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  • Geebo 8:01 am on May 10, 2021 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: eBay, , , ,   

    Offices of scammers are a thing 

    By Greg Collier

    eBay Motors works almost exactly like regular eBay does. You find a vehicle you want, you make the payment, and it’s up to you and the seller to arrange delivery of the vehicle. eBay Motors does not have its own delivery service. Neither do they contract out to third-party vehicle delivery services. Despite multiple warnings from eBay itself on their website, scammers have continually convinced victims that not only does eBay deliver vehicles, but you have to pay for the vehicle in eBay gift cards.

    This recently happened to a victim in the Raleigh, North Carolina area. She found a vehicle for sale on another platform. When she reached out to the seller, she received emails that looked like they had been sent by eBay Motors. The emails claimed that the purchase would be protected by an eBay Motors guarantee. All that she would need to do is pay for the vehicle using eBay gift cards. While eBay Motors does have financial protections in regard to fraudulent sales, that’s only if the vehicle is sold through their platform. As with a number of email scams, anyone can add an official-looking logo to their email to make it appear as if it had come from a legitimate source.

    What sort of surprised us about this story is what an AARP spokesperson said about the proliferation of scams like this, When we think of scam rings, we tend to think of shady people that are constantly on the move to prevent apprehension. However, the AARP spokesperson says that there are offices operating as businesses that are just scam operations. She says that leads are bought from other businesses and employees are given bonuses for successfully scamming a victim. That goes a long way in showing just how organized these scammers can be.

     
  • Geebo 8:00 am on March 25, 2021 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , eBay, , , , vaccination card,   

    Fake vaccine cards are showing up online 

    Fake vaccine cards are showing up online

    By Greg Collier

    Previously, the Better Business Bureau warned people who received the COVID-19 vaccine not to post pictures of their vaccine cards on social media. The thought behind this was not only could these pictures potentially lead to identity theft, but scammers could make phony vaccine cards. Now it seems that one of those chickens has come home to roost.

    The Better Business Bureau of Illinois is reporting that blank vaccine card knockoffs have started appearing for sale online. Reports state that the phony cards have shown up on eBay, OfferUp, and of course Craigslist. The cards are being sold for as much as $200.

    The danger behind these cards are the fact there are people who actively avoiding getting the vaccine. Vaccine cards may start being required for things like air travel or public gatherings. If unvaccinated people are start using these cards to get around restrictions, we could potentially start seeing another wave of infections. Considering the number of people who won’t even wear a mask to the supermarket, these cards could constitute a serious health hazard to the population. Not only that, but the cards could allow unvaccinated people who are potentially carrying the disease to return to public places like job sites or schools to spread new strains of the virus to unsuspecting victims.

    If you’re thinking about buying one of these cards you may want to rethink your plan. Using falsified government documents is a crime. Keep in mind that the authentic cards are furnished by the CDC, a branch of the American government. If someone were to use one of these cards to get on a plane, and they get caught, they could be facing a pretty big fine or even jail time.

    Instead, why not just get the vaccine when it becomes available for you in your state. The shot is a lot cheaper than buying one of these phony cards, and it won’t land you in jail.

     
  • Geebo 8:00 am on May 15, 2020 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: eBay, , ,   

    Used car scams have this one thing in common 

    Used car scams have this one thing in common

    With so many states reopening and taxpayers are flush with cash from their stimulus checks many consumers are looking to purchase a new vehicle.

    eBay has been selling vehicles on its platform for over a decade now. eBay Motors can be a good place to search if you’re looking for a specific make and model of vehicle. eBay even has a Vehicle Protection Plan that will cover certain losses associated with fraud. However, con artists are using eBay’s name and branding to rip off people looking to purchase a new vehicle.

    Within the past week there have been a number of reports of used car scams that have had an eBay element to them. Please keep in mind that eBay is not actually involved in any of these scams.

