Seller Accounts Hijacked on eBay - Don't Put Yourself at Risk Bidding On Items from Hijacked Accounts
Over the past few months, Team Whack a Hack has been searching different categories on eBay for hijacked member accounts, and has had to report many of them to Live Help.
With the proactive cooperation from eBay's Live Help and the Trust & Safety webform team, the passwords for the hijacked accounts have been changed and the bogus listings have been suspended. The innocent bidders have not been swindled by these thieves, unless they made off-eBay transactions.
Things to keep in mind:
If you are planning to buy on eBay, be proactive. Don't get ripped off. Investigate the seller; read the feedback. If you think the price is too good to be true, someone is probably trying to scam you. If you aren't sure, post a message on the appropriate eBay Community Board ~~ you will get good advice, usually within minutes. And, you can always send an email to this blog, and we will get you an answer.
When in doubt, take a step back, analyze the situation, and do your research. As Benjamin Franklin once said, When in doubt, don't.
Double-check what categories the items are listed in. The thieves are miscategorizing their listings in hope that they won't be caught, but listings in the incorrect categories stand out like a sore thumb. Think about it ... if you went to the supermarket would you look for mouthwash in the produce department? On eBay, I've found too many electronics items listed in the Art and Antiques categories. Believe me, the thieves will intentionally miscategorize the bogus listings in all types of innocuous categories. Thieves don't think that smart bidders check the categories the items are listed in. They don't want their listings in the correct categories that would be viewed by the masses; the thieves want to fly under the radar, and catch someone that is unsuspecting.
Beware of any listing that says the buy it now price is X dollars, but there isn't a BIN button in the listing. These thieves, instead ask you to contact them off of eBay. Do not contact them. Instead, go to the bottom of the listing page and push the Report Listing button - complete the webform so that the next person that might be slightly more unsuspecting than you doesn't get caught in the scam. Then find yourself a legitimate seller to buy your item.
Beware of any listings that have an email address listed in the item description. If you want to contact the buyer, use the Ask Seller a Question feature, which is an option on the upper right hand corner of the listing. Do not fall for the common excuse that the seller cannot receive eBay email or is out of town and also cannot access his eBay email. Of course he can, besides being sent to his email box in My eBay, it is also forwarded to his real email address - well, the email message will really be routed to the true account holder's registered email address. Thieves don't want you to innocently give a heads up to the rightful owner of the account.
Do not get involved with any off-eBay transactions. If you do, you lose all of the protection that eBay provides to buyers. And, for goodness sake, never pay by Western Union or MoneyGram. The most secure way to make any payment to a seller on eBay is via PayPal and only with a credit card. By paying via PayPal, the buyer is protected both by PayPal and by the credit card company in case the seller does not perform. Just remember that PayPal's buyer protection program does not kick in if the seller has less than 50 feedback remarks.
Stay away from listings that have cutesy seasonal email addresses.
Below are the nonsense excuses in the hijackers' listings. Beware of any listings that say anything similar to:
My eBay EMAIL WAS SPAMMED AND I REALLY BEG YOU TO CONTACT ME IN MY PERSONAL EMAIL.
MY EBAY MAIL ADDRESS IS VERY SLOW AND SOMETIMES NOT WORKING AND I CAN`T GUARANTEE A FAST REPLY
MY EBAY CONTACT IS CURRENTLY UNAVAILABLE BECAUSE I'VE REACHED THE E-MAIL STORAGE LIMIT AND I WOULDN'T BE ABLE TO ANSWER ANY OF YOUR QUESTIONS
DUE TO MY EBAY RELATED EMAIL ADDRESS BEING FULL YOU MUST EMAIL ALL YOUR QUESTIONS USING THE EMAIL FORM BELOW.
BIDDING WITH OUT MY APPROVAL WILL RESULT IN YOUR BID BEING CANCELLED AND NEGATIVE FEEDBACK LEFT. DRASTIC MEASURES HAVE TO BE TAKEN AGAINST FAKE BIDDERS.
I USE MOBILE INTERNET DON'T USE ASK SELLER A QUESTION
THE BIDDING PROCESS DOES NOT INTEREST ME
I WILL CANCEL ALL BID'S THAT HAVE BEEN PLACED BEFORE CONTACT
I RESERVE THE RIGHT TO PUT AN END TO MY LISTING IS A GOOD BUY IT NOW OFFER IS MADE AND THE RIGHT TO CANCEL ANY BID THAT HAS BEEN PLACED BEFORE CONTACT
IF YOU LOOK FOR A FAST AND 100% SAFE DEAL YOU JUST FOUND IT, FREE SHIPPING, ESCROW SERVICE.
