The fake eBay Scammer email
Be on the lookout for fake eBay emails sent by Scammers. These will look official and appear to be sent via eBay from another eBay User. Some may contain a worrying Message, perhaps accusing you of buying an Item but not paying. These fake e-mails contain a login button, which click through to an official-looking eBay login page. In fact, it is actually a lookalike page on a phishing site and is designed to gather your login details. Once the eBay Scammers have this information, they can hijack your eBay account, drain your PayPal account balance, steal more of your personal information, use your eBay account to buy Items from other Sellers and have these delivered to safe addresses used by the Scammers, or sell non-existent Items.
To determine if an eBay e-mail is genuine, there is a simple way. All eBay e-mails contain your registered name at the top, ie: ‘eBay sent this message to JOHN SMITH (your eBay User ID in brackets after it).
Your registered name is included to show this message originated from eBay.’
If the email does not contain your registered name either DELETE it, or forward it to
email@example.com. With a genuine eBay Message, if you login to your eBay Account and click on the Messages tab, you should see a copy of the Message there.
The same procedures apply to emails sent by PayPal. Look for your PayPal Account Name at the top. If it is not there, do NOT click on any links and forward it to firstname.lastname@example.org
Another prevalent eBay Scam involves the ‘Second Chance Offer’. On eBay, if your bid for an Item is unsuccessful, the Seller may still offer you a ‘second chance’ to buy the Item, once the Auction has ended. This could be because the Winning Bidder cannot pay, or that the Seller has more than one identical Item for sale. This is a genuine eBay facility and may seem attractive to unsuccessful Bidders. However, the Scam version of it works as follows: The Scammer lists a bogus, high-value Item that it feels will attract a lot of interest. It uses another (hacked or fake) eBay User ID to bid high for the Item and ultimately ‘win’ it. When the Auction ends, the Scammer sends Second Chance Offers to unsuccessful Bidders, milking in numerous payments for an Item that never existed. As before, carefully check the ‘Second Chance’ email from eBay by looking for your registered name at the top of it and also logging into your eBay Account to see if a copy of the email is in your Messages Folder
Final words on eBay Scammers
Never pay a Seller with insecure payment methods like MoneyGram or Western Union. If you are collecting an Item from the Seller’s home and the Seller wants cash, then that may be OK, providing that you feel comfortable and confident with the transaction and have thoroughly inspected and tested the Item. Do ensure that you get a receipt for your money.
Be aware that eBay is a safe place to buy and sell. Fraudulent transactions are comparatively very, very few. Nonetheless, they are out there and to be forewarned is to be forearmed!