Ebay Scams and how to avoid them
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Ebay is a great place to buy and sell all kinds of stuff, but scammers are ever present and you need to pay attention to avoid getting scammed
- Never answer an email that came from ebay from inside your email program, always log into your ebay account first ( i.e. DO NOT click on any links in the email! ) and check the "My Messages" section if the email is legitimate.If you have to, than manually type in www.ebay.com in the address bar.When scammers get a hold of your email address, they will send a fake email message (called "spoof-email or phishing-email" ) to your email account, that looks like it came from ebay, and prompt you to log in directly from the message, and that way they can steal your password. For example: you receive an email that appears to come from ebay from another user asking you a question about a certain item, but you never bid or sold that item, and you dont know what is going on.If you click on the "respond" button ( inside your email client without first logging into your Ebay account ) and type in your password they will steal your account and they will use it for fradulent transactions..
When a seller posts an email address on top of the auction asking buyers to contact him BEFORE bidding because they have a buy it now price (so they say) , that means that it is a STOLEN ( hacked ) account, and they will ask buyers to send money ( outside Ebay ) via Western Union, or wire transfer (It will have-- "Contact me before you bid or your bid will be cancelled" in the item description section --) usually to foreign countries like Romania China or Russia.It is not a good idea to pay via Western Union for anything that costs more than $10 because that payment method is the favorite of scammers.
Always be cautious when sending money OR merchandise to the following countries: Romania,Russia,China,Nigeria-West Africa, because of the VERY high scam rate. Indonesia and Brazil are famous for stolen credit card transactions (sellers beaware)
When selling anything over $200 there is a danger of running into scammers.Try always enabling "immediate payment required" for paypal, or at least paypal account required, ( but other payment methods are accepted )
When accepting money order as payment ask for a USPS ( postal ) money order (or a Canadian Post Money Order in Canada) because it is harder to counterfeit it.Some money orders issued by foreign countries can take up to 60 days to clear, so if you deposit the money order, it will appear as legit, than the money will disappear after 10-60 days leaving a negative balance, it is a law in the US that all banks must make the deposited check or money order available after 10 days, even if they have to take the money back later because the check or money order was not legit.When they use that tactic, they usually pay more than the price of the merchandise ( like a "good seller" bonus ) and try to use their own shipping account to ship the merchandise ( stolen account usually )
When answering to a question ( from the "my messages" section always ) check the "hide my email address" checkbox BEFORE sending the email.Scammers ask bogus questions just to get your email address and send you fake but real looking so-called "spoofed" ebay pages to get your password..
- If you bid on an expensive item, but you are not the winner of the auction ( like a laptop for example ) than you might receive a "second chance offer" log into your account just to make sure that it is a legitimate offer .If it is, than you will see it in the my messages section if its not than it is a fake.Scammers like to send fake second chance offers than ask for a western union payment outside ebay.
- Ebay does NOT have a warehouse where they are shipping items from ( scammers often try to trick people into believing that the item is shipped from Ebays own warehouse )
- Ebay does not have an escrow service.
- Ebay does not have a purchase protection plan, or purchase protection insurance, only paypal but that is limited to $200 or $2000
- Watch out for Chinese scammers sending URLs of fake websites, many sellers get taken by these so-called incredible "direct-from-china" deals that just sounds too good to be true. For example laptops costing $3000 for about $800. They only accept wire transfer or western union only, and when they receive the money, buyers are left without their money or merchandise...
- Beware of feedback buyers, ( buyers AND sellers ) there are feedback sellers disguised as E-book sellers, selling feedbacks 1c each, check the feedbacks of the Ebay-user, if a sellers feedbacks consists mostly or entirely under $1 items and than selling expensive items suddenly, than it is very suspicious!
Do N-O-T ship ANYTHING to Nigeria, West-Africa (Home of the so-called Nigerian-Scammer)
- When receiving a Paypal notification of payment received, always log into your Paypal account BEFORE sending out the merchandise, to check if the payment notification is legitimate.Scammers like to send FAKE Paypal payment notifications to make sellers beleive that they sent the payment, the email looks just like it came from Paypal, but its only a regular email.
