Paul Barrington, who sold his last surfboard to buy a laptop ran into tough luck when he received a picture of a computer instead of the real thing mirror.co.uk reported.
Barrington, 38, was conned after winning the auction for a state-of-the-art Apple MacBook on ebay.
His winning eBay bid was £300 for the top-of-the-range computer, which could cost up to £1,500 when bought new.
Barrington had to give up surfing, his passion since he was 10, and his job in childcare centre after developing the lung condition bullous emphysema, which caused shortness of breath, Mail Online reported.
He hoped to set up a new business as a DJ at wedding receptions, using the computer to arrange his playlists and run his accounts during regular trips to hospital.
With the money he raised from the sale of his last surfboard, he ordered the MacBook from eBay - but all he received was a small square box.
According to eBay similar frauds were rare, but Barrington was not the first victim to receive a piece of paper.
A father who bought a 'bargain' XBox One got the shock of his life when he received a grainy printed photo of one instead.