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It appears that, sadly, there has been a proliferation of eBay scams occurring as of late. Although it’s not shocking or surprising that the online auction site is being abused by some users, it’s dismaying nonetheless. We should come to expect it, however, as such a huge database is bound to attract bad apples, just as Craigslist, PayPal, and other sites with millions of users have. Amazon had email phishing scammers attempting to filch personal and financial info from unwitting recipients of “mimic” emails, which Consumer Affairs warned people about back in 2010. It seems we aren’t safe anywhere on the Web, and need to be more guarded about our personal and financial information than ever.
Case in Point
The most recent case of an eBay scam involves a user named james3154, who posted this message to an email address regarding his purchase of a DJ set-up for $1,020:
I have purchased and paid for this item 5 days ago, but there is
no response from you. PayPal has been sent to someone’s email address.
If you do not respond I will contact the Police and Paypal [sic].
The auction on the item, a Pioneer CDJ 2000 & DJM 900 Nexus in “Excellent Condition,” ended August 19, and could very well be bait for trusting purchasers. And, eBay has given us good reason to be trusting on eBay, as the site certifies and backs up all transactions, making it all the more disturbing when these scams occur. There is a chance that the seller fell into a coma or was killed in the intervening time between posting the item and the purchaser’s transaction, but with all that’s happening in the world of hacker opportunism, it’s unlikely.
The Good News
There is good news, however. eBay and PayPal both offer money-back guarantees on purchases that prove to be duds, or scams. Both companies do in-house arbitration that quickly determines whether or not the purchaser or seller is at fault, and provide relatively speedy refunds when provenance shows the better. Check the fine print, though, because PayPal has some weird provisos such as only guaranteeing larger purchases for those with good credit, by their standards. This can go both ways – for buyer and seller. This writer can claim having seen the better side of PayPal returns of funds on questionable purchases, or ones where the product purchased wasn’t there or what the seller said it was.
When Online Purchase Fails
To whom or what can we resort or appeal when we have been ripped-off by slick scammers posing as ordinary eBay, Amazon, or PayPal users? There are methods to which you as an online consumer can resort, such as calling your bank and stopping payment, as this PayPal user successfully did when the third-party transaction giant failed them. Banks are usually good about that kind of thing, as long as you call them or go into the bank branch in -person and explain the situation with evidence showing the scam. Usually, all it takes is to fill out a fraud form and request for funds to be returned, and/or register a complaint that gets that individual flagged.
IT Vulnerabilities and Solutions
We’re all vulnerable to cyberattacks and data breaches in our modern world of so much Web-based information and transactions. But, you can be better prepared for disaster with better security and encryption of personal and financial information. Tech Support of Minnesota is the leader in providing managed IT services in Twin Cities South Metro area. Contact our expert IT staff at (952) 758--7272 or send us an email at [email protected], and we will be happy to answer any and all your questions.