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Callawassie man loses $24K in fake Corvette sale

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An 80-year-old Callawassie Island man found a 2013 Corvette he hoped to buy from a seller on

He and the seller exchanged several emails and agreed on a shipping company, Automoto Shipping, that would bring the car from Billings, Mont., to South Carolina. The seller advised the man that he would need to send a wire transfer to the shipping company because “they would be the ones who would arrange everything regarding shipping and payment.”

The man was skeptical and contacted what he believed to be the shipping company to confirm that it was, in fact, real. He then went to his bank and sent a wire transfer of $24,450 to J&C Auto-Moto-Machinery Sales LLC.

Once the transaction was complete, the man messaged the seller and asked to be notified when all was in order.

After several days, the man did not hear anything and was only able to leave messages at the shipping company. This is when he discovered he had been locked out of his account and could no longer receive any updates on the car site. When the car did not arrive on the agreed-upon shipping date, the man realized he had been scammed and contacted Beaufort County Sheriff’s Office.

A Sheriff’s Office investigator attempted to visit the shipping company website and discovered it no longer works. The investigator was also unable to locate a shipping company using the name Automoto Shipping in Billings.