12 On Your Side: British resident turns to News 12 after being scammed online

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News 12 at 6 o'clock / Oct. 15, 2013

"I started my own business about a year ago," Daniel Ockenden said.

He said the only thing missing was a reliable vehicle to keep his electrical business near London's Heathrow Airport up and running smoothly.

"A new van is just what I needed, I saved up the money for a while," Ockenden said.

He said he logged onto eBay and a black Ford Transit sport van. So, he emailed the seller who responded right away.

"Saying that she had been away at her sisters and she had the van and she wanted to sell it quick because her husband had died," Ockenden said.

He said it turned out to be a scam.

"She sent me a link to a private auction and it looked just like eBay," Ockenden said.

He says when he realized he had been taken he did a Google search finding a News 12 story on eBay scams. We spoke to Ockenden on Skype from London after he sent an email to On Your Side wanting advice on getting his money back. A total of about $6,000 American dollars.

"Just the story itself seemed a bit far fetched to me but for some reason I just carried on," Ockenden said.

Earlier this year, a local man told News 12 he almost got scammed by a similar fake eBay site, after he received a suspicious email.

Adam Foltz who lives in Evans described the email he received. "People saying their son died. The latest one we got she said she got her bike in the divorce and she just wants to sell it as a pride factor," Foltz said.

As for Ockenden he is now out of a boat load of money with no way to get it back. The bank says it's not fraud because I did a transfer myself, so I am not covered by the bank," Ockenden said.

He hopes his story from thousands of miles away will keep others from being taken. "If anything seems strange at all just back out right away," Ockenden said.

He said a friend tracked the scammers email domain and found the account was opened in Germany.

So, how can you tell the difference between a real website and a bogus one?

It can be tricky, but you want to be sure your security options are enabled in your computers browser and most importantly, trust your instincts. If something does not look right, stop what you are doing.

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