Detect Spoof / Phishing e-mails using My Messages
Spoof or phishing e-mails are e-mails that look like authentic
messages from eBay, but which actually are fake e-mails sent by
scammers to try to trick you into revealing your eBay password or other
sensitive information. A spoof e-mail will have eBay
logos, copyright notices, legal disclaimers, etc that an actual eBay
e-mail might have, so it is difficult to know for sure whether the
e-mail is authentic. If you click on a link
from a phishing e-mail, it will take you to a site that looks
like the eBay site, but is really operated by the scammers. Any
information you enter into such a spoof site will go directly into the
eBay's My Messages is the way you can tell for sure whether an
e-mail is real or fake. If you receive an e-mail from eBay,
simply go to http://my.ebay.com and click on My Messages.
If you do not see the same e-mail listed there, then the e-mail is a
fake and should be deleted. All e-mails from eBay will also be
placed in My Messages.
It's all about the e-mail address -- make sure you protect yours
Scammers need ways to communicate with potential buyers looking for
a "great deal." One of their main goals is to get your e-mail
address so that they can spam you with fraudulent offers. eBay's
latest My Messages feature helps you protect your e-mail address.
- If you send an e-mail to another eBay member (for example to ask a
question, respond to question, or contact eBay member), make sure you
check the box that says Hide my email address. The
other person will still be able to reply to your message, but only
through the eBay My Messages system, and not directly to your e-mail
you respond to a message you receive in My Messages, always do so by
hitting the "reply" button, not by sending an e-mail directly to their
e-mail address. If you send the messages through the eBay My
Messages system, you will continue to keep your real e-mail address
- E-mails you receive to your regular inbox may be spoof e-mails, which can trick you with links and buttons leading you to spoof sites. Messages you receive in My Messages are text only. Although the text of the message may still be fraudulent, they can not trick you with fake links or buttons.
- eBay's Trust & Safety team suspends fraudulent accounts every
hour of every day. If you communicate with the scammer only via
My Messages, they will no longer be able to contact you once they are
suspended. But once they have your e-mail address, the can keep
trying to scam you forever.
A scam exposed
want to find buyers who very much want a certain item and are looking
for a "great deal" -- these are the users most likely to fall for a
scam. When you bid on a high-price item, they may contact you
using the "Contact eBay Member" function. In the message, they
will put a lot of wording like "In compliance with eBay's policies" and
"you are being made this second-chance offer" to make their message
sound official. Most importantly, they will ask you to e-mail
them directly at an outside e-mail address. In fact, they will be
so desperate to make sure you do not respond using My Messages that
they will put text like "DO NOT HIT THE RESPOND BUTTON. E-MAIL ME
AT XYZ@ABC.COM" in capital letters. This is a sure-fire indication of fraud.
Any valid seller will be happy to receive a response in My
Messages. Only a scammer will insist on communicating with you
outside of the eBay system.
Use the eBay Toolbar to detect spoof sites
The eBay Toolbar is a powerful tool to help you
detect whether you are on a spoof site. The toolbar installs in
your browser and has access to a constantly updated database of known
spoof sites. It also has a list of all valid eBay domain
names. If it detects that you are browsing to a spoof site, its
danger indicator will turn red. If it detects that you are on a
valid eBay site, its indicator will turn green. It can also warn
you if you are about to enter your eBay password on any site other than eBay.
Always purchase items on the eBay site
I am sure you have seen the warnings saying that "outside of eBay" transactions may be unsafe. Have you ever thought that eBay is just protecting its own fee revenue? Thoughts like that can lead you to unsafe purchases. eBay will often find and end fraudulent listings. When
eBay ends a fraudulent listing, they will warn all the bidders of that
item so that the bidder does not go through with the transaction.
But if you take the transaction "outside of eBay" and don't place an
official bid, eBay has no way of alerting you. The scammers all
know this, and that is why they always prefer to transact "off eBay".
Never purchase an item using Western Union
Western Union is a great way to send money to someone you know
personally (like a relative in a foreign country). It is not a
safe way to purchase items from a stranger. It is the 100%
preferred payment method of scammers. So even the seller says "my
Paypal account is down", do not pay using Western Union.
That's it for now. By following these simple guidelines, you can enjoy a very positive, safe, and fun trading experience on eBay!