WE WILL NEGOCIATE OVER THE PRICE OF THE ITEM YOU ARE INTERESTED IN, AND WE WILL AGREE UPON THE TRANSACTION METHOD
WE ARE SERIOUS SELLERS AND WE PREFER ALL OUR TRANSACTIONS TO BE MADE THRU AN ESCROW COMPANY FOR SECURITY
DUE TO UNKNOWN REASONS EMAILS THROUGH EBAY
BEFORE PLACING ANY BID AND FOR THE BEST BUY IT NOW PRICE PLEASE CONTACT ME AT:
THE LOWEST BUY IT NOW PRICE, 100% SAFE DEAL, FREE SHIPPING, 15 DAY REFUND POLICY
THIS AUCTION WILL END WHEN I END A BUY IT NOW TRANSACTION WITH THE FIRST CLIENT
DO NOT BID WITHOUT MY PERMISSION OTHERWISE YOUR BID WILL BE CANCELLED AND NEGATIVE FEEDBACK WILL BE LEFT!!!
MY EBAY EMAIL IS FULL AND I CAN'T RECEIVE ANY MESSAGE ON IT
FOR A QUICK AND GREAT ANSWER MAIL ME BEFORE TAKING ANY AUCTIONS
FOR FRIENDLY HELP AND ADVICE PLEASE MAIL ME AT
IS BETTER TO CONTACT ME BEFORE YOU PLACE YOUR BID IN
THE BIDDING IS RESTRICTED FOR THIS AUCTION DUE TO THE TIME WASTERS AND DEAD BIDDERS.
MY EBAY EMAIL IS LOCKED!!! FOR ANY QUESTIONS, EMAIL ME AND I WILL GIVE YOU ALL INSTRUCTIONS.
AS I TAKE THIS AUCTION VERY SERIOUSLY I WANT TO SPEAK PERSONALLY WITH EVERY INTERESTED BUYER WHO'S READY TO MAKE THE DEAL OF THE YEAR.
PLEASE E-MAIL ME BEFORE BIDDING TO CLEAR EVERYTHING OUT
CONTACT ME DIRECTLY AND YOU WILL GET A 100% SAFE AND FAST DEAL - FREE SHIPPING AND ESCROW SERVICE AND A SURPRISE CHRISTMAS GIFT
I'M A SERIOUS SELLER WHO'S TRYING TO DEVELOP A NEW SELLING SYSTEM, A DIFFERENT WAY FOR GETTING THE BEST DEAL FOR BOTH OF US, JUST EMAIL ME WITH YOUR BEST OFFER OR WITH ANY QUESTIONS YOU MAY HAVE AT:
THE TITLE IS CLEAR AND READY FOR TRANSFER. WE RESERVE THE RIGHT TO END THIS LISTING WHEN WE FIND A BUYER THAT ACCEPT THE BUY IT NOW PRICE! Note: the listings do not have the BIN button in them.
Below is an excerpt from a listing from a hijacked account. This is what a scammer wrote (with all of the spelling and grammatical errors). The BS makes us ill; do some of you actually fall for these silly stories?
Hi, This item is being relisted after being the victim of internet fraud. I ended the listing early after I was made an offer, this person then deposited money into my paypal account. Thank goodness Paypal alerted me that the funds had dissappeard from my account due to fraudulant activity before I had shipped it. So needless to say this listing is staying on eBay for security reasons, please don't ask me to end the auction early. The item will only be shipped after the deposit has cleared into my bank account. And only Fedex will be used as this is the safest and most secure way of shipping for both parties. Thank you, and good luck.
Beware of 1 and 3 day auctions - some are legitimate, but many are not.
Below in separate blog entries are known email addresses and domains that the thieves are using in their eBay listings. This list is not complete, but it is updated daily. Please feel free to submit the email addresses of hackers that you find and the eBay listing number for verification. You may email the information to the address in the upper left hand corner of the blog.
If you encounter any of these email address or domains in listings that you are considering bidding on, DO NOT BID and DO NOT MAKE OR ACCEPT OFFERS OFF OF eBAY. Report the fraudulent listing to eBay immediately.
These are email addresses and domains from thieves that have stolen user IDs. This is called hijacking, and Team Whack a Hack along with many other eBay members volunteer their time to track down the fraudulent listings and get them canceled along with getting the user ID returned to the rightful owner.
If you enter into a transaction with any of the thieves that have these email addresses or domains, kiss your money and the item you wanted goodbye. If you are aware of any email addresses of known eBay predators that are hijacking innocent members' accounts, either email them to blog or post a comment to this blog entry, so that we can add them here.
If these email addresses were not already searchable on the Internet, they now will be, and just hopefully, innocent bidders will check here and not get scammed. As Andy Warhol once said ... Everyone is entitled to their fifteen minutes of fame ... however, these email addresses and domains will live on through eternity.
Whatever you do, protect yourself. Remember, you have been warned at The Nekkid Truth.