Sunday, December 04, 2005

XBox Latest Lure in Auction Scams

When anything is hot, such as Microsoft's new XBox, it is best to "let the buyer beware." Todd Bishop of the Seattle Post-Intelligencer is reporting is auction customers on eBay are being tricked into buying empty boxes that once contained the XBox and even pictures of the XBox.

According to the article:

"Capitalizing on shortages of Microsoft's new video-game console, several people have attracted bids as high as $600 or more on eBay this week by offering Xbox 360 boxes -- just empty boxes -- in ways that made it seem, without reading closely, that the items for sale were actually consoles.

The common approach: Acknowledging that the item was merely a box, but surrounding that disclosure with so many pictures and descriptions of the real console and accessories that someone merely skimming the listings might not notice."

For the full story by Todd Bishop go to, Xbox bidders warned to beware Phony auctions are offering the box -- no console, just the box.

In a recent post, I did I wrote, "Many of us will use an increasingly popular method of shopping, which are auction sites. A lot of people have become victims on these sites and e-Bay is the largest player. I prefer the warning information on CraigsList. Craig Newmark (allegedly himself) put this together, "cashier check & wire transfer scams and avoid recalled items. Craigslist gets 3 billion page views a month and although they do charge for certain things (rarely), most of it is free. Furthermore, Craigs provides not only an auction site, but a lot of resources to help people, which again are mostly free."

To read this post, which I put together as a "best practices" resource to avoid fraud during the holiday season, go to, The Top (Free) Anti-Fraud Resources Found by Fraud, Phishing and Financial Misdeeds.

The bottom line is that auction sites, although immensely popular, have attracted a lot of fraud and many a person has become a victim. With more and more people gaining access to the internet, we can expect a this to be a growing trend. These scams always start with, "something that is too good to be true" and the best defense is to "let the buyer beware."

I've received a lot of information on auction scams via readers. If you happen to see something new, please feel free to drop me a line at

You can also read more on auction fraud by searching keyword "auction fraud" in the search box at the top of this page.

No comments: