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Thread: Ebay-The web widens

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2001
    Fort Wayne, IN, USA

    Ebay-The web widens

    This story today in the Times of London. Much of it is not new information but, in the interest of keeping people aware of scams, I'm posting it here.

    Here's the link and the text.,00.html


    January 17, 2005

    Online eBay criminals could cost you more than you bargained for
    By Joe Morgan and Rebecca O’Connor

    EBAY, the internet auction website, is at the centre of an online scam perpetrated by criminals using software that records their victims’ details.

    Gangs, thought to originate from Russia and Eastern Europe, were behind a number of attacks on people who were tricked into revealing their online log-in details by e-mails purporting to be from eBay or internet banks.

    Now the crooks are sending victims spam e-mails, which, when opened, infect a computer with key-logging software. This silently records every keystroke made by the user and sends online account log-in and password details back to the criminals. This enables them fraudulently to use their victims’ accounts.

    Internet banks and credit card companies have been defrauded already, but the growing popularity of eBay, which lists two million auctions every day, has made it the favourite target for the gangs.

    The National Hi-tech Crime Unit (part of the National Crime Squad) and fraud specialists from eBay are trying to trace the gangs.

    Mick Randall, the unit’s head of operations, said: “Once an eBay seller has been infected with a key logger, criminals will be able to log in to their account and see all the transactions that are being made. This will allow them to see details of all the eBay-users who have made a bid for an item.

    “The gangs are using this information to steal money from unsuccessful bidders by sending e-mails, purporting to be from the seller, informing them that the winner has dropped out and asking them to send payment.

    “Buyers will have no idea that the e-mail has come from a crook and they often send money to the thief in the mistaken belief that they are buying the advertised item, which will, of course, never arrive.”

    Another scam targets people signed up to PayPal, a money transfer service owned by eBay. A gang member will log into the victim’s eBay account, using the password details stolen by the key logger, and use the person’s PayPal account to buy an item being sold on eBay by another gang member.

    Mr Randall said: “A Western Union BidPay cheque is sent from the person’s PayPal account to the thief after he or she has unwittingly won the auction. The victim will have no idea that someone else has been into their eBay account and done this until a bank statement appears at the end of the month.

    “These particular scams can be difficult to investigate because the gang member who acted as the seller in the spoof auction will have proof that a legitimate sale has been made.”

    The platform is also being used as a money-laundering tool by gangs, who use a web of transactions to direct money into accounts set up using stolen identity documents. The cash is then sent to gang leaders abroad using money transfer services such as Western Union or Moneygram.

    EBay has also been hit by “matrix auctions”, in which the offer of a minidisc, for example, is in fact just selling information on how to obtain one. Fraudsters bury the exact sale details in obtuse terms and conditions.

    Which?, formerly the Consumers’ Association, claims that an average of 200 fraudulent transactions take place on eBay every day, with thieves selling defective or non-existant goods. A spokesman said: “EBay is a facilitator, not a seller. Traders should read the terms and conditions of eBay use. This way they will know what they are covered for and be able to identify a good seller or buyer.”

    EBay insisted last night that the platform was safe. A spokesman said: “Since eBay began there have been over two billion successful transactions between complete strangers, a testament to the success and safety of the site. EBay uses state-of-the-art technology to ensure that the site is as secure as possible. Additionally, nearly 1,000 employees at eBay and PayPal, with backgrounds in law enforcement, customer support, advanced computer engineering and analysis, are dedicated to making eBay one of the safest places in the world to trade."
    Lynn Fuston
    3D Audio

    Making beautiful music SEEM easy since 1979.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    applegate, Southern Oregon
    Man, I've bought a lot of stuff off ebay and never been burnt- but I don't think I've bought anything for a good year and maybe more. This kind of thing doesn't incline me to try ebay again.

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