    In Louisiana, the Better Business Bureau there is warning consumers about purchasing cars where an online ad promises the eBay Vehicle Protection Plan. They’re saying that if you see the promise of the Vehicle Protection Plan on any other platform besides eBay, like craigslist, there’s a good likelihood that the ad could be a scam.

    In another scam that seems to be occurring in multiple locations across the country, scammers are asking for payment in eBay gift cards for vehicles that don’t exist. In Virginia, scammers are said to be using emails with official-looking eBay branding to lure unsuspecting victims into paying for vehicles with eBay gift cards. A similar scam is also taking place in Omaha, Nebraska where a couple lost $4500 after trying to pay for a motorcycle with eBay gift cards.

    Anybody with a half-decent knowledge of computers can claim that their vehicle is protected by eBay’s Vehicle Protection Plan or make their email look like it’s from eBay. So unless you’re actually shopping on eBay, those promises and branding are more than likely nothing more than stolen assets. Also, gift cards are the currency of scammers since they’re virtually untraceable once the serial numbers are given out. If someone online ever asks you to make any payment using any kind of gift card, there’s a high probability you’re being scammed.

     
  • Geebo 8:22 am on April 29, 2020 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , eBay, ,   

    Some sites slow to pull bad COVID products 

    Some sites slow to pull bad COVID products

    As we have mentioned before, the current pandemic has been a boom period for all sorts of con artists and scammers. The scams started even before coronavirus even started claiming all the headlines. Even before stay at home orders were issued, scammers were already online selling masks that didn’t exist or harmful snake oil cures. Even with all that we currently know about COVID-19 these scams are continuing unabated. Now, these scams even have an air of legitimacy as many of them are appearing on legitimate commerce sites. The problem is that these commerce sites are slow to pull any dangerous or false products if they even pull them at all.

    A tech company by the name of Proxyway performed an investigation into several e-commerce sites that were selling harmful products that either claimed to test for or cure COVID-19. These dangerous products were reviewed by medical professionals to determine how harmful they were. The sites that Proxyway investigated were Alibaba, AliExpress, Amazon, Craigslist, and eBay. Alibaba and Craigslist would take up to a week before the hazardous products were removed. eBay would take an average of three days while Amazon would take an average of two. While two and three days may seem like a short time, any number of people could have ordered these risky products from what they might assume are legitimate retailers.

    While sites like Amazon and eBay employ reviewers to look out for unsafe products they’re still not infallible. Craigslist is worse since it relies on community policing which has bitten craigslist in the past. Just because something is on a website, no matter how legitimate the website might be, you can’t assume the product is safe, especially when it comes to COVD-19.

    As of the time of this posting, there are no cures for COVID-19 and there are no commercially available home testing kits.

    For all valid information about COVID-19 please visit Coronavirus.gov.

     
  • Geebo 8:00 am on October 1, 2019 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , eBay, ,   

    Don’t ignore the red flags of an online scam 

    Don't ignore the red flags of an online scam

    A story recently came out from the Allentown, Pennsylvania area about a man who was scammed out of $2,500. The man was looking to buy a camper and found one on an online listing. The number of red flags that we noticed while reading this story could have been its own semaphore corps. While you may be aware of the signs to look out for when purchasing something online, unfortunately, not everybody is. So every once in a while we like to go over some of the more common scams in order to educate those who may not be aware of them.

    As we’ve said, this scam is an example of a typical scam that you’ll find online. When the man responded to the local ad for the camper he was told by the person who placed the ad that he would have to deal with the ad placer’s mother since it was her camper. The ‘mother’ said that she was stationed with the Air Force and was getting rid of the camper because she was retiring. However, the camper was currently located in Minot, North Dakota. That’s roughly 1,700 mikes from the Allentown area. The man was then told that the transaction would be handled through eBay and all he would need to do to have the camper shipped to him was send the asking price in eBay gift cards. After the man paid the initial $2,000 the woman said she needed $1,000 more for shipping and insurance. The man was able to talk her down to $500 but still paid in eBay gift cards.

