This guide will protect yourself from fraudsters and scammers here on Ebay
Ebay once used to be a safe place to buy and sell but since fraudsters have discovered this, they will do anything to make money. Below is a list of how to protect yourself from fraudsters and scammers. If you can spare yourselves 10/15 minutes, have a read, some points you may have already come across, some you may not but i can gurantee you that one or more of these points will help you in the present and future of ebay.
1. Always look at other ebayers feedback rating, this is important becasue it tells you their trading history on Ebay. If they have numerous negative comments which make them sound un-trustworthy, then its best to contact them first or leave it and look else where. If they have no feedback and are new, it is best again to contact them.
2. Never buy or sell to places from abroad such as Nigeria, Africa etc. These are again fraudsters using stolen credit cards and if they do pay you, well that money is guaranteed to be stolen which will be retracted from your account so you would lose out basically.
3. Always email or contact them some other way if unsure. At least this way, you'll know about their communication standards.
4. Ask for a tracking number for a valuable item. This way you can track the item and you'll know that they have sent it.
5. Never bid/buy from ebayers who claim to have 20* Nokia 8800's, 20* Samsung D600's etc (you get the picture). This is becasue it is all fraudulent. They do not have an verified email address which is why they ask you to email them from another email address stated on the listing, once they recieved the money they will withdraw this and close the account, and theyu wont send anything. Plus Ebay cannot do anything as it is too early for them to do anything.
6. If you do get into a fraudulent situation, contact the seller/buyer, if they dont reply, contact Ebay and paypal, then if they cannot do anything, contact your credit card company (by law you are protected from any fraudulent activity for 7/14 days) Dont leave it too late. You can contact the police as well, they will issue you a crime number, send this to the fraudulent ebayer, they may read your emails but just wont reply, if you show them a crime number, they would probably be scared and give you the money back. Request their contact details as well by searching it on help, at least you'll know where they live and their contact number.
7. Always pay using paypal, you know you'll be covered. I think Nochex covers you as well.
8. Wonder why people put a reserve on their listings, well it is to protect themselves from bid shielding. This is where two and more ebayers target a listing for example, samsung D600 with a starting price of 0.99 and no reserve. The first fraudster will come along and place a bid of 0.99, the second fraudster will come along and place a bid of about £20. The third frauster will come along and place a bid of £500. This is worth more than the value of the phone therefore no one else will bid. Then when the listing is about to end, the third fraudster will cancel their bid and the second fraudster will win the item for £20. However ebay have put a stop to this but this is just one reason why ebayers place a reserve on their items.
9. And finally, dont bid/buy on something which sounds too good to be true as it will most likely be too good to be true.
10. (NEW) - Look out for new ebayers with a feedback score of 0. They normally bid for your item but then do not pay for it or would use some fraudulent way to pay for it such as spoof emails. You can tell this if the email is from paypal but then it goes to your Junk/spam mail and also if it says Dear customer, Dear account holder instead of your name - this shows that this is fraudulent and must be reported to paypal. You then have to suffer the ebay fees and relisting fees as well.
11. (NEW) - Also look out for people who do chargebacks. This is when someone pays for the goods, and after a few weeks or even days (basically after you've sent the item) they will process a chargeback with paypal. By this time most people delete the information needed to prove the claim therefore you lose out. To avoid this always keep records of transactions and anything else realted to that transaction for evidence.
12. (NEW - 2006) - Another thing i have noticed was i was searching for a Dell 24" LCD Monitor (Dell 2405fpw) and saw many of the same listings. I clicked on one of them to have a look at the listing which instantly i suspected Fraudulent. These people who were selling the items were from China. Secondly they only had 10 or less feedback so when i clicked on some of their feedback, they were all from people who were from China as well (could be the same person under a different ebay name). Anyways i clicked on one of the item listings and what did i come across? The listing was all questionmarks (wasnt a proper listing). The item description = questionmarks, the item title = questionmarks, subtitle = you guessed it, questionmarks. They had clearly just created these phoney listings to increase their feedback. What else was fraudulent was they do not accept paypal, just cheque. Clearly a scam but the funny thing was there was people bidding on it which shows how stupid some ebayers can get. And this isnt for just monitors, its also for mobile phones and even TV's such as plasmas and LCDs they are starting to do, however some may not be too fraudulent as many computers do not support chineese characters so they do display it as a ? just like on the listing but all im saying is be careful, thats all.
13. (NEW - MAY 2006) - I have come accross another scam which was reported by another ebay member. Some people are claiming to be selling tickets either for a concert or something else and once you buy the ticket, they will contact you to let you know that they will give you the ticket in a few months nearer the date when they get it. However, ebay has records of purchases for only 60 days and you cannot leave feedback after 90 days. Paypals date i think is around 45-60 days as well. So a few months come and no ticket, basically this was sellers plan and you cant claim this off ebay or paypal simply because there is no transaction records at all. The only way i would think you can claim the money back is by your credit card company that is if you did pay by credit card - therefore be careful of these type of ebayers.