Make a strong password: A lot of people make easy to remember passwords ( like "dog" "house" )because they are afraid that they are going to forget it or they forgot before.There is nothing wrong about writing down the password on a piece of paper, than keeping it on a safe place ( thats the low-tech approach ;) ).There are password cracker programs out there that can crack a common word password in a matter of seconds by trying every word in a dictionary.
The nigerian scam
The nigerians are involved in all kinds of scams on the internet, and a lot of them are working on ebay as well.They are sitting in cybercafes in Lagos Nigeria, and make a living out of scamming honest people.Most of the scams are involved scamming sellers who dont sell very often on ebay (infrequent sellers), they usually go after high priced electronics (or cellphones-mobilephones) but anything over $100 can be a target, and trying to convince sellers to send their merchandise to Nigeria.They simply make up a story (any story) why the merchandise should be shipped to Nigeria , and banking on the -a sucker is born every day- theory.They often use stolen (hacked) accounts and send emails to sellers.Here are a couple of examples of the emails they send out:
Hello, I am happy to come accross this your item during my internet search .I will be very glad if you can sell this item for me.due to the fact that i wanna buy it for my Boss who is on an Educational Research to west africa.i will like to know if this item is in good condition ?.Due to the urgent need of this i will like to inform you that i will make the payment through our company Via PayTrust Account(www.paytrust.com). moreso, send me your full name and address including your phone number where the money will be delivered to by PayTrust delivery agent so that i can make the payment as soon as possible ok. Can you please consider me with $1,800USD for this item including the shipping cost?? PLEASE GET BACK TO ME WITH YOUR EMAIL ADDRESS OR you can also contact me directly via : xxxxxx I wait to read from you as soon as possible. Thanks and best regards.
Good Day i saw your item on Ebay Auctions and i have interest in buying it for my Client in the University of Ibadan, Nigeria and you will need to send the item to him in the West Africa and let me know if you still have in sell and i will offer you ($2,500USD for the Laptop $100 shipping) and i can,t wait till the bidding ends and I want you to kindly tell me more about his condition at the moment and also more about the shipment.Payment shall be made by (Travelex Money Order)and i will preffer the shipment through (USPS Global Express or DHL Express) to IBADAN, 023402, Nigeria and i will need this information for the payment. Full Name : Full Address: Zip Code: State: Country: City : Total Cost: Email Address: and Let me know if we can continue the transaction? U can contact me through xxxxxx i will be looking forward to hear back from you thanks. Please if you want smooth transaction with me mail me in English
Sometimes they use stolen (hacked) Ebay accounts, and often stolen shipping accounts as well, but usually its a newly registered Ebay account with 0 feedback. When selling high priced electronics try enabling "Paypal account required" but other payments accepted as well.Write "NO SHIPPING TO NIGERIA / WEST AFRICA" on top of the auction when selling anything.
The usual nigerian scam routine is that after they bid on an auction with a newly registered account OR a stolen older account, they will bid up the price of merchandise often $100s or $1000s higher than what its worth, than send a PHONY paypal email, that is: the email looks like it came from paypal showing that the merchandise was paid for.It is very simple to find out if its real or not by simply logging into your paypal account and see if the money is there.
The Russian Wedding (another scam)
The "Russian wedding" is an older scam, its still in use on ebay.They usually target sellers who are selling merchandise under or around $10.This is how it goes: The seller receives a message via the ebay message system (ask seller a question) They state that they would like to purchase the seller's merchandise and send it to Russia (can be Romania as well or other countries) They make up a story that it is a gift for a friend's wedding, and they want to add a special gift to the purchased (cheap) merchandise: A moneygram money order that can be cashed almost anywhere in the world.They would pay via Paypal and would add a "special" bonus of about $200 on top of the entire amount for all the trouble.The merchandise would cost $10 plus a special wedding gift of $900 in MoneyGram money order plus $200 for all the troubles all paid via Paypal.The reason why they target small time sellers is because they usually don't enable "paypal payment from confirmed sources only" setting .The Paypal payment source will be a stolen credit card, and Paypal will take back the money after about a month (or less) if the seller follows thru, thus he will loose the entire amount plus the merchandise.
