James Clifton

A man and his blog.

17 scams aimed at ebay users

Did you know that there are a minimum of seventeen scams aimed at ebay users? I know that from personal experience as I used to sell collectible card games for two years on ebay. The amount of fraud emails I received was astounding, around three to four each day! The problem with ebay scams is that the ‘enemy’ is all around. Scammers were the easiest to spot, some buyers were trying to trick me, other sellers were trying to harass me but the worst was ebay and their constant changing of the rules. Heck, even Paypal is not your friend when you read the fine print of their contract. So what is the best way to guard against scams? Knowledge. I do run a website at www.thebestscams.com which goes through the main ebay scams (and a lot of other scams) while James Elliott wrote a book that goes into scams into a lot more detail. For now lets concentrate on the 17 ebay scams. First we must look at Phishing emails, this is when people send you emails that seem to come from a legitimate source. In this example a phishing email would seem to come from ebay themselves while it’s actually coming from scammers. If you click on this email you will be taken to a web site that LOOKS like the real ebay site but it isn’t. The best advice I can give here is DO NOT CLICK on a link in an email, type www.ebay.com into your web browser. Scammers will try hard to get your account details, especially if you have a score over one hundred. I have seen a scammer make over thirty thousand dollars in one weekend with an ebay account that had over one thousand feedback points on it. Scams by other ebay buyers include shill bidding, retracted bids, postage cost rip offs, change of address, fake refunds, feedback extortion, early offers, allegations of price fixing and ‘items damaged in the mail’. I remember the first time I explained ‘feedback extortion’ to a group of people and the two ladies in the group laughed at me, they couldn’t believe that it would actually happen. I said that it’s happened to me twice. They were both about to go on ebay so they did listen to what I had to say. Scams by other ebay sellers include auction interference, linking to web sites off ebay, fake price guides, trading assistant scams and false allegations. The current ebay system is so far behind scam reports that if an account has 3 warnings against it then the account is automatically suspended! Sounds good in theory but you must remember that scammers have hundreds of accounts working at any one time, with these they can lodge a ten complaints against a legitimate ebay seller instantly and have them suspended for up to two weeks. The irony is that the seller, who is now suspended for two weeks, has paid lots of fees to ebay while the scammers never pay fees. Other scams include fake wire transfers, the Powerseller scam (I fell for this!), second chance offers, drop shippers and distributors. If you don’t know what any of these scams are then I would advise you to look them up on the Internet (www.thebestscams.com has a full rundown of them all) before you start trading on ebay.