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How are con artists stealing money from eBay buyers? Case I

by: Nikolai Nikonov
Someone is using another person as a middleman.

Just imagine: you want to buy a fast and modern laptop but you see that in retail stores and internet superstores it costs tons of money. Where will you go? Right! You will connect to Internet; start your favorite browser and type "www.ebay.com".

You find a laptop there and you like a price, you think: "Okay. It's very good deal! I will win this auction!" And you win.

You write to a seller and ask him how to pay. The seller is reply that you should send a money order to him/her. Then you send the money order and... nothing. You try to contact with the seller, but nobody replies on your messages.

You use eBay to get seller's information. What a hell!? I sent the money to another person!!! You call to the seller and find that he doesn't know what eBay is. Someone used his credit card to signup.

You find a phone number of a person who had received your money order. You call to her and learn that she is just receiving money orders on behalf of an overseas company.

She doesn't know what eBay is also. Heck! You want your money back! But it's very problematic…

As I know it's impossible!

What do you learn from it?

Before bidding on an auction:
- Look at the payments part of a page. If a seller accepts money orders and cashiers' checks only when it's a 95% scam. Feedback means almost nothing. I will explain it later.

- Ask a seller for his/her phone number and make a call to be sure that the seller is real person who is selling an item.

- If a seller is refused or avoiding to contact you via the phone ask for the eBay escrow service. Use eBay escrow only! Do not trust other companies.

- If you are paying a seller by http://www.PayPal.com always check that a seller name the same as on eBay. If different it's 95% scam.

- If you reached a seller by a phone and negotiated with him about a payment method you can bid on the auction safely.

Some advanced knowledge:

I said early that feedback means nothing. Why?

Because some scam artists are buying eBay accounts with a high feedback rating.

They are buying it from hackers who overtake legal users' accounts and inactive for a long time period accounts. It's also true for PayPal accounts.

And why you should trust eBay escrow services only? Because rippers are running bogus escrow sites and try to rip you off.
Theirs site looks very fine. You will see a professional design and great domain name. But... it’s only fake, intended to take your money and run.

Very often such services tell you to transfer money to an overseas bank account or e-gold account.

REMEMBER THAT A BIG PART OF SCAM ARTISTS SIMPLY DON'T DO THE NEXT STEP IF YOU WILL ASK FOR THE EBAY ESCROW OR PHONE CALL. I KNOW IT, BECAUSE I'M THE RETIRED RIPPER.

About the author:
Article by Nikolai Nikonov - the publisher of eBay and internet fraud blog
http://ebay-fraud.blogspot.com