14. NEW (MAY 2006) - Postage scams - Many people have come across ebayers who either charge i.e. £10 for a product which may only cost them £5 to post and also they charge postal insurance i.e. £2/3 which you have to add on, however, insurance should be already included in the price of £10. They do this because they fear that there product many not sell as much as they hope it to do therefore they try and make some of it in the postage. Another one is where you've bought an item and paid £5 P&P. However the ebayer then emails you back saying that they require some more money for postage and they will not send it until you pay up. You've got no choice really and are forced to pay more than what you originally would pay for the item.
15. NEW (AUGUST 2006) - This is again to do with postage problems. It might not be a scam as such but it is a problem. If something goes lost in the post and you haven't recieved the item, you are going to claim with paypal or whoever you made payment with. Everything works out ok and you get your refund but then what can happen is that the buyer can claim an unpaid item dispute. So why not show the evidence right? Well the transactions are all gone especially with paypal and there is no record of it. The seller then will leave negative feedback saying the buyer hasnt made payment. This is exremely unfair and sellers will do this to try and get revenge if you want to call it like that. This has happened to me so the solution would be to save any emails of transactions that show you have made payment from before you claimed. Luckily I had done this with paypal and they always send me an email of proof that payment has been made so this time the seller didn't get away with it but it has happened to many others so remember to save all evidence of proof. HOWEVER, please do not consider as this is the only option available if the item is lost. Always CONTACT the seller first to see if you can sort out the problem. Secondly, if they do not reply or do not contact you then maybe paypal is the only option but if they do say they have posted it then it would be best to contact Royal mail or which courrier you used and deal with it from there.
16. NEW (AUGUST 19th 2006) - Another thing i have come accross is that when you buy a computer and a laptop from ebay always check the description with the parts you have ordered. What i am talking about is you may think you have bought the best PC with the latest parts but when you recieve this, always check to see that each part is there or is the right version - example, you bought a PC worth £2000 with the latest parts such as amd athlon FX-62 AM2 socket etc and a 4gb RAM of the newest DDR spec etc (you understand my point) well lets say you didnt know much about computers, how do you know its not a lower spec RAM or another main thing that they have not overclocked the processor to FX-62 spec but it maybe just an fx-50 etc which saves the seller a few hundered pounds etc. Always make sure what you pay for is what you get its all i am saying. This is the same to Laptops as well as you may have thought you have bought the perfect laptop. It is slightly harder with a laptop as you can't physically see the parts unless you open it up which is a lenghty process for the beginers especially and can void warranty so its best to always check your hardware spec before you do anything else.
17. NEW (JULY 2007) - Another thing i would add is paying via direct bank transfer. Some ebayers do not accept paypal because of the fees that they incur therefore they only accept cheque or direct bank transfer. Now by paying via bank transfer, you may think, well its quite quick (depending on bank), however, there are risks. If the seller can make out that they are 100% legit, and you think well this seller seems genuine, why not pay via bank transfer. However, few weeks arrive and still no item, you contact ebay and they say we cannot do anything as you payed outside ebay so your not covered by them. There are many con artists out there so be careful by paying via bank transfer. To resolve this, i would recommend contacting the seller first to see if they respond, if not then contact your bank imdedately and tell them the situation, the bank then should hopefully refund your money.
18. NEW (JULY/AUGUST 2007) - Well this scam is more commonly known as the free item scam. Basically if you have noticed ebayers selling guides that state you can recieved electronic goods, computer related items, health and beauty and i have now even seen cars, yes CARS FOR FREE - Sounds to good to be true right? Well it is im afraid, if people were giving cars away like a bag of chips, we'd all be rich. People are curious to know if this is true, so they will buy. So what is it really? Well its basically a guide telling the buyer to pretend that they are an business (which is fraud itself) and to request that they are interested in their products etc and would like a free sample. Now one of a few things can happen:
· The buyer may receive a few extremely cheap items from various companies (pens, pencils, etc.) and be satisfied.
· The buyer is caught fraudulently pretending to be a non-existent company and is charged with fraud.
· The buyer receives no free items, cuts their loses, and never uses the "program" again.
Since the final option by far happens to most people, many victims will try to get their money back by relisting the program for sale again on ebay, or will even try to scam others the same way they had been scammed. This is why so many people continue to list this program all over ebay. So next time your browsing on ebay, don't fall for it and save that money and buy yourself a bag of chips then some guide that will be useless to you or that can get you into trouble.
19. NEW (JULY/AUGUST 2007) - I have just recieved an email from an ebay member with this and thought it was quite useful for others to know.Basically this is about an item on ebay which is just say the only one selling and you really want it. Therefore you would put your maximum bid in so that you can definately win the item, however, you then realise that you didnt win the item because someone out bid you. However, if you recieve a second chance offer i would'nt go for it (unless you know the item is worth it). This is bascailly either the seller using another account to increase the bid of the item but if they go over and win the item then they immediately send you an second chance offer stating that the other person couldn't pay as it was a kid messing about etc etc, this is known as shill bidding and is against ebays rules. Basically, the warning to you is that if you get a second chance offer immediately bidding has finished to be suspicious and probably decline, unless you think the item is really worth it.