Fraud and Identity Theft on Ebay

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I was recently the victim of a fraudster who managed to hi-jack my ebay account and list dozens of expensive  items on buy-it-now, linking their own paypal account to the listings, so taking any money made and probably having no intention of sending any goods to purchasers.

As I was not selling my own items at the time, it was only by chance that I discovered the scam when browsing ebay and going into 'My Ebay'. Thank goodness I did!

I immediately got in touch with ebay's live help, who were brilliant and removed the items there and then.

A few days later the same thing happened. This time ebay advised that I change my log-in details to my ebay account, paypal account AND to my internet account, and to ensure all three passwords were different from eachother. This isn't always convenient to do, but scammers and fraudsters count on our reluctance to change passwords or create different ones for different accounts. I for one have learned the hard way!

My account was hi-jacked because I had joined an online game that ebay had been offering a link to, and had therefore assumed it would be safe. Somehow though, someone accessed my details via this game... ebay was able to verify this and was able to cancel my membership permanently.

I would urge all ebayers to be very wary of signing up for games and services, even if they seem to be supported by ebay. Things CAN go wrong. Identity theft is increasing and you need to be very careful!
  • NEVER follow up suspicious emails from ebay or paypal via the hyperlinks in the email. Contact ebay or paypal direct from their sites via email or live help - if the problem is genuine they will soon tell you.
  • ALWAYS read the small print when subscribing to something. Allowing your details to be shared with others might open you up to more than junkmail!
  • BE WARY of responding to emails which seem to come from potential buyers/sellers on ebay, genuine messages will always appear in your ebay 'My Ebay/messages' section.
  • IF IN DOUBT contact ebay or paypal directly. It may take 24 hours for a reply, but you will at least be certain of the truth!
It is a sad fact of life that we have to write guides like these - and there are a lot of such guides around. But if I can help one person from being scammed I will be very happy!
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