On this page we will explain how you can tell if you have received fraudulent software, and also what action you can take.
Results of our Test Purchases on eBay
During the month of May 2007 we noticed large amounts of Windows XP software being offered on eBay, selling for far less than our cost. We regularly purchase software through a Microsoft authorized dealer and we knew that something wasn't right.
First - The COA (Certificate of Authenticity) is the little sticker that is normally affixed to the outside of the plastic wrapping. The "PPP" after the Windows XP Home isn't supposed to be there. Upon closer inspection, it was obvious that the COA was cut from another wrapper and then glued it to the new wrapper.
A) The ‘PPP’ in the license name should not be there.
B) If you look closely you can see a sliver of plastic wrapper left over from a previous package.
C) This item number is completely different than the numbers normally found on legal US Windows software.
Second - The plastic wrapper sealing that seals the package is completely different, thinner and more brittle. At closer examination, it was apparent the item was repackaged.
Third - The round sticker on the front of the booklet wasn't cut right, the printing was poor quality, and it was not even cut evenly. After removing part of the sticker, underneath we found the label “Licensed for distribution only to specific countries within Middle East and Africa”
What to do if you purchased illegal software
Yes, there are still sellers on eBay. EBay has not removed them at this point.
It is important for you to go through and file a fraud claim with each of these agencies. The more individuals that go through this process the faster this situation will be dealt with.
Before you send the software back, make sure you take pictures of the front and back including the COA license keycode. I have found the easiest way to get clear closeups of software is to actually scan it with your personal scanner.
You will need to report him to:
1) the FBI - online at www.ic3.gov
I have spoken to an FBI agent in California. They are aware of this seller, but still tell me to have people file their claims using the online form on the ic3.gov site.
2) Microsoft - firstname.lastname@example.org
3) The BSA - online form at http://www.bsa.org/usa/report/
5) PayPal - if you have made any PayPal payments to a seller, make sure you file a claim to get your money back. Log onto your PayPal account and find the 'Resolutions Center' button on the top menu bar. Make sure you go through the entire process and escalate the claim indicating you have proof of a fraud. If you do not escalate the claim, you will only be in the part where you and the seller communicate. You need to escalate the claim for PayPal to look closely at the seller.
6) Your Credit Card Company - if you paid over the phone directly with your credit card, call your credit card company and report the fraud.