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Unsuspecting South Australians are being caught out by an old trick in a new guise, on the popular online auction site ebay.

Rogue traders operating world-wide are collecting millions of dollars, advertising high-end items like luxury cars at dirt cheap prices, except the goods don't actually exist.

Many have fallen for their cleverly-disguised scams here and there's nothing the authorities can do to catch the culprits.

Adelaide mum Mackie Payne has learned an expensive lesson about trust, while shopping for a car on ebay for the first time.

It was a two-year-old Toyota Land Cruiser supposedly in Darwin, going for at what seemed a bargain-basement price of $9,300 dollars.

Mackie was swayed by emails from the seller who identified herself as Simone Waters, and foolishly got suckered in. She wired the cash direct to a Western Union office somewhere in the UK to somebody she hadn't even met or spoken to.

She told us: "I did have my doubts, but it sounded legit. I went ahead and then I got butterflies when I put the rest in."

It's actually an old scam that's been fooling people world-wide on ebay and other trading sites for a few years and most likely linked to those nasty Nigerian oil and lottery hustlers.

Gerard Brody from the Consumer Action Law Centre says buying and selling over the internet can be a minefield.

Ebay has more than 200 million users but complaints about bad experiences have escalated, while its sales and user growth are steadily declining. Computer Magazine's Nick Ross says the company's mindset needs an overhaul.

Ebay say they have been working with Western Union for sometime to combat these kinds of fraud. They say that no one should use the service for on-line purchases and that there is a warning on Western Union documentation to alert the public to this risk. If your ebay purchase requests a payment via Western Union DO NOT PROCEED but call crimestoppers on 1800 333 000.

Mackie Payne has reported her misfortune to local police but the reality is, it's not the type of crime they are interested in however, she wants to issue a warning to others not to get caught like she did.