17 scams aimed at ebay users (2008)
Did you know that there are seventeen scams aimed at ebay
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
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
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.
About the author : This article was written by James Clifton on behalf of the website
He also teaches ebay at www.learninternetauctions.com