Of course, not all dodgy dealings on eBay are fraudulent. Some are aloof mischievous. Others are by chancers, who maybe anticipate their victims won’t be bothered to pursue them.
Whoever causes it, it’s left to the targeted buyer or seller to ace shot and sort out the botheration. All that we as users can accomplish is to be decidedly vigilant and cautious in all our eBay and PayPal activities.
Here is a list of practical steps, in no particular adjustment, which buyers and sellers can booty to advice avoid becoming the abutting basket position.
Hopefully you are already aware of some of these. It doesn’t necessarily chase that if one of these applies the auction or person is fraudulent. But if you statement your head, and body up a appearance of the overall transaction based based upon a figure of these factors, you will lessen your chances of getting conned.
a) Stock photos and descriptions
As they don’t accept the item they are “selling”, some fraudsters statement a stock photograph of the item. And they will probably statement the manufacturer’s product description too. So, stock photos and no aboriginal description might be a sign. Search for other auctions by the selfsame seller, and beam if they are brazen enough to advertise the selfsame item added than once.
b) A price too acceptable to be accurate generally isn’t accurate
A fraudster wants your almighty dollar quickly, so you may acquisition they action to close their auction early with you as the “winner” having easily a price which you apperceive to be somewhat of a bargain. Why would anyone close their auction early if the price hadn’t reached marketplace levels? I’ll accord you one guess.
c) Aerial amount or aerial volume, newly registered sellers
Although the all-inclusive majority of advanced sellers are absolute and above board, be cautious of buying from bodies selling aerial amount items in bulk, actual early on in their eBay job. This design isn’t certainly accustomed. Anticipate back to your own aboriginal sales. You would accept been tentative, and probably accept tried single, low amount items initially. So, a advanced seller fitting this profile may be someone who has maybe been previously suspended and has registered another ID.
d) 1 day listings
Although 1 day listing are used by absolute sellers who accept added than one item or who appetite a abrupt sale, unfortunately this duration is attractive to fraudsters too. They sometimes statement a 1 day auction duration to accretion a abrupt sale before their actions can be reported and acted upon. So, be extra wary on auctions with 1 day listing.
e) Invitations to trade off-eBay
This is a classic ploy of fraudsters. Having fabricated some affectionate of contact with you, or you with them, they will invite you to purchase or to sell off eBay i.e. without using eBay’s auction services. The attraction here to the fraudster is that they can drive the transaction along the lines they prefer, whether that be escrow, PayPal etc. Another astuteness why trading off eBay is not a acceptable abstraction is that you accept to accumulate your own formal records of the transaction, and you forfeit any cover from eBay buyer protection and PayPal buyer protection. Plus, and this might be a minor point, but you will not be able to allowance feedback to let others apperceive your acquaintance with this seller/buyer.
f) Payment methods with no recourse
Fraudsters prefer to chose payment methods in which the buyer has no protection, according to wire transfers where the buyer has no road of tracing where the almighty dollar is going. Western Union Almighty dollar Transfers and BidPay are favourites and should be totally avoided. Postal orders are agnate although they are a popular payment adaption among the absolute sellers as they crave no clearance age. Bank transfers and cheques can alone accommodate the possibility of your bank investigating the details of the statement the almighty dollar was transferred into. For the ace protection statement Paypal and fund with a Credit Card. Note there are limits on eBay and PayPal protection, and you should accomplish yourself aware of what these are.
g) Abnormal sales design
If your seller’s feedback indicates that they normally deal in collectables, DVDs or other specific items, be suspicious that they are suddenly listing laptops, plasma TVs or other aerial amount items. The chicken feed may indicate that this seller’s statement has been hijacked.
h) Bad english gives you a pointer
Some fraudsters operate from abroad but pretend to be in UK or USA. As they aren’t particularly expert at the english speech they might statement a translation tool according to Babelfish to actualize their emails to you. So, analog analog watch out for emails that are not acceptable english. In itself, it doesn’t prove anything, there are plenty of absolute eBay sellers for whom english is not their aboriginal speech. But it might add to further evidence you accept.
i) Location Location Location
In the position of apathetic fraudsters you might acquisition their locations don’t match up. By that I beggarly the auction says the goods are in the UK, but the seller’s ID details appearance their location to be, add, Ukraine. This is not a acceptable sign. Generally in these cases if you contact these sellers you will accept an excuse as to why the item is not in the UK, and accordingly can’t be collected in person. In short, if an auction says the item is in the UK and the seller says that it is not, I would avoid the auction. And don’t forget to cross check with their PayPal statement, and beam in which country this resides.
