Friday, November 10, 2006

GRIPE! -- eBay Fraud

Most of us will get hit with it sooner or later: FRAUD! It's the nature of the technology beast. The more technologically advanced our society becomes, the easier it is for a crook to take advantage of you.

My wife and I, like a large number of Americans, buy and sell things on eBay from time to time. Every time we make a purchase using PayPal, we receive a spoof email saying that we need to update our account. Of course, we never respond to them, but it's a cause for concern that someone even knows we made a payment using PayPal.

Today my wife logged into eBay to find six messages listing auction items that were removed by eBay for "Circumvention of eBay seller fees." We don't currently have anything listed for sale on eBay.

After a little research, I've discovered that someone apparently hacked into our account. They changed the email address on the account to something similar to our address. In the items they listed for sale, in the description field, they said, "When you email me with your size I will tell you how to make payment." That's what caused eBay to cancel the auctions: by not running the payment through eBay (or PayPal), the fraudulent "seller" would pay no seller fees, the payment couldn't be easily tracked back to them, and the buyer would have no recourse when they don't receive what they paid for.

We've taken the obvious steps to prevent further hacking of our account, filed a dispute with eBay, and I will be running Anti-Virus and Anti-Spyware tonight to find what is probably a key-logging program on our computer.

The whole mess really gripes me! That it can be so simple for someone to access our information and commit such fraud really gripes me! As I said, it is to be expected in this age of tech.

Make a note of this and protect yourself. Don't use the same password for all of your accounts -- if one is compromised they all are. Change your passwords regularly. Don't open any email or attachments that you aren't expecting. And protect yourself with a firewall and Anti-Virus/Spyware software.


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