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November 27, 2006

An eBay Message Scam

To ward off scammers contacting eBay users directly, eBay started up its own messaging service (My Messages) some time ago. If you want to contact an eBay member, you do so via eBay, which acts as the intermediary between the two parties. Of course any such attempt to thwart scammers only brings out more scammers, including some that send email messages that try to look like the eBay message service.

I just got one that fails the smell test on a few points. For one, although the message says "Your registered name is included to show this message originated from eBay.", my registered name is nowhere to be found.

Second, the message claims to originate from an eBay Power Seller, using a real eBay user's name. Unfortunately (or fortunately for those who check things out before acting), the feedback rating shown for that member in the email message is about 600 points less than that member's actual rating, meaning that the message was not created by eBay's servers.

Third, this message was addressed to my regular email address, not the one I use only for eBay.

Here's the so-called message (bad spelling and all) from this so-called member:

I have been waiting for quite a long time for you to reply , whith the payment details .For the reason i will be forced to report you to ebay as , an unpayed item strike , and as a result your ebay user will be suspended , and you will receive negative feedback in the future .Think again and give me your decision. Regards

Then the message contains a login form requiring my eBay user ID and password to send my response. If submitted, however, the form actually goes to a forms processing program on a Czech server, which will then forward the data to the crook, wherever he may be.

Sadly, I'm sure that this fake message will get numerous eBay members to submit their user IDs and passwords in an attempt to deny any transaction with this "member." Good eBayers (and there are tons of them) strenuously guard their feedback ratings, and will do anything to prevent a negative report. A lot of adrenaline will flow upon receipt of this message. A lot of eBay accounts will be compromised, to be used for fraudulent auction activity.

Posted on November 27, 2006 at 11:18 PM