Fun With Ebay

eBay fraud

Speaking of eBay, which I sorta did a couple posts ago, I’m at work on Friday, checking my email in between attempts to tweak some actor headshots for use on the Argentum website, when I get a cluster of emails. “Congratulations,” they tell me, “you have successfully listed you item for bid on eBay!”

Say what?

I immediately log in and discover that according to them I’m now offering complete series of Sex & The City, The X-Files, Seinfeld and Ally McBeal on DVD. There are about fifteen auctions in all, with Buy It Now amounts ranging from about fifty dollars to a hundred dollars. Shipping is listed at forty bucks apiece. They’re coming from Amherst, Mass. And the auctions are single-day affairs, meant to be over by this time on Saturday.

Very clever. Not sure how it happened, but someone guessed my eBay account number and then created these bogus listings on my account. it’s a quick and dirty scam. The items are clearly pirated sets. In fact, Ally McBeal is so mired in music rights issues it’s not even on DVD. The scammers are counting on someone’s taking the Buy-It-Now option, sending THEM the money and then coming to ME when they don’t get their product. And since they were listed on my account, I’m supposed to pay the listing fees.

Luckily, the credit card on my account is out of date (eBay’s been trying to tell me this for a while.) I immediately send eBay an email and let them know what’s up. Then I start altering the auction listings to read, “Bogus Listing!” which gets tedious, so I just remove the listings altogether. Then I change my eBay password, and then the password for my main email account in case whoever it is has access to that and tries to get eBay to send out the new password (although admittedly, that’s a long shot.) The I change my eBay password again for good measure.

Of course, it takes some time for eBay to get the fact that I’d been hacked, so in that time I get emails from them saying, “A few of your auctions, entitled ‘Bogus Listing!’ have been removed for the following reasons(s): misleading auction title.” And then I another email from them saying that the rest of my auctions have been removed because some anti-piracy watchdog over at Fox was hip to the fact they weren’t legitimate DVD releases and sqwawked about it.

Geez.

Finally, on Saturday, I get an email from eBay:

Thank you for writing to eBay in regard to your ebay account.

Your account was accessed and taken over by an unauthorized person in order to list items without your authorization.

The person who did this may have changed the email address on the account so that you wouldn’t receive notification of the listings. We have now restored the correct email address on your account.

Buyers may contact you regarding these listings. Briefly explain to them what happened and have them contact us using our Help pages. Any negative Feedback linked with these auctions will be removed on your request.

I want to point out that information used to bill accounts, including credit card and bank account information, is stored on a secure server and can’t be viewed by anyone.

Also, all fees associated with any unauthorized listings should have been credited to your account.

So there. Problem solved. This series of tubes is back in business.

About the author: will

4 comments to “Fun With Ebay”

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  1. Memo Pisa el Lodo - October 4, 2006 at 12:55 pm Reply

    creeeeeeeeeeepy.

    someone once stole $500 from my checking account(which i got back from my bank). thats the most e-sleeze i have delt with thus far.

  2. Shelley - October 6, 2006 at 3:21 pm Reply

    I dealt with just this type of thing all morning today! I used the LiveChat option on eBay and got immediate action, they cleared out the 100 (yes, I said 100) items that had been posted on my account and credited the fees back to me. Not 30 minutes later … and this was after I had changed all my passwords, mind you …. the creep was posting MORE items for sale. I got back on LiveChat and they suspended my account for 24 hours and suggested I do some spyware scans. So beware — keep an eye out because it could happen again. I just wish I could figure out HOW. I am SO careful … never get phished. Pisses me off.

  3. Will - October 6, 2006 at 6:20 pm Reply

    Whoa. That’s serious. Spyware is definitely a possibility. A keystroke detector might be part of it. I had to change my email password in case someone somewhere had guessed that as well. If they had, there’d be no way for me to know that they were instructing eBay to re-send the new password.

    Once upon a time, someone set up a phishing page on my server (again, probably having guessed my password–I’ve since adopted a much more tricky password for everything) which I found and deleted in short order. Very tricky, those guys are.

    Good luck to you.

  4. justJENN - October 11, 2006 at 8:26 pm Reply

    Damn. I totally would have bought your Queer as Folk dvds. I mean…

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