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January 12, 2006

Watch Out For This eBay Phish

A new eBay phishing message might be easy to fall for because, like most good social engineering attacks, it looks official and is for the most part well-written. The recipient is to believe that eBay is contacting him/her to advise that as the result of a pending class action lawsuit settlement, that eBay will credit your bank account with $88.99.

Listen to this stuff:

Congratulations! You have received this Notice because the records of eBay, Inc. indicate you are a current or former eBay account holder who has been deemed eligible to receive a payment from the class action settlement in accordance with eBay Litigation, Case No. 02 1227 JF PVT, pending in the United States District Court for the Northern District of California in San Jose.

And this:

The aforementioned settlement funds may be transferred directly to your bank account providing you have a linked card. The funds may not be credited directly to your eBay account as this would render eBay to be accumulating interest and thus profiting on litigation settlement funds which contravenes Federal law. Your bank account will be credited within 7 days upon submission of account details.

And, finally, this:

This notice is a summary and does not describe all details of the settlement. For full details of the matters discussed in this notice, you may wish to review the Settlement Agreement dated January 11, 2005 and on file with the Court or visit https://www.ebay.com/settlement/. Complete copies of the Settlement Agreement and all other pleadings and papers filed in the lawsuit are also available for inspection and copying during regular business hours, at the Office of the Clerk of the Court, United States District Court for the Northern District of California, 280 South First Street, San Jose, California 95113.

DATED: January 12, 2006

Nothin' like some good ol' boilerplate legal mumbo jumbo to make something sound real.

There are some flaws, however, that might confuse some recipients. For example, Americans spell those pieces of paper that transfer money from one account to another as "check," not "cheque." I refrain from correcting the scammer's other mistakes.

The most important thing that gives away this message as a scam—and something that a scammer can't disguise—is that the message did not really originate from eBay. Spam Wars readers know how to determine that. Oh, and don't bother trying to visit the "settlement" page mentioned above. It doesn't exist.

Another day, another scam.

Posted on January 12, 2006 at 09:04 AM