Wednesday, January 17, 2007

If You are a Victim of an eBay Hijacker

You can only blame yourself! eBay has member education through various tutorials. There is also a warning message on every bid page that says not to make payment via Western Union or Money Gram.

Western Union and Money Gram have web pages dedicated to informing consumers about fraud, and warn you not to send money to people you do not know. If you aren't going to educate yourself and read their warning messages, neither company is going to stop you from using their money transfer services.

Chances are you registered with eBay and did not bother to take the time to take the tutorials or read the Help pages. You probably didn't even visit the eBay Community Message Boards to read the horror stories of other victims. Shame on you for not taking the time to do any of these things. If you had, maybe you would not have given your money away to a thief.

Victims, can you not read or do all of you need to make a visit to an opthamalogist to have your vision checked?



The hijackers are laughing at you, and rightfully so. They haven't robbed you. In fact, you handed each of them your money because you DID NOT educate yourself. Your greed overcame your good judgment!

In the past few months this blog has received email messages from victims that are law enforcement employees, military personnel, lawyers and loan officers - professions where these people do due diligence every day for their occupations, yet they cannot do it for themselves because they are lazy and greedy.

We have received messages from people that have fallen victim to the Nokia N95 and Apple I-Phone scams. You tried to buy merchandise that isn't even out on the market yet. Did you do your research? ABSOLUTELY NOT.

Your greed overcame you trying to buy tickets to sporting events. You were so desperate to buy those tickets that you did not do your homework. Now, you will sit at home in front of the television watching the games.

We tell you to only use eBay's "Ask Seller a Question" (ASQ) feature to ask sellers questions and not write to their email addresses or fill out their inquiry forms embedded in the listings. Did you see that the listing you were interested in was in the wrong category? Did you check the eBay member's feedback to see what product lines have been sold in the past? Did you check your My eBay mailbox to see if the invoice was there? Did you listen to our advice? You DID NOT if you became a victim of a hijacker.

So, continue to be a victim. If you don't heed the advice, then we won't have any sympathy for you. There is no cure for stupidity and laziness.

Remember, the hijackers know your weaknesses and are laughing at you as soon as you give them the tracking numbers for Western Union and Money Gram.

Please don't ask us to help you get your money back. You received fake contact information from the hijackers, and they don't need to provide any identification when they pick up your money at Western Union and Money Gram. Collectively, all of you have lost millions of dollars being scammed by eBay hijackers. Unfortunately, your individual losses are not enough for law enforcement to do anything for you. If you write to eBay, you will receive a message back that you entered into an off eBay transaction. You have no recourse.

Team Whack a Hack members volunteer their time to report thousands of fraudulent listings each week to eBay. We do this voluntarily to protect the eBay community. Each hijacker's email address and fake domain is published on this blog within hours, if not minutes of it being discovered.

If you use this blog as a tool you will become aware of the hijackers' email addresses and fake domains. We try to help the eBay community, but we can only publish the information through our research. Our hands are tied, we cannot approach you while you are bidding, as that is considered auction interference and is an eBay violation. Not one member of Team Whack a Hack will put his or her eBay membership in jeopardy to save you if you have bid on fraudulent transactions.

However, if you have not bid and want to know whether a listing is safe to bid on, effective immediately Team Whack a Hack will gladly review one listing for you and provide a second opinion free of charge to make sure that you enter into a safe transaction. After that, we will review up to 3 listings at a time for $5.00. If you want us to review unlimited listings for you for one year, the fee is $25.00. These fees are to be paid to the blog's PayPal account in advance of our review to help defray our operating costs. Paying these nominal fees to us may be the best investment you ever made on eBay. We will give you an honest opinion based on our experiences reading thousands of listings on eBay. If you are too lazy to do the research yourself, we suggest you take us up on our offer. We haven't steered you wrong yet.


Ian said...

That is all fine and good (saying we were warned) but I was sent a very formal/odfficial email from eBay telling me how to sent to 3rd party via WU and then it would be held until all parties were happy, and only released when the buyer was happy. Basicaklly the same as
I have the "request for payment" emails from ebay (or the incredible fakes)and they look perfect. I am a webmaster and see phishing going on all the time but this was perfectly done. I make a request to buy, he says "due to security" he will only use WU to a 3rd party and to just follow the "eBay" instructions.

