Off topic: New scams on ebay
Thread poster: Anne Lee

Anne Lee  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 05:05
Member (2003)
Dutch to English
+ ...
Jan 22, 2008

Since most of us use ebay occasionally, I would like to warn you about 2 scams I came across in the last six months which I had not previously heard of.

1. While I had an item for sale, someone contacted me through ebay to alert me that someone else had copied the photo and description of the item I was offering for sale in an alleged scam.
'Are you aware that someone has copied your entry and your photograph? Have a look at this entry, I believe it is still on the site', the email said.
The email included a URL to the copied description, which I cut and pasted into my browser. I was then led to what looked like ebay's login page, requiring me to complete my login name and password. If I had filled in those details without paying attention to the fake URL, the spoofer would have received my login details.

2. I sold my smartphone on ebay and received a confirmation email from PayPal that the phone had been paid for. It was the most deceptive fake I have ever come across: no spelling errors and word-perfect, apart from the URL. If I had not double-checked by logging into PayPal from scratch, I might not have realised that the message wasn't real. I alerted ebay and the 'buyer' was struck off.

The last thread on on ebay scams seems to date back to 2005, so it doesn't hurt to warn each other about new scams.


1279 (X)
Local time: 00:05
Thanks for the heads up! Jan 22, 2008

Those scams do sound pretty advanced. Thanks for letting us all know, Anne.


Claire Cox
United Kingdom
Local time: 05:05
French to English
+ ...
Caution at all times! Jan 22, 2008

Your e-mail struck a chord with me - we've used E-bay quite a lot in the past, but hadn't had any problems until this autumn, when we seem to have been the victims (or attempted victims) of a number of scams.

My son had been selling old 'phones and computer equipment in a bid to raise money for a World Challenge trip with school, but at least three times he thought he'd sold the item and received the money by instant Paypal transfer only to receive a notification from Paypal that the transaction was potentially fraudulent and to hold fire. On the first occasion, he had actually taken the item to the post office and sent it by recorded delivery before we received the warning e-mail; fortunately, living in a small village where everybody knows everybody else, he was able to go along and retrieve the parcel, although he did forfeit the postage costs. The transaction was later found to be fraudulent though, so it was good job we were in time. Since then we've always waited a few days from the Paypal transaction before sending the goods - just in case!

Earlier in the summer, he lost the value of a digital camera in what I can only assume was another kind of scam. He packed up the camera and sent if off, with a certificate of posting, as the buyer had neither paid for nor requested recorded delivery. The buyer then claimed that he hadn't received the parcel and said he needed it urgently (which he hadn't said at the outset - he only lived a couple of miles from us, so surely he would have tried to arrange collection if he had wanted it quickly......?). To cut a long story short, the buyer claimed through PayPal, the case went to dispute and he was awarded the case and his cash was refunded - even though we were able to supply proof of posting (but, crucially, not proof of receipt - which recorded delivery would have provided). We were able to claim £34 from the Post Office for loss of the item because we had proof of posting, but this did not cover the value of the camera. Moral: always send everything recorded delivery to cover your traces!

It does leave you with a nasty taste in your mouth though - definitely a case of both buyer and seller beware!


Maria Antonietta Ricagno  Identity Verified
Local time: 06:05
English to Italian
+ ...
Account cancelled Jan 23, 2008

Hi everybody

two years ago I had a bad experience with eBay.
I had an account and I used it every now and then to buy vintage comics and also an old Italian dictionary. everything seemed to work properly until I began to get several emails from people living in the USA who were looking for information about a person whose name was every time different - it was clear a fake name. They explained they bought some Hi-Fi items from that person and paid for them but never got the items.
So they looked on the web and discovered my postal address was the same of that person and since they did not know what else to do, they decided to contact me just in case I knew anything about that person.
Of course I had no idea about it nor I ever heard about that fake name, so I called the Postal Police and they explained that it often happens that such persons 'steal' other people addresses and attach them to a fake name in order to sell inexistent items.
It was clear that my address was stolen from my eBay account, so I decided to cancel it.

One month ago I decided to try again to sign in with a new account, but 2 days after I began receiving menacing emails from someone who pretended he/she paid for some items via Paypal and I did not send the goods. Useless to say, I did not sell anything so I was 100% sure I had nothing to do with that and canceled my eBay account for the second and last time.




ingoociukas  Identity Verified
Local time: 05:05
English to Lithuanian
+ ...
Hello! Jan 23, 2008

It was all so familiar to read about your experiences. I must say I do not trust ebay since my last experience in summer. I had a brand new mobile phone for sale and as soon as I put it for sale on ebay I got a lot of e-mails from ebayers in the USA who wanted to buy the phone for husbands, sisters, etc who work saving people's lives. They were all offering cosmic money which quite made me happy and not at all suspicios as I their rating was 100%. I picked sent the phone to the person offering me the highest price and I sent the mobile phone to Nigeria for good and for nothing as I obviously received a scam e-mail under Paypal's name saying that the money was taken from the buyer's account. Needless to say I lost the expensive item as well as interest selling anything else on ebay.


Anne Lee  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 05:05
Member (2003)
Dutch to English
+ ...
warning about sending goods to Nigeria Jan 23, 2008

Indeed, Ingoociukas, you must have been hit by the same people who pretended to buy my phone. They pretended they were based elsewhere from a neutral email address but wanted me to send the phone to Nigeria, which made me suspicious. I searched on Google for any scams involving PayPal and I fortunately found the right information, warning me about fake PayPal emails. But I had never heard about an actual PayPal payment being withdrawn afterwards, so I am grateful to hear about your experiences.
Incidentally, my partner tried to report a scam on ebay last night and the page to report fake email messages had been withdrawn from ebay, so it is useful that we can warn each other on this forum about it.


Hester Eymers  Identity Verified
Local time: 06:05
Member (2005)
English to Dutch
+ ...
Bad sign? Jan 23, 2008

Hi Anne,

Thanks for your warning! I didn't know you had to be that careful using eBay. I always use the Dutch site Marktplaats - also owned by eBay -, but I haven't (yet) heard of such advanced scams there.

Anne Lee wrote:

Incidentally, my partner tried to report a scam on ebay last night and the page to report fake email messages had been withdrawn from ebay.

Why would they have withdrawn the page? It might be a bad sign: maybe they're getting flooded with reports about fake mail messages.

Kind regards,

[Edited at 2008-01-23 14:32]


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