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If that ad for a used car is a deal that's 'too good to be true' — it's probably a scam

It's becoming so common, we talked to one woman who almost fell victim this popular scam twice during her car search.

It's the start of car buying season! 

However, if you are buying a used vehicle, beware. Fake car ads selling used cars that don't exist are everywhere lately.

Heather Wolff was recently on the hunt for a used car, so she checked Facebook marketplace and found a gorgeous Volkswagen convertible a few hundred miles away.

"It looked like an amazing deal," she told us. "Eight hundred dollars for a Volkswagen bug."

The seller explained why it was so cheap in an email.

"She was like my son just passed away from a bike accident, he was 26, and we just want to get rid of the car," Wolff said.

It was the deal of a lifetime until the woman told her to pay in gift cards. Finding the request suspicious, Wolff kept looking. She soon found a 2006 Honda Accord for just $1,000.

This time, the sellers husband had just passed away. In each case, someone had died, and Wolff was asked to pay in Ebay gift cards.

It's a scam so common it has a name: the Ebay motors scam.

Back in September, Dayja Wallace told us she lost $12,000 trying to buy a Honda with the same story.

The seller said her husband had just passed away and she needed to hurry up and sell the car.

Think back when you were a kid and your parent would buy a used car. First thing, they would do is pop the hood, check it out, give it a test drive, and of course, kick the tires.

It seems mom or dad were right

Lifewire.com says to protect yourself with these tips:

  • Never buy gifts cards to pay for a used car.
  • Beware cars that are priced too low.
  • Avoid used cars you cant see in person
  • Watch for suspicious reasons for the sale.

Also, if you want to avoid a used car ripoff, shop locally and do a test drive. 

That way you don't waste your money.