Professional scammers target new members to take advantage of their unfamiliarity with how eBay or PayPal work.
Frauds that can be committed by sellers include:
- Receiving payment and not shipping merchandise
- Shipping items other than those described
- Giving a deliberately misleading description
- Knowingly and deliberately ship faulty merchandise
- Sell counterfeit or bootleg merchandise
- Knowingly sell stolen goods
- Inflating total bid amounts by bidding on their own auction with "shill" account(s), either the seller under an alternate account or another person in collusion with the seller.
- Shill bidding is prohibited by eBay.
- Misrepresenting the cost of shipping, or shipping at a slower service than that paid for.
If you encounter any of the above it is always worth reporting the individual to eBay or PayPal.
But since eBay makes its money on commissions from listings and sales, it may not be in eBay's interest to take action against large sellers.
Also new members can be easily tricked into thinking there is a special website they should make payments through (which is in fact a fake site setup by a scammer) or they may be tricked more easily into using a fake escrow company.
To combat fraud:
- Third party businesses are compiling lists of stolen goods from local authorities and businesses so eBay consumers can check to see whether the goods they are buying are stolen.
- Third party software is available, which will alert users if they are tricked into going to a spoof website such as the MyLittleMole Toolbar which is free.
- The eBay Toolbar is also free and very easy to use. This toolbar has a feature called account guard, which turns green when on any official eBay or PayPal site.
The use of such software could potentially eliminate eBay account hijacking.
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