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BAD Ebay

October 11th, 2006 at 02:11 am

I recently rediscovered Ebay as a wonderful source of cheap clothing. However, I've also had not just one, but two back-to-back horrible experiences with something that has become closely associated with Ebay- scams.

About two months back, I bid for and won an incredible lot of mixed vintage jewelry. All was well until I received an email, presumably from another ebay member, warning me about his/her recent transaction problems with the seller of the jewelry. Worried, I stupidly clicked on the link and signed into Ebay, then checked my mail, but there was no message from that "ebay user." Even more surprising was in the transaction history of the seller, there was no negative comment from an unsatisfied buyer, nor was there anyone with that "ebay user's" name. I didn't know what to think.

fast forward to just a few weeks ago. Upon signing onto my ebay account, I was shocked to see, listed underneath my Items I'm selling, an unauthorized listing for a Honda snowmobile!! Not only was it selling for an exhorbitant price (luckily, no one had bid for it) but the ad had all the works- colors, extra large picture, bells and whistles- resulting in an enormous listing fee. I panicked and not only filed a complaint with ebay but also hopped on their Live Support thing that, after about an hour of waiting, finally put me through to a customer service agent. By the way, during the wait as I filed my written complaint, I noticed how extensive and descriptive that process was, meaning Ebay must be well-acquainted with this sort of false/unauthorized user complaints. How sad.

To my surprise (but also my relief) the situation was resolved quickly. A few q&a with the customer service rep, verifying my email addrsses and stuff, and then the charge was removed from my account. They also rather heavily advocated I download their Ebay toolbar, which I politely declined. The fast resolution was good, but part of me is still disturbed by the speed. Were several other ebay users hit by this same scammer at once? Or even more maliciously, is this some plot by Ebay to get users to download their toolbar, full of god knows what adware/spyware?

This story does not end here. Now quite wary of ebay, I've since backed off on my buying (I've never sold anything on there). Recently, though, I did risk buying some more shoes, and paid through Paypal. The next thing I know, another email, this one from "Paypal" appears, asking whether I wanted to authorize a $700 payment to Dell.

Not only was I a wiser person, but there were many things about that email that rang as False. For one thing, the salutation was to "member"- no mention of my username or full name, plus the "m" was not capitalized, an attribute (weird lower case letters) seen in many spam mail. Second, though Dell brand name was all over the email, there was no mention to the actual item- laptop, computer, whatever- nor was there a picture. Also, the numbers did not add up; there was about $10 or so of "taxes" and another $10 or so of "shipping" (yup, more suspicious lower cases) but then the grand total was $700. The final catch was, when I checked the "link" I noticed it was not taking me directly to Paypal but to some other, strange URL.

This time, I forwarded this email to spoof@paypal.com, as per instructions at the official Paypal website. Within hours, Paypal wrote back and confirmed this was indeed a fake email, then listed extensive instructions about how I should change my passwords, emails, etc, AND of course, download the ebay toolbar.

So what are the chances that I'd fall victim to two spamming efforts in this short time frame? Are ebay and Paypal becoming inundated with these sorts of spammers? Is it a bad sign that ebay was so used to these sorts of situations? I don't know about you, but I'm really hesitant about using Ebay now more than every before.

7 Responses to “BAD Ebay”

  1. pablo71 Says:

    I've never had a problem with eBay / Paypal or people trying to phish my info from either of those two companies and I buy and sell quite a bit. I've had a couple phishing attempts with regards to banks, but that's it. What I did which may have helped is to have a separate e-mail account which I use exclusively for eBay & Paypal. I have never had a problem in 5 years with that account. Good luck!

  2. monkeymama Says:

    I have been getting a ton of scammy e-mails phishing Ebay lately. I rarely use it so I know they are scams. A lot of the stuff is people saying I never paid them for an item, etc. I haven't dug further to see what the scam is, other than check my actual account and make sure no one is bidding in my name.

    Interestingly, my grandma has been really harassed by phishers now phishing by telephone. They leave an automated message over the phone telling you to call back because your account has been compromised, etc. I was so proud she did not fall for it, but they have called her 10 times in week at last count. Just when you have it all figured out, a new scam pops up. You just can not let your guard done for a second. A shame...

  3. Ima saver Says:

    I know nothing about e bay, but a friend of mine had a bad problem with someone stealing her account, just this past week.

  4. princessperky Says:

    hmm, I got paypal phishing stuff before I ever had a paypal account, you are really supposed to forward that stuff to them?

  5. frugalmomof1 Says:

    I've had a few phishing emails from ebay...What surprised me is how real they look.
    I never click on links for ebay or paypal that I receive in email...I always go directly to the site to view account info.

  6. Champion Cheapskate Says:

    I see the problem, literally. But it's not just eBay and PayPal, banks and almost every account you have, including your email accounts, are being phished too. To follow up on what frugalmomof1 said:

    Please never click the link from ANY email to go to ANY of your accounts. Always manually type in the address in your browser or use favorites.

    Stay safe.

  7. Money Talk$ Says:

    I have two paypal accounts and an ebay account and all three of these are using different email addresses. I love it when you get an email regarding the 'unauthorized use' of your ebay or paypal accounts, but the scammers send the email to the wrong address. As has been stated NEVER click the link to your bank, or paypal, or ebay, or consignment shop selling 'lusty handbags' from an email.

    I got a phishing email from Bank of America that looked real had the logos all over it, but as I tend to do, I hover my mouse over the link and see where the link is really going. It was going to BankOfArnerica.com ... take a good look at that again...it reads
    A r n erica sure looked like A M erica when I first saw it, and I am certain that they were able to fool many users with that clever visual trick. Be very wary of ANY email claiming to be from a company that you do business with.

    Another trick is to not have an links and have some wording of due to the many attacks by scammers and phishers recently, we urge you to call our 800 number listed. That number is NOT the customer service number...take the time to check a statement or your files for the real number. Also remember to forward those scam emails to spoof@paypal.com or spoof@ebay.com or contact your bank or whatever copany to let them know of the existence of the email.

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