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   From Tim

21st August 06


The mail below is an example of the devious nature of phishing mails now being sent out.  Obviously I have not sold any such item as this, but the automatic response is to log in to see exactly what this guy is talking about...


The seller is a real eBay ID, and the item really is the card stated, but NONE of the links in the mail actually lead to eBay - if you attempted to log in through any of them your password would be compromised.


As mentioned a few days ago, it is worth entering eBay through a browser window and checking your 'my messages' folder EVERY TIME before responding to a message that appears to come from eBay.


---- Original Message -----

From: eBay Member: vn19682

To: tim@...

Sent: Monday, August 21, 2006 5:12 PM

Subject: Message from eBay Member Regarding Item #130003285894




eBay sent this message to tim@.... Learn more.

Question about Item -- Respond Now


eBay sent this message on behalf of an eBay member via My Messages. Responses sent using email will go to the eBay member directly and will include your email address. Click the Respond Now button below to send your response via My Messages.

 Question from vn19682

vn19682( 762)

Positive Feedback:


Member Since:



United States

Registered On:

Item: 1992-93 UPPER DECK MCDONALD'S SHAQUILLE O'NEAL (130003285894)

This message was sent after the listing closed.

vn19682 is the winner.

I just recieved my cards and they are all good except one. The ink is all like peeling off the card under the toplaoder and its all white and cruddy. I dont want this, its in junk condition. i mean all the rest are great but one isint worth 1.00. can i please send it back or something or get a refund.

Thanks So Much, Matt

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Item Details

Item name:


Item number:


End date:

Jul-08-06 14:45:02 PDT

View item description:

Thank you for using eBay!

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Other cautionary advice about online auctions


BEWARE  Shipping Scams

Be careful about sending payment to sellers from abroad, particularly sellers who ask you to wire money through Western Union.

 One common scam, popular among scammers in Russia, Eastern Europe, and Southeast Asia, is for the seller to tell a skeptical buyer to make out the funds in the name of the buyer's wife or sister, a name not known to the seller. The seller says that this way he'll be able to check with Western Union to find out that the funds were sent to him, so he'll ship the piece, but he won't be able to collect the funds without Western Union getting an OK from the buyer after he receives the coin.

A related scam is for the seller to ask the buyer to email him when he has sent the funds through Western Union but without revealing Western Union's money transfer control number until he receives the coin.What happens in the above cases is the scammer claims the funds but doesn't ship. Western Union doesn't require any information for a recipient to claim funds except the amount of money expected and the origination city, state, and country.

Another scam involving shipping is the creation of fake shipping sites, such as KLM Express and Prompt Express. Scammers have used these sites to "prove" that they sent the item and that you can send them payment for it. After they receive your payment, the sites disappear along with your money.


BEWARE fake escrow agents

If you do use an escrow service, you need to be careful about scams involving fake escrow sites, such as (meant to be confused with the legitimate escrow service and You think you're sending your money to an independent third party, but you're actually sending it right to the crook. The above two sites have been shut down, though new fake escrow sites open up.

For a list of fake escrow sites and other auction fraud information, check out 

If you do use an escrow site, as a buyer, it's best to suggest the escrow service yourself and to make sure it's a legitimate one.


 BEWARE hijacked Accounts

One eBay scam involves hijacking the eBay account of a seller with a good feedback record by deceitfully obtaining his password. One possible tip-off during the auction is that the seller is auctioning a pricey item or items completely unlike those he's auctioned before.

Another is that the seller previously only bought on eBay, never sold. A possible tip-off upon completion of the auction is that you're asked to send payment to a location completely different from the location listed in the auction. If you have questions about the auction, send a message to the seller through eBay. If his answer continues to arouse suspicion, don't send your money.

eBay has recently tightened up its security features to try to prevent this type of fraud. Now, if an automated password-cracking program fails to guess a password on the twentieth try, eBay flashes a code on screen that you have to type in manually. Despite this safety feature, it's still best to use a password that's difficult to crack.

Sellers can still be tricked into revealing their passwords to scammers by clicking on a link in an official looking e-mail message that appears to come from eBay, a practice known as "phishing." They're directed to a "spoof" site that looks just like eBay but is solely designed to obtain people's passwords. To prevent yourself from falling victim like this and ruining your good feedback, always go to eBay and related sites such as PayPal through your own bookmark or favourite or by manually typing in the site's address.


BEWARE Stolen text or images

As  fraudulent dealers are here for a short time to rip off as many people as possible as quickly as possible, they never take time to do their own

research (then again, how do you research a fake?). So they steal the text from other eBay sellers. My regular customers let me know when they see the latest dishonest seller using my auction text. About once a month a new dishonest seller will start listing items on eBay



Have a look at







Some encouraging news!

Can only hope that the sellers of the dreadful fake antiquities on eBay are called to account as well.




Suspended jail term a blow to fraud on eBay

Angela Makki duped insurance underwriter Zena Bailey over the auction website. At Hove Crown Court last month she was given a six-month suspended prison sentence and ordered to refund the cash.

Giving evidence, Mrs Bailey, 31, told the court she had been a member of eBay for two months prior to the auction on March 18 last year. "I would have been very suspicious if she had purchased it from a friend or second-hand sale, but she said she personally bought it from Belgium."

The buyer, initially delighted with her purchase, had become suspicious after telltale differences in the leather, printing and metal accoutrements suggested the handbag was a fake.

She first contacted Makki to try to get her to take the handbag back, then attempted to use eBay's mediation service. But, with the seller unwilling to cooperate, she contacted her local police. Their willingness to listen to her complaint and interview Makki, who denied being dishonest, saw the case come to trial on May 21-23.

The issue for the court was not the integrity or otherwise of the object, that was accepted as counterfeit. "The question," prosecutor Guy Russell told the court, "is whether Makki was dishonest or not". The jury decided she was.

Sentencing her to a six-month jail sentence suspended for two years on the charge of obtaining property by deception, Judge Anthony Niblett told her she had been convicted on "clear" evidence.

He said: "In my judgment this is a sufficiently serious case to merit a custodial sentence, albeit in your case not an immediate one. This offence undermines the confidence of the public and in particular those who deal on eBay which is a very popular means of modern trading in which the honesty and integrity of the users is absolutely vital."





What you can do if you are ripped off online

File a complaint with eBay File a report immediately with eBay Rules & Safety: In order to be considered for eBay's Fraud Protection Program, you should also submit an Online Fraud Complaint at 30 days after the listing end-date.

2) File a complaint with the FTC$.startup?Z_ORG_CODE=PU01

3) File a complaint with the Internet Fraud Complaint Center

4) Contact law-enforcement officials at the local and state level (your local and state police departments)

5) Also contact law-enforcement officials in the perpetrator's town & state

6) File a complaint with the shipper USPS

7) File a complaint with the National Fraud Information Center

8) File a complaint with the Better Business Bureau