I have noticed in the last few months a vast upsurge in the number of Scam offers on ebay, and I thought I would pass on this information to you.
The people who's accounts are used are normally perfectly genuine ebayers who have somehow or other accidently given out their passwords and has their account hijacked. The feedback is genuine, and so is the account. The Scam is that the seller is not the owner of the account, and there is no guarantee that the equipment even exists.
Secondly: The listing is nearly always one day only. (This does not mean that all one day listings are suspect, but it can be a warning.) It is always for expensive equipment at knock-down prices. It ALWAYS has an email address in the text, and you are required to email this address before bidding or for a buy it now price.
The equipment (whatever it is) is NEARLY ALWAYS in a different country, presumably so that you won't start worry about it not arriving until the seller has packed up and cleared out, and any pictures of the equipment are manufacturer's pictures and not of the actual item.
Additionally I have noticed just recently a tendency to say that "all sales will go through ebay", which I'm sure they are quite happy to do since they won't get the bill.
WHAT TO DO
If you are looking for a really cheap bargain - and there are lots of genuine bargains on ebay - be wary. If the item fits the above criteria, or if you are suspicious of a particular item, first check the feedback of the seller. If the seller has sold this sort of equipment before - not just in the last few days - and has positive feedback for those items then you can be fairly sure you are ok. If not - well everyone has to start somewhere, so it's worth checking. click on the 'contact buyer' button and ask if the sale is genuine. One of two things will happen. Either the buyer will reply saying yes or no. Or you will get an alert from ebay because you the seller has been made aware of the hijack of his account.
IF YOU DO NOT GET A REPLY FROM THE BUYER YOU HAVE GOOD REASON TO SUSPECT THAT THE ITEM IS NOT GENUINE.
The correct procedure then is to report the item to ebay, explaining the reasons you have for suspecting a scam.
BEWARE Scam Items on ebay
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7 October 2006
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