Thursday, August 20, 2009

7 Tips on How to Protect Yourself Against an eBay Thief and Other eBay Schemes

1. Be aware of eBay "phishers". They will send you emails hoping that you will take the bait. They are looking for type of personal or credit card information that they can use for their own personal use. The more spam emails they send, the better their chances are of getting what they want. It's a numbers game.

They will pose as eBay members and send you an email asking you to respond. Other times they will pose as eBay itself, and will want you to click on a link to a "fake" eBay site to update your account information. Don't do it! If you are not sure if it's a real message, then go to your browser and type the website address in manually. Some emails will even threaten to leave negative feedback or report you to eBay. And we all know how sellers want to avoid negative feedback at almost all costs.

2. Be cautious of emails from other eBay members. Do not reply directly to any links. If the email is from an actual member, it will appear as an inquiry in your eBay account.

3. Be aware of "fake" auctions. An eBay thief will steal other people's eBay passwords by "phishing" by using email and fake websites. Oftentimes, they will sell fake high priced items or modify the listings of the original seller.

4. Watch out for emotional/sympathy auctions. These actions will try to play into your emotions or make you feel a little guilty. One example would be, " Please help, I lost my job, I am recently divorced, my house got foreclosed on and you can help me by buying this special product or service." Also, be on the look out for charities that you've never heard of.

5. Be on the lookout for the 3 monkeys auction. You are aware of hear no evil, speak no evil, see no evil. In these auctions, the item is unknown, there is a collection of unknown items, or there is a surprise box. The seller cannot hear, see, or speak of what the items hold.

6. If you are a seller on eBay, set up automated searches for the top online auctions. They will automatically notify you when the keyword of your product is contained in a newly posted auction. For example, if you sell e-books on "How to write articles" then that will show up. If you find that your work has been stolen, then contact the seller and ask them to take the auction of the site. After a few hours, if nothing is done then contact the site itself. More than likely, they will get their account suspended. eBay has a "Vero" program that allows you to fax a form in to get an auction taken down.

7. Listen to your customers. Sometimes your customers will let you know if they see your product being offered by someone else. Constantly check on thieves who've stolen from you before.

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