Common eBay Frauds

Occasionally, abusive behavior by at eBay members goes beyond rule-breaking and may include illegal activity or attempts to defraud or harm other members. Some common eBay frauds include:

  • Transaction interception. This occurs when a perpetrator pretends to be the seller (or an eBay employee) and contacts the winner of an auction requesting payment or fees. (This fraud practice is much less common since PayPal became the payment standard).

  • Fraudulent bid retraction. Bidders may fraudulently retract a bid, either as to a means of learning another bidder’s maximum bid or as part of a “bid shielding” enterprise in which the perpetrator retracts a ridiculously high bid at the last moment, thereby allowing an accomplice to buy the item at a much lower price.

  • Sales of stolen or counterfeit goods. Unscrupulous sellers continue to offer these illegal items to unknowing buyers despite eBay’s efforts to prohibit sales of stolen and counterfeit items.

  • Phishing or eBay or PayPal Spoofs. Con artists often sends fake emails to eBay members pretending to be from eBay or PayPal and requesting sensitive financial or personal information. The goal may be to obtain payment information or membership information (in order to impersonate the member for an unscrupulous purpose).

  • Feedback extortion. This occurs when an eBay member threatens to post negative feedback unless unfair demands are met.

  • Shill bidding. Shill bidding happens when a seller uses multiple identities (or has accomplices) to artificially jack up the price or value of an item.

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