eBay Fraud

A Little About eBay

eBay is an Internet-based community in which buyers and sellers from around the world are brought together to buy and sell various products. eBay’s website allows for sellers to list items for sale and for buyers to bid on such items. eBay users can browse through listed items that are available online seven days a week.
Through its PayPal service, eBay enables various businesses or consumers with e-mail in 45 countries to send, and in 44 countries to receive online payments. At December 31, 2004, the Company had Websites directed toward the United States, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Canada, China, France, Germany, Hong Kong, India, Ireland, Italy, Malaysia, Netherlands, New Zealand, Philippines, Singapore, South Korea, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Taiwan and the United Kingdom.

Helpful Information

  1. Buyer beware!!  There is no guarantee that when you buy something thru eBay that you will receive it.  Nor is there a guarantee that you will be reimbursed if you do not receive the item after you have paid.
  2. Items purchased through PayPal have a reimbursement limit.  The standard maximum reimbursement is $175.  This reimbursement is not automatic; there are things that you have to do within a certain time frame in order to be eligible.  Note – There are some items that may be eligible for protection of up to $1,000.  Read the PayPal Buyer Protection policy and the PayPal buyer complaint policy for more information.
  3. Do not use Instant Cash Transfer Services.  Pay safely online by never using instant cash transfer services such as Western Union or MoneyGram International to pay for your eBay purchases. Money transfer services are fast, easy and convenient ways to send funds to people you know. They are not designated to be a payment vehicle when doing business with a stranger.
  4. Be careful when conducting a transaction with Postal Money Orders, Commercial Money orders, and checks.  Scammers use counterfeit checks, commercial money orders, and postal money orders to “pay” for items and are leaving sellers empty handed.  Never send merchandise to a buyer BEFORE the check clears the bank.  Use extreme caution when accepting foreign cashier checks.  They may take weeks or months to clear and may be counterfeit.  Note: Some checks may appear to be from a US bank but, upon closer inspection, include foreign country or city names.
  5. Never accept an overpayment for any item.  Buyers should be advised to make payment in the correct amount. One of the most common signs of a fraud about to occur is the request to accept an overpayment and provide “change”.  
  6. Remain on the eBay website to complete your transaction.  Complete your transaction on the eBay website.  Be wary if a seller contacts you after the item has been taken off of the site and tries to conduct a transaction directly with you.
  7. Beware of fake escrow services.  eBay recommends for transactions requiring an escrow, to use eBay’s only approved Escrow Company: www.escrow.com. When using escrow services, you should always visit the escrow service’s website to verify information you received via email. This can help avoid being deceived by fraudulent email from a fake escrow services.

 Some helpful links to further your knowledge on eBay Fraud:


Avoiding Fraud

Deterring Identity Theft