A man feared armed robbers might “pull the trigger” after they lured him into an ambush using fake online adverts.
Jamie Hallam and his fiancée lost £9,000 in the sting after travelling to Longsight in Manchester to buy a Mercedes car advertised on eBay.
Greater Manchester Police (GMP) thinks it may be linked to up to 15 similar cases officers are investigating.
An eBay spokesman said the company had suspended a number of accounts and was supporting police with their probe.
Mr Hallam said he drove into “a very quiet little cul-de-sac” on Friday 17 January with his fiancée and parked before heading towards the house where he believed the seller lived.
‘Laid into me’
He then got a phone call “asking if we’d turned up and what car we were driving”.
As soon as he replied, he heard “a screeching sound” and saw a car pull up and two masked men jump out.
One of them began fighting with him and shouting “give us the money”, Mr Hallam said.
“I went down, he pointed the gun in my face… and at that point I gave up fighting.
“They both then laid into me a little bit and kicked me in the head a couple of times.”
Mr Hallam’s fiancée opened the car door and one of the men pushed his way and took £9,000 in cash.
‘Attacked with hammers’
Mr Hallam, who wants to raise awareness about the scam, is not the only person to be duped in this way.
David, from Telford, who does not want his surname used, said robbers took the £7,500 he and his pregnant wife had saved for a bigger car.
He said thieves armed with hammers attacked the man who went to collect the car for him.
GMP has been contacted for comment about both cases.