Too good to be true? You'd better believe it!

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That seems very cheap!

A £25,000 Porsche for £10,000? Wow! I thought I'll have some of that! But hang on, what's this? 'Pre approved bidders only'? 'Do not use the eBay 'Ask seller a question' link because my inbox is full'? Hmm. Hopefully, that will set the alarm bells of a seasoned eBayer a-ringing. But the temptation to grab a bargain will always be there.

Don't do it!

However, if you do attempt to contact the seller via the unofficial link on the listing, you will find yourself with a worm that will seek out all of your personal details and passwords and then proceed to destroy all of your files and programs. Even my regularly updated anti-virus software and firewall were not enought to prevent it. You will then probably see bogus items appearing on eBay in your name and the whole process starts again.

I spotted four such bogus listings this morning and immediately contacted the seller whose account had clearly been hacked into. Fortunately he reacted very quickly and they have been removed as I write, hopefully before anyone else was caught out.

How do I spot one?

The listings are fairly easy to spot once you know what you are looking for, but naturally the perpetrators will always try and stay one step ahead. The things to look out for are:

A very desirable item together with a very tempting buy it now price (with no actual buy it now button).

Pre-approved bidders only

A wordy listing in big, colourful script, usually with very few details about the actual item.

And finally, a link to an email address which is not that of the actual account holder

What should I do?

Report it to eBay immediately. If you do want to try and contact the seller, it is better to click on their feedback and use the 'Contact seller' link there.

Whatever you do, don't click on anything in the main body of the listing.

Just remember, if it looks too good be true, it probably is.

Filmpropman 2007

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