Saturday, February 18, 2006

eBay's Fraud Hall of Shame

eBay's revenue continues to grow AND despite a growing number of victims, they seem to be blame everyone, but themselves. I recently wrote a post: How Much Fraud Can eBay's Customers Endure? There are some pretty good descriptions (with references) on this post about all of the various forms of fraud found on eBay.

Fraudulent forms of payment, Advance fee fraud (419) scams, phishing and account takeovers are common. Counterfeit merchandise and misleading ads abound on the site and by the time there is any response by eBay, the damage is often done.

So far as misleading ads, here is a post, I did during the Christmas Season: XBox Latest Lure in Auction Scams. People were tricked into buying the box, versus the contents by ads, which were written in a deceptive manner.

Yahoo's Group, eBayFraud is trying to do something about it. In their own words, here is what they are working towards accomplishing:

"This Group is designed to share information regarding fraud on eBay, including law enforcement, legal proceedings, reimbursement and fraud prevention. Members are welcome to post links, files, databases and messages that are relevant to this topic. You can also use the chat function for more direct communication."

I was recently contacted by them and asked to help publicize their efforts.

Here from the site is a compilation of articles about the fraud problem on eBay. Essentially, this is eBay's Fraud Hall of Shame:

Department of Homeland Security and NCSA 2006 Emerging Internet Threat List

This tidbit, is from

Authorities unable to track most money lost to alleged eBay scam

On 2/9/06, Chris W. Colby of wrote this:

Authorities are unable to track lost money to alleged eBay scam

Seeing Fakes, Angry Traders Confront Ebay

1/29/06 Katie Hafner of, wrote:

Warrants for Arrest Issued in eBay Scam Case

On 1/26/06, a press release from, stated:

2005 Fraud Trends: Consumers Being Hounded by Internet and Telemarketing Scams

1/19/06, NCL News, wrote:

2005 Fraud Trends: Official Report

Consumers Question eBay's Security

On 12/20/05, Martin H. Bosworth of, wrote:

eBay Admits Growing Fraud Problems

On 12/16/05, Geoff Duncan of Designtechnica News, wrote:


On 3/3/05, John Yembrick of the United States Attorney General for the Southern District of Texas wrote:

Online auction scams soar, Complaints nearly double

On 2/2/05, Carolyn Said, Chronicle Staff Writer ( wrote:

AND these are but stories from the past year, or so.

Here is another telling statistic, which reveals eBay's refusal to face up to reality. When reporting the top ten scams of the year, the National Consumers League noted:

"In the fall of 2003, online giant eBay removed the link from it's site, As a result, the number of auction complaints reported dropped to 1/6 its previous level. Based on statistics prior to eBay's action, NCL estimates that there would have been 30,720 auction complaints in 2005, representing 71 percent of complaints."

Should eBay continue to IGNORE this problem AND fail to get in front of it, the number of victims will continue to grow.

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