    By now you’ve probably guessed there was no camper and sadly, the victim was out $2,500. For many of us that can be a life saving’s worth of money. The first red flag that should have been noticed is that the ad placer handed off the transaction to someone else. The second red flag was the seller claiming to be in the military. That’s often used as a reason as to why the item is either miles away or why the item can’t be inspected. Many scammers will try to pressure the victim into buying the item sight unseen because the scammer claims they’re shipping out immediately. The next red flag was the transaction supposedly being shifted from the classifieds ad to eBay. While eBay does sell vehicles, they only do so through listings on their site and not as a third-party between people who list their vehicles on other marketplaces. The gift cards should have been the biggest red flag as once the serial numbers are given to the phony seller they can make off with your money largely untraced. Lastly, scammers will always try to get even more money from a victim if they were able to before.

    The more people who are forewarned of such a scam will be better able to spot a scam like this in the future. So please, if you know someone who may be vulnerable to this type of scam please share this story and our blog with then for more consumer protection advice.

     
  • Geebo 8:00 am on April 3, 2019 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , eBay, ,   

    Illegal ivory trade online in America 

    Illegal ivory trade online in America

    When most people hear about the illegal ivory trade they usually think of it taking place in remote destinations overseas, far from the coasts of America. What if we told you that the Pacific Northwest was home to such activity? While endangered animals are not being killed in places like Seattle or Portland, the products of these illegal killings are being sold in the Northwest. While it may not be the largest market for illegal animal product sales the states felt that it was enough of a problem that a law was passed in both Washington and Oregon that outlawed the trade or sale of products made from certain endangered animals, such as elephants, tigers, leopards, cheetahs, and rhinos. Both states passed the laws after voters backed the measures in overwhelming margins.

    With the Northwest being a gateway to countries where these items are sought they are often brought into the country here such as furs, boots, skin cream, and even elephant tusks. Recently, two Washington men were the first to be charged under the new law for allegedly selling ivory. One man was charged after caught trying to sell carved ivory on eBay. While eBay forbids the sale of ivory, traders use code words to try to disguise the fact that the item is illegal.

    The second man was allegedly selling ivory on craigslist which makes us wonder if those ads were disguised at all, knowing craigslist’s reputation. The man was said to be in possession of close to 2,000 different ivory items at the time of the initial investigation. While neither suspect has been jailed, they’re both facing a potential five years in prison, a $10,000 fine and a $4,000 criminal wildlife penalty paid to the state.

    If you live in Washington and you happen to be in possession of a piece of ivory that was obtained before the 2014 ban you can give them to state law enforcement where they’ll be used in education programs to combat wildlife trafficking.

     
  • Geebo 9:35 am on May 4, 2018 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: eBay, ,   

    OfferUp to take on eBay with new feature 

    OfferUp to take on eBay with new feature

    Marketplace app OfferUp has found some success since they first launched. While their platform hasn’t been trouble-free due to a number of robberies and a handful of murders, they feel successful enough in their endeavors to take on a much bigger company in eBay. Recently, OfferUp announced a new feature where users can advertise their items nationally if they’re willing to ship it across the country.

    This is actually a pretty good idea as the new feature can expand a user’s customer base and since it appears to only accept payment through credit or debit cards it avoids the phony check scam that has plagued craigslist through the years. However, that’s not to say that OfferUp’s new business plan isn’t without its drawbacks.

    The first problem is that in a world where many users have Amazon Prime accounts will customers be willing to pay for shipping when they get it free through Amazon. The second problem is funding. OfferUp has been very tight-lipped when it comes to their financial status. While they have raised millions of dollars through angel investing, no one seems to know if OfferUp is turning a profit or not. While on the surface this feature seems designed to put some money in OfferUp’s coffers, will it be enough to sustain them in the long run, or will they become yet another story of a failed startup that relied to heavy on venture capitalists?

