A Primer on eBay Scam Tactics

By Deane Barker on September 26, 2003

EBay thief reveals tricks of the trade

“Kenneth calls his victims ‘my customers,’ and the scam they fall for is relatively straightforward. It starts with a ‘phisher’ e-mail to perhaps 1,000 eBay users, telling them their accounts will be closed unless they supply their user name and password. Sometimes, as many as 200 people reply, he said.

Armed with access to these eBay accounts, Kenneth impersonates a long-time eBay user with ample positive feedback, and he approaches other eBay users actively engaged in an auction. Via e-mail, he tells them he can offer a better deal. When they bite, he slowly lures them down a path which eventually leads to a fake escrow Web page. Under the false security of an escrow service, victims wire money to Kenneth, and he disappears with their cash.”

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