money.
"I was excited. My son was ecstatic," says Ann Marie Alessi.
She couldn't believe it. A couple months ago, her son came across a great deal on a used car.
"Right now we don't have one. So we have to rely on friends, or I walk, and I'm totally disabled," says Ann Marie.
They found this Ford F-150 on Craigslist, for just $1,500. According to an email from the owner, Melissa, her husband had just passed away, and she wanted to get rid of his truck.
"So I said okay, I'll take it off her hands. You know, I felt bad that her husband died," says Ann Marie.
The next day, Ann Marie got this email. It looks like it's from eBay.
"Saying this is my invoice number. It had her name on it, her address, and it had my name and my address," says Ann Marie.
But Ann Marie noticed a major red flag. The email says payment for the truck, must be submitted using a One Vanilla Prepaid Visa card.
"And I thought that was weird... I called eBay and I asked them and they said no, that's not even our phone number," says Ann Marie.
It turns out the email was fake. The entire deal for the truck, was just a scam, to get Ann Marie's money.
"I was really crushed. I was heartbroken," says Ann Marie.
So here's the Contact 13 bottom line: When making a major purchase, meet the seller in person. In this case, Ann Marie admits they never even spoke over the phone. It was all through email.
And when it comes to buying something like a car, you should always check it out, before handing over any money.
Ann Marie says she's learned her lesson, and warns others, don't get caught up with what seems like a great deal.
"Think about what you're doing," says Ann Marie.