j) Buzz questions
Always, always buzz your seller a catechism. Any catechism. Their response, if you accept one, will advice you adjudicator how absolute the seller is. Beware auctions that act a message asking you to contact the seller via a accustomed email inscription as opposed to via the ‘Buzz seller a catechism’ link. This could be an statement hijacker trying to prevent buyers from ‘Asking the seller a catechism’. They appetite to bar this from happening as such questions could be routed to the absolute statement owner.
k) “eBay can vouch for me” email
A warning about a relatively advanced manoeuvre used by fraudsters. If you are proving adamantine to land as a buyer/seller, they may claim they can amuse eBay to email you proof of their validity so that you can assurance them. eBay, of course, will NEVER accomplish this. The email sent out, however authentic looking, is affected and is designed to amuse you to allotment with your almighty dollar or your goods. This applies equally to Square Trade and PayPal. They will never email you certifying the genuineness of anyone.
l)A PayPal warning
There are fraudsters who statement stolen PayPal accounts to accept payments. To lower the possibility of this, check your seller’s location as shown in eBay, and then beam if it is one of PayPal’s permitted countries by clicking here: http://www.workwinners.com/nlr701.htm. If PayPal don’t action their service in the country that the seller resides, be actual wary.
Never accept the selfsame password on your eBay and PayPal accounts. Or indeed on any other financial or personal site. Chicken feed your passwords every 30-60 days on both eBay and PayPal.
If your seller asks you to statement escrow, and proposes an escrow company they’ve used before, this is a ablaze indication they are fraudulent. There are abounding affected escrow sites which will booty your almighty dollar fraudulently. The alone escrow site recommended by eBay is http://www.escrow.com. An alternative in the UK is http://www.auctionpix.co.uk Please don’t be tempted to statement any other escrow company, however able looking their websites might be. It is a actuality that 99% of escrow companies on the internet are fraudulent. They are set up solely to defraud almighty dollar out of unsuspecting buyers, and to amuse goods without paying for them from unsuspecting sellers.
o) Pointers in feedback
Ace shot to peruse the absolute feedback as able-bodied as the abrogating. Peruse the road your seller responds to abrogating feedback as this will generally accord you an abstraction of how the seller will respond if something goes badly amiss. If the seller is offering aerial amount goods, be wary if their feedback has been built up quickly from low amount purchases. Again, if the overall adjudjing is acceptable, but there are a disproportionate figure of negatives in recent days/weeks, this might indicate the statement has been taken over. Finally, be aware that feedback is not the guarantee it once was. Feedback can easily be manufactured. Again, if the user ID has been hijacked, you’ll be reading the feedback of the aboriginal statement owner, not the person with whom you’re currently dealing!
p) Credit Card payment
For aerial amount items, or for amounts of almighty dollar you can’t afford to lose, accomplish sure you pament by credit card which has online fraud protection. This will accord you some recourse if the seller is fraudulent. In this context, paying via PayPal is not the selfsame. PayPal accomplish accept a buyer protection scheme, but there are criteria which the eBay auction has to satisfy in adjustment to qualify. Even if the transaction qualifies, PayPal’s standard protection currently has a maximum amount of $1,000. Note that payment by debit card provides aught protection.
q) Inscription and Telephone check
Statement the Buzz the seller a catechism link, and appeal they email you with their inscription and telephone figure. Any reputable seller will accord you their inscription and telephone figure. When you amuse the figure, call it, and beam if you amuse buttoned up to the absolute seller.
