I stole this right off the ebay websight. It contains info nobody goes looking for till after this happens. DON'T ASK ME HOW I KNOW... anyway read and head this is a way scams are run on ebay and it is going on everyday.
Well, I knew it would come to this. After seeing countless threads about people being ripped off, I've decided to write this topic, possibly in hopes of informing unsuspecting eBayers of the dangers of this rampant scam.
These are the WARNINGS signs:
Items are usually very high priced items, like laptops, plasma TV's, bicycles, etc. The price for the auction, too, is usually fairly well below retail, and often times, ridiculously so. At face value, the auction page may look legit. The buyer usually has very good feedback, and lists the item in the US or UK. Payment methods are usually listed as money order or cashier's checks.
Under the surface, though, if you dig deep enough, you can sniff out the fraudulent auctions. First of all, almost all of these scam auctions are being run by hijacked accounts, meaning that some poor person had their eBay ID comandeered by some scammer, who then lists these fake auctions. The user ID will usually be a "buyer only" type account, meaning that in the past they've only bought item, usually or never sold. The item will usually be listed as being the US or the UK, but if you contact the seller, they will claim to be in another country. This part varies wildly, but as of late, a lot of scams have been coming out of Eastern Europe as well as Spain.
The scammer will insist on payment through Western Union, regardless of what they indicated in the TOS. They will also try to claim that by paying through Western Union, the transaction will be safe and secure. Often times, they will also say that by choosing a secret password or by using a fake name that you can later change once you receive the goods, the transaction is secure. This is where they get you. Once money is sent via Western Union, especially to Europe, no password or anything else is needed to claim the funds. Some outlets require an ID, which is easily bypassed by using a fake one, and in some countries, no ID is necessary at all, as long as the scammer has the transaction number of the funds. Keep in mind, they will try to sweet talk to you, and reassure you that the transaction will be secure and in your best interest. NO MATTER WHAT SECURITIES THEY OFFER YOU, do not carry through with the transaction.
Also, keep in mind that the address and contact info. they will provide you will almost always be false. When it is actually correct, it will most likely be that of the poor person who had their account hijacked. One recent person gave me an address in Italy, which I tracked down to a local church in Rome.
Yep it's true Hopefully this will save some one on this board form getting ripped off.