Here are the safeguards I thought I had built in. This is directly from
the scam artist at ......

Complete your eBay transaction in 5 easy steps:

Buyer and seller agree on the transaction terms and the selling price.
Seller contacts eBay with the transaction details, eBay accepts the transaction and offers purchase protection to the buyer (if the transaction is declined, no further action will be required from either the buyer or the seller).
The buyer sends payment to an eBay Representative and not to the seller directly. After the payment was received, eBay will notify the seller to start the shipping. The seller has three business days to send the tracking number of the shipment to the buyer and to eBay. If no tracking number is provided, a full refund will be immediately sent to the buyer.
Buyer receives the merchandise and has five days to inspect it. If it is complete and as described, the buyer will accept the merchandise. If he refuses the merchandise, the buyer will ship the merchandise back to the seller within three business days.
After the inspection period has been finished, the buyer will contact eBay with the result of the inspection. If the buyer refuses the merchandise, the refund will be sent to the buyer after the tracking number for the returned shipment has been verified.

. Next step to be taken: The buyer must send the payment to the eBay Representative.

The eBay Representative available for this transaction: Mr. Valeriu Ciobanu.
Payment method insured* and approved for this transaction: Western Union Money Transfer.
* Sending the payment by any other method will void this transaction and your right to refund!
Western Union Money Transfer is the only service that has ultimate authentication of the identity of the receiver of funds. Several ID's and utility bills have been required before the funds are paid. Therefore, no one else but our eBay Representative can pick up the money. Your payments cannot be lost in the mail, like money orders or checks.

. Send the payment by Western Union Money Transfer to the eBay Representative:

The Nekkid Truth said...


That's all well and good, but eBay tells you on the bidding screen not to use Western Union or Money Gram, so why would eBay contradict itself on an invoice? Did you even make a bid and see that screen? And, if you did bid, did you read the screen before you made a bid? You didn't receive an invoice from eBay. And, you didn't receive an end of auction notification from eBay.

If you actually did bid on phantom item, you received a TKO notice from eBay stating not to complete the transaction. Chances are you didn't bid at all and made a deal with a hijacker. You didn't check your My eBay mailbox, on eBay's own website under your user ID for a duplicate copy of the invoice. All communications from eBay or members using the ASQ or member to member contact feature, are on eBay's server and go to your My eBay mailbox.

Lastly, if you're a webmaster, why didn't you pull up the full headers and check the routing to see where the invoice actually came from? Why were you not suspicious? Without even looking at the invoice, I can tell you that there are flaws in it, and I am a technophobe.

I am truly sorry that you gave your money to a thief, but you have to accept ownership that you did not do enough homework and you were scammed.

Please read the blog entry about the escrow companies that eBay recommends.

Also, if you will provide the domain address for the fake escrow company, we will get it shut down.

Anonymous said...

I once contacted a seller to ask a question about an item. The next day, Ebay had removed the item so it was now "invalid". The seller contacted me and sent me that exact same scam. This was two or three years ago...but I remember it well...the wording is almost exactly like what you posted. I immediately recognized it as a scam. I told the scammer to send me the item for inspection...then I would pay him! At that point I was obviously just messing with him.

NEVER SEND MONEY WESTERN UNION! I don't think Ebay could be any clearer on the subject.

Anonymous said...

Thanks to this site, I now realize I was almost the victim of one of these scams just today. I was shopping LCD's on ebay and came across a new listing that stated to contact the seller at for 'buy it now' pricing. When i read the response and the very low price, I got curious. Then, 15 minutes later, the ebay auction was pulled. I contacted the seller again and they stated that they pulled the auction themselves because they had sold all the items except one saved for me. Right. Anyway, as the communications continued...they prefer Western Union and are shipping from Italy. I suggested PayPal and obviusly thet refused. Every time I asked for a shipping company name, they blew it off. AT this point, since I am well aware of the scam, I'm playing along with them for fun. They just said that they'll send me tracking info and then I can transfer the money. Yeah, it's on its way. Maybe when these ordeal finally comes to end, I'll post the entire email communication here. Thanks again for confirming my instincts about these scumbags.