eBay scammers a short article

Short article from MSN UK Money that lists a few of the higher profile scams that sellers have pulled off on eBay in the last few years, they list a second chance offer scam, a fake ticket scam, empty box scams and even 1 incident where someone made a completely fake eBay site I guess in a effort to grab ID’s.

ebay scams list
The eBay scams? eBay scams? scams? theirs a pattern?

Source : 


Mirror :

While the overwhelming majority of people using eBay are honest, there are a few rogue traders who have used this goodwill with criminal intent.

We take a look at some of the most outrageous, audacious and downright absurd cons carried out in recent times and what you should watch out for.

Couple net £300k from ‘second chances’
In October 2005, married couple Nicolae and Adriana Cretanu were jailed, for three and a half years and 30 months respectively, for an elaborate two-year ruse.

The pair stole nearly £300,000 through a plot masterminded by a relative, George Titar, in Romania.

They advertised imaginary high-value goods including cars, motorcycles and electronics, plus war memorabilia, tickets and even parachute trousers on eBay. Bidders, described as “idiots” by the fraudsters, were then contacted by the gang (using pseudonyms) to say their bids had failed to secure the items. They were offered a ‘second chance’ to buy similar products and told to pay by Western Union money transfer, but received nothing.

You can beat these scams by… treating any ‘second chance’ you’re given to buy goods outside the confines of eBay with suspicion. eBay now requires sellers to accept Paypal as a payment method. If you’re concerned you might be scammed, ask to pay by Paypal as your payments will be protected.

Gang nabs £200,000
A group of conmen managed to net almost £200,000 by hijacking eBay users accounts, advertising goods for sale and then pocketing the cash.

More than 160 people were conned by the scam, which ran between 2003 and 2004.

The gang were jailed for up to three years.

You can beat these scams by… not responding to unsolicited emails. The gang secured the details necessary to hack into the accounts by sending out emails claiming to be from eBay. People who clicked on a link in the email were redirected to a fake site.

As a general rule, eBay will not email users requesting personal information.

The Xbox boxes
A gaggle of wily scammers managed to turn cardboard into gold when they auctioned empty Xbox boxes for hundreds of pounds.

Listings for Xbox 360 boxes started to crop up on eBay, with pictures of a boxed device but descriptions including lines such as “this is just a box”. As the prices were so low, eager gamers bid on the listings, with many clicking just before the end of an auction – without reading the description in full – only to pay for their goods before it was too late.

You can beat these scams by… making sure you always read the small print. If it looks too good to be true then it probably is.

Scammers create fake eBay
In 2002, fraudsters set up a fake lookalike website in a bid to steal credit card information off eBay users.

The scammers sent emails asking recipients to log on to ebayupdates.com and enter key in their financial data.

The mail read: ‘Dear Ebay [sic] Member, We at Ebay are sorry to inform you that we are having problems with the billing information of your account.”

It is not clear how many users fell victim to the scam.

You can beat these scams by… as with the previous scam, just not responding to unsolicited mails. As a general rule, eBay will not email users requesting personal information.

Man nets £62,000 selling fake tickets
Gilbert Vartanian was arrested for extensive fraud that is believed to have earned him over £61,628.98 ($93,000) (£62,000) from more than 10 victims.

Vartanian advertised tickets to various sporting events as well as Rolex watches. The ads instructed customers to send him cheques and money orders, usually to his private postal mailbox.

Vartanian was jailed for two years and told to pay restitution to his victims.

You can beat these scams by… avoiding any invitation to buy goods outside the confines of eBay. If you’re concerned, ask to pay by Paypal as your payments will be protected.

The man who scammed the scammers
Sick of swindles, one eBay buyer amassed an army of auction site users to sting a scammer. In spring 2004, Jeff Harris agreed to sell an Apple G4 Powerbook for a friend, and set up an eBay.com auction. He was approached by an interested UK buyer, Gianluca Sessarego, who offered £1,391.62 ($2,100) plus shipping costs. The money, Sessarego said, would be paid through an escrow service. Harris recognised that the escrow site was a fake, and decided to catch the scammer red-handed.

He informed eBay, who found that Sessarego’s account had been hijacked, while Jeff – helped by online forum users – hatched a quite fantastic A Team-esque plan.