Here is a different version of this scam, the money is sent from a stolen paypal account OR using a stolen credit card, same result the recipient of the paypal cash will see the money taken back by paypal. ---->
Hello! My name is Anna, I'm a manager of xxxxxx company We buy and sell software products in USA and Russia. But we've got problems with selling our products to the USA, 'cos most of our clients prefer paying throuth paypal. But russian paypal accounts can't recieve transfers. I hope, that sometimes this problem will be solved, but now we need partners to accept paypal transfers from our clients. The point of this job is the transferring of money sums to our partners and clients in Russia. Work process includes 3 steps: 1) receiving the transfer (on your Paypal account), 2) getting cash and 3) shipping money to our partners. (through MoneyGram or Western Union) Your commission is 10% from the sum, that comes on your Paypal account. The sums are minimum $ 1500, usually more. If you are interested in this job please email me: xxx Please don't use reply from ebay Sorry if you were not interested Anna
Lots of scams every day on Ebay Motors, scammers post fradulent auctions with stolen accounts every day.Never pay with any form of instant cash payment like Western Union,wire transfer or Money Gram.The standard fraud routine is that the scammer posts an auction with a stolen account using picture and data from another auction, than asks a wire transfer or Western Union payment.Seriously if someone claims that he will ship an industrial equipment ( weight 15 tonns ) that costs about $40000 for only $6000 with free shipping from Romania, would you beleive it? Actually it did happen and someone fell for it ....
Ebay was desperate to break into the chinese market, they currently allow chinese to post auctions for free.About 80% to 90% of Chinese auctions are fradulent one way or another.Chinese scammers are setting up websites on a daily basis, with pictures of expensive merchandise at ridiculously low prices.Beaware they only have the pictures, no merchandise.They only accept banktransfer, western union or other instant money transfer services.Chinese laws allows to use a simple hotelroom as a permanent residence to open a bank account for money transfer purposes.When they rip off enough people, they simple change hotelrooms...
China is the largest manufacturer of counterfeit merchandise, fake designer handbags,clothing accesories,fake anything....
Fake antiques,fake batteries (with brand name labels) fake memory cards
The fake batteries usually dont hold the charge, or even explode in some cases
Fake memory cards loose content, or dont have the advertised capacity
They post auctions with no merchandise (just the picture) expensive electronics usually, no paypal, western union or wire transfer only
They register many accounts than send out unsolicited emails touting websites, but there is NO merchandise for sale ONLY the pictures,again western union or wire transfer only.Sometimes they use stolen Ebay accounts from various countries, and send out these spam emails from those stolen accounts. Here are a couple of sample emails they send out:
Hi my friend,
pleased to contact with you.We are a big wholesaler company that
can offer the latest and most famous digital and electronic to you,such as
digital camera,video,Mobile,loptop Notebook,TV,MP4,GPS,PSP and so on.
they are brand new,authentic,each one come with original box.Our products have sale all over the world. We can offer high quality product,the lowest price and good service to you. If you are really interested in our products,please contact us.
Beijing xxxxxxxx company 12-108, Zhongguancun xxxxx, Haidian District Beijing ,China TEL:xxxxxx
FAX:xxxxxxx We are a company that wholesales large quantities of electronics. We can offer you a vast majority of electronics, such as laptops, digital cameras, camcorders, DVDs, GPS, cell phones, MP3 and MP4 players, video games, and much more. We buy in large quantities, direct from factories all over China, to resell them to you in the cheapest possible prices available world-wide. We offer safety and security, and we are always reachable. We are able to ship world-wide, absolutely free of charge. If you are not satisfied with our products, we will offer you a full refund. We will work with you to meet your satisfaction. Please be sure reply to my MSN E-mail,otherwise i can not reveive your letters . xxxxxxxx@
website : xxxx
And finally this is not an Ebay scam, but if you ever travel to China, watch out for the Chinese Teahouse scam, just Google it.
Also many people are tempted to purchase medication online, because of the cheap prices, unfortunatly a lot of criminals set up websites to lure
people with cheap med prices.If you purchase meds from these criminals, not only you will not receive medications (likely sugarpills that looks like medication) but they will sell your creditcard number (used to purchase meds) to criminals, who will use it for fradulent purchases.
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