     
  • Geebo 8:58 am on October 17, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , designer goods, eBay, eBay Authenticate,   

    eBay cracks down on high end counterfeits 

    eBay cracks down on high end counterfeits

    If you’re an aficionado of designer accessories made by the likes of Louis Vuitton and Gucci, but are looking to buy them at a discount then you probably know the hazards of trying to avoid the counterfeits. Designer knock-offs have always been a blight upon the fashion industry and have been linked to everything from organized crime, to human trafficking and even terrorism by some reports. You almost have to act like an FBI investigator to try to authenticate any designer goods being sold online. However, you may not have to do that for long as eBay claims they’ve got your back.

    The online retail pioneer has just launched a program they call eBay Authenticate. For a fee, eBay will have a professional authenticator review the physical receipt of the item in question before allowing it to be sold to a buyer. This service is said to be specifically for the brands of Louis Vuitton, Hermès, Chanel, Gucci, Céline, Fendi, Christian Dior, Prada, Goyard, Balenciaga, Valentino, and Burberry. eBay says they expect to have more brands included in the program in 2018.

    So if this program is a success for eBay is stopping counterfeit sales, where will counterfeiters go to peddle their wares? I think we all know the answer to that. I won’t mention them by name, but it will probably be a certain classifieds site that does not care enough for their customers to moderate their own ads. In case you need another hint, their name rhymes with draigslist.

     
  • Geebo 8:57 am on August 25, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: eBay,   

    Is Facebook Marketplace looking to take a bite out of eBay? 

    Is Facebook Marketplace looking to take a bite out of eBay?

    In Facebook’s further attempts to be all things to all people, they are looking to expand their Marketplace feature to include not just private sellers but businesses as well. This would put Marketplace not only at odds with sites like craigslist, but now would pit them against Amazon and eBay as well. Both of the aforementioned online retail titans have allowed businesses of all sorts to sell their wares through their websites for years now.

    The main difference between Marketplace and eBay is Marketplace does not offer a payment service to use like how eBay relies on PayPal. Sellers and buyers are still expected to work out the financial dealings on their own. As we’ve pointed out in the past, since Marketplace doesn’t moderate their ads well, if at all. This could still lead not only to fraudulent transactions but could also lead to other dangerous incidents such as robbery and the like.

    However, it appears Facebook is only halfheartedly behind Marketplace, not as a disruptor in the online retail space, but more as a way to keep users from wandering out of Facebook’s walled garden. As nice as a garden may look, if you try to prevent users from going elsewhere then it’s just a well-groomed prison.

     
  • Geebo 9:02 am on June 23, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , eBay, ,   

    In the battle for supremacy, is one retailer fighting to survive? 

    In the battle for supremacy, is one retailer fighting to survive?

    While Amazon and Walmart continue their battle of the retail titans, another player has entered into the fray and thrown down the gauntlet towards its larger opponents. While never far from the consumer conscience, eBay is not the retail stalwart that it once was. However, recently, they have thrown what could amount to as a monkey wrench in the plans of Jeff Bezos and the Walton Family.

    The once and future online auction king has been pivoting their business model for some time now. It first started with the ‘buy it now’ prices. Now it seems eBay has pivoted even further toward being a pure retail outlet by offering their new Price Match Guarantee. eBay says they will match the prices from Amazon.com, BestBuy.com, Walmart.com, HomeDepot.com, Target.com, Sears.com, Wayfair.com, and Jet.com. The catch is, the items have to be new and in the manufacturers packaging and you have to contact eBay customer service to get the price break. eBay claims 90% of the items on their site are eligible for these deals.

    While there are some hoops to jump through in the process, on the surface it seems like a great move by eBay. However, it can also be looked at as an act of desperation by a former industry leader. So we ask you, do you think this is an act genius or an act of despair? Please let us know in the comments.

     
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