They fashioned a Powerbook made from cardboard and sticky tape, dubbed the P-P-P-Powerbook, and shipped it, using donations to cover costs. The scammer – who received the worthless delivery after several weeks’ hold-up by customs officials – was left to pay hefty UK import taxes.

Some general safety tips
For the majority of eBay’s 14.5 million British users, transactions are positive and scams are in the minority. The online auction site will ban sellers that contravene rules and have a number of tools in place to help protect buyers and sellers, and have issued common sense advice on keeping safe.

Pay safely: It is compulsory for sellers to offer PayPal as one of the payment methods. Choosing this option means that you are protected on any item you buy.

Check seller information: Look out for sellers with high seller ratings (they will be more visible than sellers with lower ratings who will be demoted). In general, the more information you can find on the seller, the better. Be wary of anyone who has no sales history.

Use common sense: The most important thing to look out for is offers that seem too good to be true. There are loads of bargains on eBay, but common sense should help you identify the suspicious ones.

Never buy via a third party: eBay never acts as a third party. If a seller tries to convince you otherwise, this should set the alarm bells ringing.

Know your tights on returns: Every business that trades on eBay has to meet UK laws and show clear contact details. When a business trades in fixed price items, returns must be offered to buyers.

Live chat: If your eBay account is taken over by a fraudster, make use of the 24-hour Live Chat facility.


  1. The “just a box” thing is a great one, I have seen it happen where people paid huge sums of cash for “just a box”.

    Personally I feel like doing that some of the time, people never read anything, so in my view they deserve to get ripped off.

    1. Did you ever catch wind of that episode of Judge Judy where someone bought a picture of a iPhone I think it was, the ad was quite clear in what they was getting, it shows no one reads the things.

      Link :


  2. ahh yep, did happen to see that one, though she ruled (if I remember correctly) in the end that the listing said it was 50g weight or something, and the picture of the phone she sent wasn’t 50g, so judy ruled in buyers favour.

    Its all round pathetic though, buyer didn’t read the listing (even though i still say it was a scam) and when the buyer got pissed off he took the seller to court and court ruled in buyers favour. Though the seller was scamming, the buyer didn’t read it totally , didn’t think “oh maybe this seems a bit odd” , it just no common sense with people as normal. People who are that lazy in not reading what they are buyer deserve to get ripped off.

    I sometimes buy car parts from ebay, the ones that show a scrap car, then bascially say the listing is for a wheel nut, but they have other parts etc also. I saw last year someone bid on the listing and expected the whole thing for 99p. OK the seller is maybe bending ebays rules by using the listing as a parts advert, though ebay don’t many any money from it, so they are not interested in allowing such things, anyway, buyer didn’t read it was for a wheel nut, and opened a dispute when his “as shown in image” car did not arrive at his doorstep. They probably thought it was a brand new car for 99p and did not even read “breaking for spares”. I just can’t deal with people like that.

    I work bloody hard though my life to get qualifications and experience in what I did. Then with some people, they can’t be bothered to even read a few words in a listing. It just makes me so angry how lazy and lacking in common sense people are out there. The only thing they work hard at, is complaining and being abusive to get free stuff.

    1. Ah, the old wheel nut thing, I just phone them up if I can and ask if they have what I need, usually works out that way.

      “I saw last year someone bid on the listing and expected the whole thing for 99p.”

      Why do I not find that shocking at all lol

      I wonder how eBay handled the dispute on that one. Reminds one time when I sold a vintage games console for £90 and got a money order for the buyer refused to believe I was in another country, and also that was the same as £90 at that time it was over $2 per £1.

      Another good one I had involving car parts was I bought a set of rear sets for a jeep and won them for £1… they was local so I thought great I go and get them, days go by with the seller not responding to my messages.. days turn into weeks… eventually I get a “none paying bidder” dispute open from eBay so I explain the situation and pay up… I am then allowed to collect them now when I say local I had to walk out the back of my house across about 20 meters of waste land across a road to the house to pick them up, the woman did not look amused and her boyfriend was laughing his head off.

      I really have no idea what was going on in that one, did she expect to keep my £1? lol

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