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NEWPORT, Tenn. (WATE) — A coin collector from Newport is despondent after being scammed by a would-be buyer. The collector sent a gold coin, but never got his money for it, and was about to be scammed a second time.
Both James and his wife, Myrtle Carver, have cancer and she recently had a stroke. Despite Medicare and social security between them, their bills are overwhelming. They also have custody of a grandchild, so James continues working part-time driving a truck.
22 years ago, he bought a series of uncirculated 24kt gold coins, state coins. They remain sealed. To test the market, he put one of the coins on eBay, but things went wrong. Unfortunately, sellers deal with the bulk of problems on eBay and it’s far too easy for scammers to hit sellers without much fear of repercussion.
“I want to be able to sell these coins so I can support my family and social security is not enough,” James said.
A guy named Doug contacted James saying he wanted to buy the Tennessee coin.
“I mailed it to him FedEx. I got a copy of the tracking number. I sent it to Doug and he told me to send it to eBay; and eBay sent me a message saying they would pay me within 24 to 48 hours,” James said.
But he never received payment for the coin. Instead, an ominous message came from eBay a few days later.
“They sent me an email stating that they were taking me off their account, that they would not let me sell counterfeit coins on eBay,” James said.
James immediately contacted a manager at a National Bank of Newport to document the authenticity of the coins and sent it to eBay. James believes once the coin arrived, the would-be buyer, Doug, told eBay that James had sent a counterfeit coin. Because within a day or two, Doug asked James to send him two more coins.
“He told me to go buy a gift card, then he would pay me $9,600 for the coins, plus the $1,000 gift card,” James said.
He did not send the money or the coins. Still, James has others to sell, but eBay suspended his account, which hurts despite the proof of authenticity he sent to eBay last month.
James has again appealed to eBay asking for his frozen account to be lifted. As he told us, the coins are authentic, the proof of purchase was notarized, and the coins have never been removed from the seals.