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South Georgia man loses $50,000, Camaro due to fake check scam on Facebook marketplace

Ethan Hines sold his 2018 Camaro to a man on Facebook Marketplace, but the check bounced days later. He is now on the hook for his $750 monthly payment.

KINGSLAND, Ga. — Seller beware: one south Georgia man is out almost $50,000 dollars after selling his 2018 Camaro.

Police say Ethan Hines was duped.

In hindsight, Hines told First Coast News, he wouldn't have sold his car to a man he met on Facebook Marketplace.

"I really was hoping it wouldn't come down to this," he said. "I thought I could rely on a bank of all things, a credit union, telling me money is good. I can't."

Hines thought the buyer was legitimate. The $49,000 cleared the bank - it was a check by phone.

Credit: Courtesy: Ethan Hines
Ethan Hines sold a man his 2018 Camaro, but the check turned out to be fake. He is still on the hook for a $750 a month car payment.

VyStar transferred the money to Hines' loan account and sent him a letter, explaining it had been paid in full.

However, four days later, that payment was reversed.  He learned the check bounced and Hines was out the money -- and his Camaro.

He has this advice: "Once they say the money is there or once you see the check has started processing in your account, call them and find out what the maximum wait period is for a check to clear."

Hines filed a police report and was told the buyer's story and Facebook profile were 'fictitious.' 

His girlfriend took pictures of the man they met when they drove to South Carolina to drop off the car. Police are investigating.

"As of right now, they have not ID'd him. They have not found any correlation between him and a potential gang or other people that have been arrested," Hines said.

We reached out to VyStar and they are looking into Hines' situation.

The Better Business Bureau warns of fake check scams - with these do's and don'ts.

Hines says he's learned his lesson and is now back on the hook for a $750 a month car payment for a car he doesn't have. 

"I find it kind of hard to put $750 a month towards something I am never going to see again," he said. 

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