eBay Scams... or

cons, flim-flams, gaffles, grift, hustle, scheme, swindle or bamboozle!

You may have heard about eBay scams, and how buying and selling on eBay is dangerous. While I don't think that's always true, you need to be careful anytime you're online. Most of the news about eBay scammers talks about buyers being tricked by bad sellers. But it's just as common for scammer buyers to try to rip-off sellers.

eBay sellers have to stay up-to-date about different scams. On the eBay home page, on the upper left corner beneath the 5 tabs on the right, is the eBay Security and Resolution center. Click there for an amazing amount of information about safe buying and selling on eBay, including how to avoid these scams.

Another place to look for help about eBay scams is the Trust and Safety Board forum. There's a link to that page from the Security and Resolution center. The second post from the top is full of information that you should read. In fact, I'd better go re-read it myself!

If you need help fast, the people that post on the community forums share info about scammers with each other. I LOVE IT when everyone works together, don't you?

Remember, eBay and Paypal NEVER ask you for ANY personal information thru an email. If you get an email that does, it's called a “phishing” or “spoof email.” I get them all the time! Either report it to eBay or just delete it!

Never, ever, EVER click on links in eBay or paypal emails, no matter how 'real' it looks. If it sounds serious, log into your account at either place, and look for information there.

Guard your passwords. Goes without saying, doesn't it? Change them occasionally. Don't use anything obvious... this isn't a good time for easy-to- remember passwords.

Keep an eye on your account, even if you're not using it regularly. A few years ago we had our account “hijacked” by an electronics thief. We were lucky that we happened to check our account that night although we didn't have anything listed then! Those stereos stuck out like a sore thumb on our vintage clothing site! After we contacted eBay they stopped the auctions for us. Whew, that was a close call, and a wake-up call to be more careful!

As a bidder, be careful responding to “second chance offers.” They are often sent by scammers. Instead, if you were bidding on an item, you should have the seller's details. Don't click on links in that email. Instead, you contact the seller yourself thru eBay. That way you're dealing directly with the seller that ran the auction.

I don't mean to scare you, but you need to be aware of the bad while expecting the good. Most transactions on eBay are smooth. But there are eBay scammers, so be careful and smart while you're shopping or selling.

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