Spoof eBay Emails Can Ruin More Than Just Your Day

By: Chris Vendilli

Over the past few years there's been a worrying increase in the number of spoof e-mails that claim to be from eBay or Paypal. These are an attempt to gain your username and password so that fraudsters can use your account for illegal activities.

Even more worrying is the sophisticated tactics that they now use. Sometimes it's very hard indeed to tell whether an email really is from eBay, or whether in fact it's a spoof.

This article aims to raise your awareness of what to look out for. Act carefully, and there's no reason why you should ever fall victim to one of these spoofs.

Typically a spoof email will try to firstly grab your attention. The most common is an e-mail telling you that your eBay account has apparently been suspended, and that you need to sign in to check your status. You'll then see a link that takes you to a website that is made to look like the real eBay sign-in page. This will ask for your eBay username and password.

NEVER click on a link in an email that is asking you to give your username and password. Ebay will NEVER ask for these details in an email.

Of course the email telling you that your account has been suspended is just one example of a spoof. It may be in the form of an email informing you that you've become a powerseller, an unpaid item reminder, or even an "ask seller a question" email. All could be spoofs.

Some sellers are even using black hat and unethical practices of abusing the eBay messaging system! Although they are usually caught you will sometimes see a few slip through the grasp of the eBay safety & security team. Get in the practice of hovering your mouse cursor over any suspicious links and then looking at the URL in your browser's information bar, which is located towards the bottom left of your browser window.

The important thing to remember is don't click on any links in an email that takes you to eBay. If you're in doubt, open up a new browser window, and go to eBay yourself manually.

Anything that looks suspicious probably is. Spoof eBay sites are often VERY realistic. You cannot tell it's not in fact a real eBay page. I've seen examples where even the web address is very cleverly disguised.

Use the above information, as well as a little common sense, and you'll be fine. Remember too that it's not just eBay that has spoofs; Paypal: online bank accounts: and investment accounts: amongst other things, are all sites which are spoofed.

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