Just like the word sounds like its most likely an email where someone wants something and has thrown a hook out with bait to catch the unwary. eBay or Paypal will never give your details to a third party so knowing this you can work out if something is genuine. Therefore as only eBay and Paypal will be able to communicate with you by name, anything else like "eBay member" is a fake. These usually request to sign in or go to a webpage to obtain your password details or other confidential information, and knowing eBay or Paypal will never ask for bank details or passwords in an email or attach anything to an email you can determine anything doing it is not to be trusted.
If you do get these never, never, never click on any link or open any attachment, simply ignore or forward it to eBay for further investigation (they have a spoof email address to send them to).
2. Identify and Account Theft
This is when someone else has used your password and account. The signs are things being bought and sold without your knowledge and or calls or emails from customers you do not expect. The most serious is when someone else has created another account in your name and is using that for their activities. This can be a surprise, but if you know what to look for it can be sorted quickly if you take immediate action and report it to eBay by going to Customer Support and typing "How can I protect myself against account and identity theft" into the search and follow the instructions.
3. Selling outside of eBay
I hear everyone scream, "eBay does not want this because they will not get their fees from a sale". That is true, however it is also true that it makes it far easier to con and scam the unwary out of their money. The principal is sound, first advertise on an established platform (eBay) then use the bait of reduced price (at least 20% off) and a meeting place no where near their ebay contact address. All the danger signs are plain but then the savings are sooooooooooo tempting.
Just ask why and what have they to gain.
This is when a buyer later requests the card company to reverse the charge because they say it was not them or goods were not received. As this can be a few months after the transaction, it is important to have the records of who you were dealing with and where items where sent in order to prove who did what and when.
5. Switched returns
Effectively fraudulent replacement or upgrading carried out by a buyer who switches goods for broken or damaged ones and returns them stating they were received damaged. Warning signs are usually questions from a buyer about returns policies. Now Returns Policies are standardised throughout eBay this is likely to increase. To protect yourself from this, include a simple picture in your listing of serial numbers and identifications, and include them in advertising and communications, and of course keep records.
6. Feedback and DSR Extortion
When a buyer demands sort form of reduction or they will leave negative feedback. Not easy to defend against if you are not a top seller with quick access to Customer Support. If you are not then a good media to communicate with the buyer ins the Invoice System. Otherwise a report to Customer Support will very quickly initiate a response as eBay has a "Feedback Extortion Policy" to deal with this.
7. The mystery!
This one is foolproof and no way to prevent it, and its even supported by eBay and Paypal (albeit unknowingly). Until I get a response from eBay regarding this being recognised, I'm not prepared to make it widely known.
If you have found this easy guide useful, please vote YES with the Thumbs-Up at the top of the page.