MOBILE fans eager to get the hottest new handset in time for Christmas have been warned about eBay rip-off merchants advertising non-existent phones.
Swedish phone giant Nokia has said traders advertising its long awaited N91 music phone for immediate delivery are fraudulent, as it will not be released until next year.
There are currently dozens of the advertisements for Nokia N91 handsets for sale on eBay from British-based accounts – many claiming they are available now and offering 20 or more phones.
As with anything bought on the internet auction site, the principle of buyer beware operates but there are fears scams involving items such as mobile phones are more likely to dupe naïve teenagers and youngsters.
The Nokia N91 phone sales have highlighted a practice used by con artists, whereby they hack a legitimate eBay user's account with good feedback ratings and advertise their goods on there. A Hotmail or Yahoo-style e-mail address is then put into the listing, telling buyers to contact the seller first rather than following the usual eBay purchase procedure.
An investigation by eBay into three adverts brought to the auction site's attention by This is Money revealed them to be account takeovers. An eBay spokeswoman said: 'When account takeovers happen, generally the proper owner will have given out their details in a phishing incident.'
Ebay shoppers have been advised to check out listings carefully and can spot a bogus seller, using a hacked account, by looking at the trading history in their feedback section and see if previous transactions are wildly different to the advertised item.
Nokia said any advertisements for N91s offering immediate delivery were fraud. A spokeswoman said: 'Nokia is aware that many of its new unreleased products appear as items for sale on eBay, on investigation the usual reason the seller gives for the advert is 'pre-selling' of the item for shipping on the day of release. Where this is not the case Nokia pursues the matter through the appropriate channels.'
Since this guide was written the Nokia N91 is now available to buy, but a word to the wise there are people out there eager to take peoples money with regards to any make of popular phone due for future release.
Before you buy do a search, check with the manufacturer & look at reputable companies mobile phone websites like (the carphone warehouse) if their not selling it or mention the phone in it's coming soon section you wish to buy that's because it's not available to buy in the UK, please do not leave yourself open to fraud, it's not nice & it hurts..
Be wise, Be safe Online, Check all the time...