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1. Simple test is to place your mouse squarely over the hyperlink text (words of the hyperlink) and the place it points to once clicked (Target Address) will be displayed at the bottom of your screen in the 'Status Bar'.  If it is not what you expect to see then it's not what it appears to be so don't trust it they are not on the level. 

2. Think about others and don't just delete these emails you can forward them without deteriment to yourself, to eBay's and Paypal's Spoof handling email address (spoof@ then the ebay or paypal website name) so they can be universally seen and enable the action to be taken that ultimately helps all of us.  Further information can be found on the home page by clicking 'Help' and entering 'spoof' in the Search Box.

3.  Always note neither eBay or Paypal will ask for your personal details within an email, they know it already.

4.  From fields in emails do not always indicate thr true originator so don't base your response on who you think has sent it.

5. Another good indication of a spoof is how it is addressed, spoofer's will not know your real name in your account and therefore will use Mr or Miss etc and not your registered name to rip you off.  Neither eBay or Paypal will ask you to verify any details from a hyperlink on an email.  If you are concerned about any information sent to you simply login to your account from your web browser (never from an email) and then verify any request.  Use your Favorites and become familiar with safe web addresses (the long line displayed at the top of your screen to the right of the word 'Address').

6. Heres a new one just in 24th Sept.  Email with High Priority, from EBAY MEMBER titled QUESTION ABOUT ITEM -- RESPOND NOW.   Text was -- Is the item still available for sale? , Let me know because I'm online and I can pay you right now.  All hyperlinks pointed to a webpage that copied the eBay logon screen.  If Id re-entered my ID and Password this information would have been sent to a bogus site and my account would have been hijacked.  How did I know this was bogus, I checked the hyperlink target in the Status Bar.


NB - Address Bar: If you don't have an 'Address Bar' displayed at the top of the screen click 'View' at the top of the screen then choose 'Toolbars' then click on 'Address Bar'.

NB - Status Bar: If you don't have the 'Status Bar' at the bottom of your screen click 'View' then 'Status Bar' to show it.

For further information in this visit the eBay Tutorial at:



eBay Buyers

1. Always keeps records so that you have some record if you need to show later.  eBay only keeps records for 90 days after that you can't leave feedback or let anyone else know about your experience.

2.  Always take notice of postage details.  If the item is from the other side of the world it will take time to get to you and that eats into the period of eBay's record retention time.  Before buying anything like this ask yourself a question, 'how much am I willing to risk?'

3.  If you feel that you may have been ripped-off first try to contact the contact the seller.  If no response try again the next day and copy it to eBay and /or paypal.  Then if no response contact the credit card company which by law protects you upto 14 days. 

4.  Contacting Police.  They are beginning to be switched-on to fraud on eBay and should issue you a crime number which you can then send to the other party and initiate proceedings if necessary.

5.  Some eBay Sellers are now putting VAT (17.5%) on top of their auction prices and calculated on the final price + postage.  Be aware of this practice as it is a bit sly and in my opinion is a deliberately hidden charge. 

6.  Always check the sellers feedback.  This will give you an indication of the risk you maybe taking, but understand despite what you may think eBay and Paypal do take their time in suspending accounts of suspect members.  I have personally seen as many as 17 negatives in one month and a total of over 62 negative feedbacks over a period of three months.  It pays to check, so do not rely on how long they have been a member.

7.  Do you trust a seller and how high is your confidence level in their proported service.  Feedback ratings are not always reflective of service as not everyone will leave a negative rating for fear of loosing there good reputations and eBay will resist any request for deletion.  However there is another way that has proved valuable for me in ascertaining if a seller is to be trusted, and that is to contact a few buyers of items they have sold.  The two ways to do that are clicking on the feedback item nubers for the contact details of the buyer  or watching items for a while from the seller and then contacting the winners.  They are surprisingly helpful and in some cases downright aggressive towards an offender.

8.  Second chance offers.  I sometimes send 'Second Chance Offers' to bidders if I have more than one or an item but never done if an item has not sold or not reached a reserve.  'Second Chance Offers' are official responses from eBay but like anything else can be forged so be aware of the emerging trend of bogus 'Second Chance Offers'.  My advice is check with the seller first before parting with any money and treat all unsold offers with suspicion.

9.  When you see,  "BUYER TO MAKE CONTACT BEFORE BIDDING"  for members with a few or no feedback rating,  Consider the Seller's point of view as this is often a protection some sellers use to assure that the bidders are genuine and does not mean they are trying to sell goods outside of eBay, just to ensure that the buyer intends to pay for the items if they win the auction.


eBay Sellers

1.  Keep records.  Experience has taught me to print payment details and staple the proof of posting to it for later reference.

2.  Use the posted icon to let the buyer know you have sent the goods.  Put yourself in their shoes, all they want to know is are they going to get what they have paid for - keep them informed.

3.  Contacting Police.  They are beginning to be switched-on to fraud on eBay but not all Station desks are as helpful as others.  It is your right and they should issue you a crime number which you can then send to the other party and initiate proceedings if necessary.


General Advice

1.  Strong Passwords can be easy to create and remember.  Set out to create a Password that has at least 9 characters containing numbers and non-alphabetic characters with upper and lower case characters.  This prevents word generators or good guesses working out how what it is - '123456789' or 'qwertyuiop' are not strong passwords, if you are going to use numbers then 357 can be thought of as being more of a patern rather than a progressive.  It's easier than you think, start with something you know then add to it and substitute some letters for non-alphabetic characters (i with ! or s with $) or choose pairs like 'ea' or 'fc' or 'mm' then put two or three numbers in it.  Do not use names, activities or locations associated with yourself and mix upper and lower case to give you a pretty secure password.  Secret is to break it down into parts you can see in your minds eye.

Of course this guide could be relevant to anything bought on eBay and to any seller.  Do not think this is just restricted to the associated tags at the top of this guide, the chosen emails, ipod, psp, xbox have all have had their scams simply because of popularity and most could not be foreseen.  The concept is that anything that shines brightly will attract the moths, just be aware of they can get into a lot more than just eBay.  If you find yourself targeted, report it to eBay or Paypal because if you dont you cant expect them to react.  The point is to understand the environment you are using and its dangers.

Hope this saves you time and more important your hard earned money.  If you have anymore I can add let me know and I will include them.

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