Saturday, March 25, 2006

eBay Fraud from a Personal Standpoint

Here is a personal story from Randy (computer store owner) about fraud on eBay. To put it mildly, it's scary!

“Read your article on auction fraud, you mentioned send info if we see one… I have been trying to buy a Garmin 396 GPS for over a month now on eBay, DAILY there are ads posted containing fraud, most are account takeovers… this is a high dollar item, retail is about $2400, ads commonly want you to email a different address, the reply will offer one at $500 if you sent the money Western Union… Today I actually found one that looked legit and I was set to bid, they even offered PayPal, I wrote the user asking if I could pick up the unit in Wisconsin this weekend if I won the auction, one hour before close they wrote that it wasn’t their ad and then the ad disappeared… currently there are 2 legit ads up for this item, most days they will run through 10 – 20 fakes ones… I have to wonder how many people are getting scammed into sending money… I have written eBay numerous times but nothing happens, it’s like they don’t care… I almost think eBay should be shut down until they can figure out how to clean up false auctions, or at the very least be financially liable for any fraud perpetrated on their site… several years ago I was the victim of eBay fraud, I sent a money order for $650 for a digital camera which of course never arrived… after much investigation on my part I tracked the guy down.. I contacted the Postmaster in New York and they set up a sting and actually caught the 17 year old kid cashing a money order at the post office… turns out he had duped over 30 people on the same ad and a year earlier had duped many more… long story short, I lost my money, the kid probably just got a slap on the wrist, the post office won’t give any details other than he was arrested and held for 1 hour before being released… very sad and very frustrating…”

10-20 fake ads for 2 real ones and it appears that account takeovers are as rampant as ever! As mentioned in his e-mail, Randy did actually help catch an eBay fraudster and he was held one hour before being released?

AND there are a lot of frustrated business people, who are also taking a hit on eBay fraud. Here is a story about potential litigation being developed for all the counterfeit items for sale on the auction site (courtesy of the Globe and Mail):

The real deal: Lawyers wage war against fakes on Web

Another interesting story that came out about a week ago was an announcement from Microsoft that they were filing lawsuits against people selling counterfeit software on eBay.

Microsoft Files Lawsuits Against Online Sellers to Help Protect Consumers From Illegal Software

Time and time again, eBay has blamed anything and everyone else for the fraud problem on their site.

Randy put it quite eloquently in a reply to his original email:

"I was thinking this morning, I own a computer store. If my customers were being robbed daily while shopping on my premises, and I did nothing to protect them except tell them to be careful, or take any responsibility for the problem, how long would it take before the authorities shut me down because the place I was providing was too dangerous? I suspect it wouldn’t be very long."

I'll add another thought to this.

If Randy was selling counterfeit and stolen goods in his store, it probably wouldn't be long before he was arrested, or shut down by civil litigation.

When will eBay wake up and smell the coffee?

Here is a previous post on eBay denying the problem on their site:

eBay Claims Fraud Isn't a Major Problem

11 comments:

Anonymous said...

über Ad Küche bekamen wir die Info über den Aufenthaltsort von Herrn
Skinley. Herr Micheal Skinley schuldet uns rund 17.000 Euro. Seine Firma hat
Skinley am 17.04.2002 in Deutschland abgemeldet und ist verschwunden.

Wir werden versuchen ein Inkasso Büro mit der Eintreibung zu beauftragen.

mfg

Anonymous said...

The one thing that fraudsters like this depend on is of the buyers greed at getting a good deal.

When dealing with anything on E-Bay it is best to think in terms of "If this deal is too good to be true,it probably isn't true"

NO legitimate seller is going to sell any brand new item at a subtantial discout of how much it would cost someone at a retail outlet.

Anonymous said...

The one thing that fraudsters like this depend on is of the buyers greed at getting a good deal.

When dealing with anything on E-Bay it is best to think in terms of "If this deal is too good to be true,it probably isn't true"

NO legitimate seller is going to sell any brand new item at a subtantial discout of how much it would cost someone at a retail outlet.

Ed Dickson said...

over Ad kitchen we got the info. over the place of residence of Mr. Skinley. Mr. Micheal Skinley owes us approximately 17,000 euro. Its company logged out Skinley to 17.04.2002 in Germany and disappeared. We will try a collection office the recovery to assign. mfg

English Translation if anyone is interested.

Rowan said...

Great post, Ted. Thank goodness, I haven't been taken at eBay myself, but I saw my boss lose $3500 through an eBay scam. I tried to warn him, but... The auction owner pulled the auction and then sent him an email saying the last person didn't pay, and did he want to buy this gooseneck trailer. There were correspondences with what appeared to be eBay reps, and to make a long story short, this guy scammed my boss but good. I told him never to buy anything that wasn't through the system, but he thought the emails were legit and wired the money to some guy in the UK who is probably laughing his arse off now.

Anonymous said...

Anyone who wants to see an account hijacker has only to search for "roland drums" and go down the list.

The same group of scammers have been offering this item for at least a month. I complained a number of times to ebay and when I do, they pull the ad. Why they can't stop these guys or at least force them to find new items not to sell, I can't understand. It's not brain surgery, its simple programming.

Anonymous said...

Anytime you receive a "Second Chance Offer" for an item that you were not high bidder, it's a scam. Report it by forwarding it to spoof@ebay.com.

Anonymous said...

According to eBay, their "Second Chance Offer" option is legitamate.

Here is the proof:
http://pages.ebay.com/help/sell/second_chance_offer.html

5/5/06

Ken said...

According to eBay, their "Second Chance Offer" option is legitamate.

Here is the proof:
http://pages.ebay.com/help/sell/second_chance_offer.html

5/5/06

Anonymous said...

I have just been frauded for over 17,000.00 the second chance auction the truck was on was legit, it just was not the dealer, the links back to Ebay worked the auction numbers matched, and no, I am not greedy and I did not deserve this.

The emails were from Ebay concerning the auction and when the wire went through and we lost contact with the buyer, we called and the dealer had no idea what we were talking about.

Anonymous said...

Sorry to hear about this -- that is a lot of money.

Pity you did not bother to read either the User Agreement or the numerous warnings posted all over eBay.

eBay does NOT solicit sales on behalf of members.

Western Union is BANNED as a form of payment as it is completely untraceable or recoverable once claimed. Wire transfers are also banned.

Before you send off such a large sum of money, wouldn't you check, doublecheck, then check once more to verify the legitimacy of the situation?

Fraudsters suck, but it also discouraging to read about people who let themselves be taken through such willfull ignorance.

Don't mean to be a hater. I'm just sayin.'