(Sept. 19th 2012)
There is a highly sophisticated scam which involves page rewriting using the browser flash plugin to beware of.
If you don't want to get caught then turn off flash in your browser.
If you do have flash enabled then you may notice the page doing a double-load as the page gets rewritten with the following effects:
The option of paying by paypal disappears.
A 'buy it now' button appears.
**Payment by direct bank transfer is now shown as covered by Ebay buyer protection.**
The item id is changed so that 'report an item' will fail.
The link to the seller's items ceases to function.
The items for sale don't actually exist, or at least they are not owned by or available to the seller to sell.
The high-value items are offered at very attractive prices by a seller account with a good record of high value items, though usually in a somewhat different field.
The intention of the scam is to get a victim to 'buy it now' and pay by direct money transfer.
If you fall victim to this Ebay will deny all liability (since you paid by direct transfer) and you will lose your money. Ebay may not even know that you have processed the 'buy it now' button (I haven't tried it to verify).
As of today Ebay have known of this for 2-3 days - the items of which I am aware are still up and running.
I suspect Ebay's IT policy stops their staff from using flash browser plugins (!) so they don't see the rewriting and so they don't pull the item when it is reported.
A previous slightly less sophisticated version of this appeared a couple of months ago and seemed to disappear after it was reported. Currently Ebay seem unwilling or unable to take these items down.
Moral of the story: don't pay by direct transfer unless the recipient is personally well known to you.
If you have a browser flash plugin enabled watch out for the double page load effect - if you see it the item is a scam.
Scam beware - flash plugin vulnerability
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19 September 2012
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