There have been a number of reports recently where people in the North east have reported losing money as a result of fraud after fraudsters have conned victims into thinking they are Paypal and/or Ebay by the use of fake emails.
E.g. Sellers Be Aware
You've sold an item, and an email from Paypal drops into your email inbox. Everything looks fine – but make sure you check your Paypal account before you head to the Post Office to ship the item.
Some buyers may send you a hoax Paypal email that looks legitimate, to get you to send the item. But you'll never get your money.
Be aware that some dishonest buyers may complain that you've sent them a broken item, and submit a complaint to eBay in an attempt to force you to give them a refund.
Always ship expensive items with insurance. Get the buyer to cover the cost in their postal fees. This also has the benefit of protecting you if there is a genuine breakage that occurs during the delivery.
For full security advice please see the below information as shown on Ebay website, for full links then please log into the Ebay Website.
Avoiding scams and reporting fraud
Very occasionally things go wrong – read our practical tips on staying safe on eBay and online, and what to do if you think you’ve been scammed
- Always complete eBay purchases on the eBay website.
- If an offer seems too good to be true, it probably is.
- If you receive an email that includes links and requests sensitive information, be cautious.
- Communications from eBay and eBay members always appear on the Messages tab in My eBay.
- Protect your computer with anti-virus and anti-malware software
Avoiding buying scams
- Remember that eBay Money Back Guarantee only covers eligible transactions that are completed ON eBay.co.uk and paid for with PayPal. Find out more about our eligibility requirements for eBay Money Back Guarantee.
- Always read the listing carefully and check the seller's Feedback before buying. The more you're spending, the more cautious you should be. Read our information on buying with confidence.
- Be cautious about sending payments for high-priced items that you'd normally inspect in person - such as vehicles - especially if the seller is asking for a payment method other than PayPal.
- Look out for these common warning signs:
- Items or vehicles advertised at well below their market value. Remember, if the price sounds too good to be true, it probably is.
- Sellers who refuse to meet in person or refuse to let the buyer physically inspect the item before buying.
- Transactions in which the seller and the item - especially vehicles - are in different locations. Criminals often claim to have that they've had to move for work or due to family circumstances, or that they've left the vehicle with a 'local delivery company'.
- Sellers who claim to have made arrangements with an 'eBay Financial Centre' or eBay's Vehicle Purchase Protection Program. eBay doesn't have a 'Financial Centre', and eBay Motors Vehicle Purchase Protection is only available for vehicles purchased on eBay.com.
- Sellers who request payment via bank transfer to an eBay bank account. eBay does not act as an escrow service, nor request money from buyers to be paid into our bank account.
- Sellers who request payment by instant cash transfer via Western Union or MoneyGram. These payment methods aren't permitted on eBay.
Protecting your identity
- Protect against spoof
Keep your accounts and identity protected by being aware of spoof emails (also known as fake or phishing emails) - these emails appear to come from a reputable company, but try to make you go to a fake website and divulge your login information or financial details.
Look out for:
- Fake emails containing links and/or attachments, asking you to sign in or enter personal or financial information.
- Fake emails suggesting that your account has been (or will be) suspended
- Fake Second Chance Offer emails
- Fake questions about items you are not selling or have not bought
- Fake offers to become an eBay PowerSeller or eBay Top-rated seller
Take these simple precautions:
- If an email appears to come from eBay or PayPal, log into your account to confirm whether it's legitimate or not.
- Always access your account by typing the eBay URL (e.g. www.ebay.co.uk) directly in a new browser window – never log into your eBay account using links in an email
- If an email doesn’t look quite like the notifications you receive from eBay or PayPal, and particularly if the email contains grammatical or spelling errors, you should be highly suspicious – forward any suspicious emails to email@example.com for confirmation
- Upgrade your browser. Browsers with the latest anti-phishing capabilities make recognising spoof (fake) websites easier.
- Be cautious about opening messages with attachments, especially if you're not sure who sent the email.
- Look after your password
Always use secure passwords for your eBay and email accounts, as well as your other online accounts. Never give out any sensitive details like bank information or passwords - they're the key to your account.
Here are some tips for creating a safe password:
- Secure passwords are 8 or more characters long and contain a combination of numbers and letters
- eBay passwords are case sensitive – so you can use a combination of capital and lower-case letters for increased security
- Don’t use the same password for multiple online accounts. In particular, keep your eBay and email account passwords separate.
- Make sure your password doesn’t contain personal information such as your name, your birth date, driver’s licence, passport number or other similar information.
- Never write your password down where someone can easily access it
- Change your passwords regularly (e.g. every 6 months)
- Protect your computer
Online scammers, hackers, and identity thieves do business by gaining access to your computer, personal information, finances, and more.
As a minimum, take these simple precautions:
What to do if you think you’ve been scammed
Reporting account or identity theft
If you think someone has gained access to your account, change your eBay and PayPal passwords immediately
- Contact your bank/credit card issuer to cancel unauthorised transactions
- Make a police report using the Action Fraud website. Even if the police aren't able to take the matter further, your report will still help them to build up a picture of fraud activity.
- Contact eBay and inform Customer Services about what has happened – they can provide further useful information and initiate actions against any fraudulent accounts
- Make a police report
- Share your experiences on the eBay forums with other buyers and sellers so that they know what to avoid
- Keep safe by understanding how to avoid identity theft
Reporting a fraudulent transaction
If you haven't received an item you bought on eBay, or it doesn't match the description you may be eligible for eBay Money Back Guarantee . Learn more about eBay's resolution process.
If you didn't buy the item on eBay or your purchase isn't eligible for eBay Money Back Guarantee, you can make a police report using the Action Fraud website.
Note: Please be aware that reports about transactions outside of eBay or PayPal may not be investigated, although your report will help the police to build up a picture of fraud activity.
How eBay works with the police
eBay will always assist the police in a criminal investigation. Learn more about reporting fraud to the police and how eBay works with law enforcement.