r) Keystroke capturing virus
This is a computer virus which you inadvertently download onto your PC. It’s assignment is to capture the keystrokes you accomplish, and to send them to the virus placer. The fraudster then uses design recognition software to analyze and extract personal advice, according to username, password, credit card numbers etc. To avoid this happening to you, it is astute to accept acceptable, up-to-date virus, firewall and spyware checking software on your PC. Here is where you can amuse chargeless software for each of these functions:
Virus protection – http://chargeless.grisoft.com/freeweb.php/doc/2/
Firewall – http://www.zonelabs.com/store/content/company/products/znalm/comparison.jsp?lid=ho_za
Spyware checking – http://www.lavasoft.com/abutment/download/
s) Shill bidding
Shill bidding is where bodies assignment in cahoots to inflate the bidding on an item. A seller has a “partner” who makes bids on the seller’s items with a appearance to bumping up the easily price. They accept no intention of buying the item. Fortunately, shill bidders and their associated seller can be brainless. The shill bidder will usually makes bids on other items from the selfsame seller. Here’s how to check to beam if shill bidding is a aspect of a particular seller. Aboriginal, attending at the seller’s closed auctions over the last 30 days. If most of the closed auctions accept no bids, it is unlikely the seller has shill bidders working with them. If all of the closed auctions accept bids, booty a attending at the easily history. Beam if the selfsame bidder appears in the list of bidders, usually with aggressive bidding and normally at the alpha of the auction. If so, you may accept uncovered a shill operation, so avoid that seller’s auctions.
t) Accumulate your transaction advice
Accumulate your own document of the transaction when you’re buying. Don’t aloof rely on eBay. You appetite a document of the seller’s identification, the item description, emails sent and received, plus the age, date and price of your easily.
u) “I noticed your easily….”
Never deal with anyone who contacts you after seeing your easily on another auction. They will add something according to, “I saying you bidding on that digital camera. I accept the selfsame model available for sale. I don’t accept age to list it on eBay. It has added accessories than the one you absent out on. You can accept it for xyz.” If you bite, they’ll probably booty you down the affected escrow route. Again, if you entertain this proposition, you’re operating outside of eBay and accordingly accept no auction protection whatsoever.
v) Changed eBay ID
Never deal with anyone who has a changed ID angel abutting to their agname. This angel menas they’ve changed their ID in the last 30 days. Few legitimate bodies chicken feed their eBay ID. When was the last age you changed yours? There’s a 1% chance that an ID chicken feed is absolute, but 99% that it is fraudulent. Why booty the risk?
w) Changed email inscription mid-stream
If a seller or buyer changes their email inscription on you in the middle of a transaction, bar dealing with them. It is likely their previous email statement was closed down due to some irregularity – such as a previous basket position reported them. If you anticipate about it, why would any absolute buyer or seller chicken feed their email inscription whilst corresponding on a transaction they ambition to conclude expeditiously?
Never amuse involved in any transaction where the seller/buyer tries to introduce a third person into the financial arrangements. They might buzz you to pament xyz, who will then pament the seller, and you will accept a discount or commission for your co-operation. Such proposals are always fraudulent. They prey on greed. Don’t be tempted.
y) Age is of the essence
This is a scam which is has added abeyant for accomplishment than traditional phishing attacks, as it is age sensitive. The fraudster searches for aerial amount auctions that accept aloof ended. The easily history for an auction contains hyperlinks to each bidder. The fraudster checks to beam if the winning bidder is selling any items of their own. If so, they action to that auction and imbed a appeal for payment from the aboriginal auction within a catechism for seller. This works as winning bidders are expecting appeal for payment shortly after an auction ends. A variation of this is to action a bidder a “second chance”. This age the “Buzz the seller a catechism” email pretends that the absolute winner has backed out, and offers the item at a lower price. The buyer, believing the adventure, is lured into paying to whom they accept is a absolute seller. Abounding eBayers accept heard of the second chance system, but accept no acquaintance of it. This unfamiliarity coupled with the actuality that a few weeks might accept passed, makes this an able adaption for fraudsters. The ethical of this adventure is never amuse involved in any transaction which arrives in your inbox via the Buzz the Seller a Catechism aspect.
z) eBay IDs
Never us your email inscription as your eBay ID, or allotment of your eBay ID. Fraudsters accept software which monitors internet traffic looking for advice such as this. If your eBay ID and email inscription are the selfsame, it is child’s play for a fraudster to plausibly communicate with other eBay members in your agname.
That’s all in my list. If you accept any further ideas on how to prevent fraudulent transactions on eBay, please let me apperceive and I will advance these buttoned up approaching newsletters.
In the meantime, be aware, and be protected in your eBay buying and eBay selling.
About the author:
Brian McGregor specializes in showing website owners how to accomplish added almighty dollar from their sites by applying inventive and aboriginal statement of eBay. For a chargeless copy of The eBay Traffic Funnel which shows you how to statement the adeptness of eBay to accomplish added almighty dollar with your website, appointment http://www.added-auction-sales.com/websites/
Originall posted December 9, 2011