Current Status

This blog is not frequently updated because most case-by-case scam reports are now listed in subordinate blogs. At this point in time, most of my efforts are targeted at documenting employment scams in the Suckers Wanted blog.


Info: Anatomy of an eBay scam

I ususally report on spam-based scams, so eBay scams aren't my usual cup of tea. My encounters have been primarily with the other side of eBay scamming: the hiring of mules to act as middle-men. For a more in-depth look at the eBay side of the fraud, I recommend the article "Anatomy of an eBay scam" at The Register. It's an abbreviated email exchange between the reporter (posing as an interested buyer) and the scammer.

In this particular scam, an eBay account with a good reputation is hijacked (by phishing the owner for credentials), and an item offered for sale under that identity with instructions to contact the seller via non-eBay channels. When contacted by a buyer, the seller then spoofs mail from eBay instructing the buyer to send payment to an "eBay agent" via Western Union. If the buyer falls for it and sends the money, the scam is complete and successful.

Note that a single fraudulent listing on eBay can be used to scam a large number of potential buyers, since there is no competitive bidding, and no goods are ever shipped. The scammer can just pretend that the goods are available to all who ask, and collect as many payments as possible. The payments could be made through a money mule: the article doesn't spill the beans on the identity of the Western Union recipient, so I can't make an informed guess about the process in this case.


Susie said...

you should visit

and in that forum, visit the eBSK part. you will have to ask a mod for permission to see that part of the forum

Anonymous said...

This is so TRUE!!!! Just got scammed with a Golf Cart purchase from Craigslist with instructions to "protect me" the funds would be handled thru an "ebay agent"...wired thru Money Gram...$2800 LATER and no golf cart, I've been SCAMMED!!!!