Scambook Cautions About New eBay Buy-It-Now Scam Targeting Sellers with Fake PayPal Email

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A new eBay scam has emerged targeting consumers who sell high-end electronics and other valuable merchandise on the online auction site. Utilizing eBay’s Buy-It-Now feature along with a fake PayPal email, fraudsters are telling sellers that they have received full payment for the item, thereby causing sellers to ship the item before realizing the payment is a fake.

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The eBay community even has a feedback system designed to weed out scammers from honest users, but fraudsters continue to discover loopholes or technological tricks to exploit victims.

A new eBay scam has emerged targeting consumers who sell high-end electronics and other valuable merchandise on the online auction site. Utilizing eBay’s Buy-It-Now feature along with a fake PayPal email, fraudsters are telling sellers that they have received full payment for the item, thereby causing sellers to ship the item before realizing the payment is a fake.

“Often, eBay is a safer alternative to Craigslist for consumers looking for the best place to sell online without being scammed, with safeguards in place on both eBay and PayPal to prevent fraud and abuse," said Scambook's Director of Marketing, Kase Chong.

"The eBay community even has a feedback system designed to weed out scammers from honest users, but fraudsters continue to discover loopholes or technological tricks to exploit victims."

Scammers have no limitations and have even gone after teenagers in the past. 15 year-old Adam Perkins of Fresno, CA received a new Apple iPad and had decided to sell an old laptop he no longer needed. Listing the item on eBay, he used the Buy-It-Now feature to sell the laptop for $500. It was immediately bought and Perkins received two emails in progression. The first was a request from the buyer, which Perkins’ mother described to ABC 30 as the following:

“He said it’s my son’s birthday and we’d love for you to overnight it, so we broke our backs trying to send it,” Susan McConnell said.

The second email then appeared to be a payment confirmation from PayPal, so Perkins’ mother scrambled to send the laptop but missed the deadline for overnight shipping. That’s when the family slowed down and reread the PayPal email, which was full of spelling mistakes and grammatical errors that PayPal wouldn’t permit in an official company email, proving it was a scam. *

Although Buy-It-Now is a convenient eBay feature allowing users to sell an item at a set price right away, instead of waiting for a 7 or 10 day auction, it’s also a convenient way for scammers to obtain the seller’s email address to send a fraudulent PayPal payment confirmation.
Scambook, the Internet’s leading online complaint resolution platform, is offering tips for consumers to protect themselves the next time they sell on eBay:

1. Check the Buyer’s Profile. It’s important that a buyer’s profile shows a lot of positive feedback as well as details about when they joined eBay and their location. Scambook warns that little to no positive ratings, or suspicious ratings, should be a red flag, especially if the buyer joined with the past month and is based overseas.

2. Search for the Buyer on Scambook. Scambook allows users to search for the buyer’s name, email address, phone number or username on Scambook. If they’ve scammed anyone before, there may be complaints on the site from other victims. That is assuming they haven’t changed their fraudulent online identity.

3. Carefully Review All Alleged PayPal Emails. Look for warning signs such as poor spelling and grammar, “sender” emails that aren’t from an “@paypal.com” domain, and links to any site other than a secure PayPal page. These are sure tell-tale signs of the fake PayPal emails.

4. Login to PayPal Directly to Process Payments. The best way to check if PayPal payments have been made is to check the source itself. Logging into PayPal directly allows sellers to see if the confirmation email is real and whether the payment has been processed and the transaction completed. Don’t send packages to the buyer before this essential step has been taken.

5. Trust Your Instincts and Ask for Help. If suspecting that an email is fraudulent at all, it’s important to listen to this suspicion and take the proper steps. Both eBay and PayPal have helpful customer service departments devoted to addressing fraud and assisting consumers.

ABOUT SCAMBOOK
Scambook is an online complaint resolution platform dedicated to obtaining justice for victims of fraud with unprecedented speed and accuracy. By building communities and providing resources on the latest scams, Scambook arms consumers with the up-to-date information they need to stay on top of emerging schemes. Since its inception, Scambook has resolved over $10 million in reported consumer damages. For more information, visit scambook.com.

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Judy Dixon
PMBC Group
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