RIPPED OFF: Caloundra couple Jackson McCormack and Lee-Ann Laynes have been left $14,500 out of pocket after transferring funds to a scammer for a vehicle advertised online.
RIPPED OFF: Caloundra couple Jackson McCormack and Lee-Ann Laynes have been left $14,500 out of pocket after transferring funds to a scammer for a vehicle advertised online. Che Chapman

Couple loses thousands on 4WD web scam

GOLDEN Beach man Jackson McCormack has learnt a hard lesson in online purchases after being ripped off $14,500.

He and partner Lee-Ann Laynes worked long hours to save up for a new four-wheel-drive so they could go on road trips and tow a boat.

Mr McCormack, 25, saw a 2010 Toyota Hilux dual cab ute advertised on eBay for $12,000 a few months ago and started making inquiries.

It was advertised in Victoria, but when Mr McCormack started emailing the vendor, he was told the ute was in Western Australia.

Mr McCormack looked up plane ticket prices to fly over and check it out. He told his plans to the vendor who said that would not be a problem and even supplied an address.

But the cost would have been too much so Mr McCormack changed his mind and agreed to send an extra $2,500 to have the ute transported across the country.

He and the vendor conversed on a daily basis by email, with a copy of a drivers licence supplied as confirmation of identity.

But the conversation stopped once the final payment was made.

Mr McCormack called police who were able to trace a bank account back to Victoria.

They have since passed the details on to their Victorian counterparts but Mr McCormack holds very little hope of seeing his money again.

"I'm gutted," Mr McCormack said.

"It's just more of a helpless feeling- pretty much leave it to the police."

He had worked three jobs in the lead up to the scam but has since cut back to two.

"It took a while to save up."

Mr McCormack was also a pretty regular user of eBay, having previously purchased other boating and hunting items without any issues.

"That's probably why I got too trusting of people."

He said it would likely be his last online shopping experience.

"I'd rather go to the shops now."

Sunshine Coast District Criminal Investigation Unit officer-in-charge Daren Edwards said police dealt with a lot of frauds from online sales sites.

He urged people to do their homework when making purchases.

"It's only through people's vulnerability and them not making normal checks themselves that these people (scammers) continue to get away with it," Detective Senior Sergeant Edwards said.



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