THE plight of a single mother who was conned out of thousands of pounds has prompted an online auction site to issue urgent advice.

Ambulance driver Sandra Moss, aged 55, was duped into spending £6,500 because she believed she was buying a Ford C-Max car.

Miss Moss, from Blackrod, had to replace her 14-year-old Mercedes car so she could take her daughter, Natalia, to hospital for intravenous treatment at Manchester Children’s Hospital.

The 12-year-old suffers from cystic fibrosis, a life-limiting condition.

She wanted to buy a car quickly and came across one on eBay which appeared to be the perfect deal.

But after transferring the funds in two transactions she was left out of pocket — and without her new car.

The alleged seller, who is being investigated by police, encouraged Miss Moss not to use eBay’s PayPal, which is more secure.

An eBay spokesman advised people that if the deal looks too good to be true, it probably is.

The spokesman said: “Thousands of transactions complete successfully every day, but there are some simple steps to take to help stay safe online.

“Check the seller’s feedback profile, particularly for items similar to the one you are interested in buying, and never send money via Western Union, MoneyGram or other less secure methods.

"Remember that eBay will never send buyers an invoice.

"We do not accept bank transfers and we do not offer an ‘escrow’ service (accepting payment on behalf of the seller).”

People are advised to look out for people who push for a speedy completion of a transaction, people who refuse to meet in person or refuse to allow the buyer to inspect the vehicle before purchase, and sellers who want to move the transaction from one place to another, for example from eBay to a private site or from another site to eBay.

Sellers who claim eBay vehicle protection covers a car sale should be given a wide berth as there is no such service.