'Tis the Season for eBay & PayPal ripoffs. Welcome to the Part 2 of my ongoing eBay & PayPal saga, "The Anatomy of an eBay Scam." To catch any of you up that are not familiar, as my OLD college roommate Josh reminded me -- "I got suckered." Basically, did a deal with an alleged criminal from West Covina attempting to buy a new Digital Camera, a Canon Powershot SD800 IS. Which, for those who know me -- know that I rarely get "suckered" -- being relatively skeptical and savvy. However, my desire to get a camera quickly got the best of me in this case!
Here is the updated status:
- Still no camera as of Thursday, 11/30 -- no surprise here. A couple people thought in my previous post that I was being a little aggressive in terms of timing, but am glad that I was at this point.
- The user, Nadia99a is no longer a registered eBay user. Which is basically code for eBay knows they were trying to defraud, rip-off, and/or scam people and put an end to it.
- I have heard nothing from the FBI's IC3. Not sure what there response time is, but with cyber-crime -- timing is everything.
- Still waiting on PayPal's resolution. December 4th is the day where they will supposedly decide the case and I find out if I will get any money back at all, should be interesting.
- I have contacted two of the other auction winners from auctions by this alleged scam-artist and they are equally concerned. I encouraged them to also fill out the appropriate disputes and IC3 cases to hopefully increase the sense of urgency.
- On a note of potential good news, I found that both the city (West Covina) and the area code (626) provided by the eBay seller are valid and match. While it may still be false, I have seen cases where they did not. So, if things continue down the current path, I will be contacting the West Covina Police Department really soon. Does that sound fun?
On the same note, I have been purchasing holiday items online since 1996. In fact, I do not know the last time that I went to a mall or store for a Christmas gift. While I have been aware of scams and cons around eBay, PayPal, and other online purveyors -- this is the worst I have seen it. Some of the examples I have seen include:
- My case, where the buyer has no intent to deliver the goods being sold.
- Seriously misleading buyers. There have been auctions for PS3's, Nintendo Wii's, and TMX Elmos where the description is intentially deceptive by covertly listing "box only" or "pictures of item only" with people looking to feed on a given frenzy.
Any to tell you the truth, I believe that both eBay and PayPal have made it too easy for these schemes to be perpetrated. It seems they have eased their development and efforts to ensure a safe environment and thieves have passed them. In an upcoming blog, I will suggest a few things that eBay and PayPal could do to prevent much of this in an upcoming post.