Tag: Paypal

“The PERFECT eBay/Paypal SCAM”

Before linking to this tale of woe from an eBay seller, I’d like to point out that I pilfered a quote from their story for the title. However, my favorite from the drama is actually…

This business model puts underpants-stealing gnomes to shame.

It certainly does, so feel free to read on, because the laughs just ended.

Meanwhile, it is the opinion of your’s truly that eBay rules are so extraordinarily biased towards buyers that you have to be slightly nuts to conduct business via the platform. There is no ability to issue negative feedback to bad customers, and eBay actually encourages sellers to provide positive feedback immediately upon receipt of payment. Ridiculously stupid advice, me thinks. The transaction cancellation system allows even the nastiest of buyers to simply reject the request – eBay’s transaction fees are secured (for eBay, of course) even if the seller refuses to send a pallot of MacBook Pros to an exiled Ethiopian prince seeking political asylum in Siberia. Add in that deadbeat buyers can still hit a seller’s feedback rating rating to the negative even if they haven’t paid, and you’ve got a marketplace that is ripe for pushing honest individuals and small businesses into the insolvency bracket. Or at least inducing a self-imposed benching.

The linked story goes even a step further, with an obvious scammer putting their credit card company in between them and Paypal. Sadly, only the seller loses, but only because eBay and Paypal have stacked the deck against them.

MG signing off (because I too have a screw loose, but I don’t mind using it for self defense)

Tuesday’s financial links

Just numbers

I love getting Craigslist scammed during the holidays

It is my favorite time of the year. Everyone wants something for the holidays, and some are willing to try pulling scams from Craigslist to get it.

As a regular reader might know, I just acquired a Blackberry (and by the way, I still haven’t been spammed on it, hundreds of emails later), and I make it a habit of passing the old equipment off on the cheap. So, I am selling this Nokia 6682, which is pretty darn fine condition if you ask me.

And along comes “Greg”…
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Phishers show their love for eBay and Co

According to recent report by Sophos, phishers are persistently targeting PayPal and eBay users. The reason? Ubiquity of the services. eBay is available in 27 countries, and I doubt there are many people who haven’t bought, sold, or at least browsed for goodies.

That’s a big market to go after. Add the fact that there are probably a lot of casual internet users (i.e. not so technologically sophistiicated) on eBay, and you have a big, targeted market for phishers.

I love stating the obvious.

The golden years are coming back

I am not sure if the phisher in question can’t afford a web developer, are tired of having their sites shut down mid-scam, or are just plain stupid, but they are resorting to fax-back requests in trying to gain access to some Paypal accounts.

The scam in question uses an spam email to redirect victims to a site where they grab an MS Word form, fill out their account information, and are then told to fax it to a toll free number. Having a purportedly US-based toll number for sending account data might fool a few folks into thinking this is legit, but for the phishers it makes a nice audit trail for getting caught. At least we hope.

Stating the Obvious

If you are in the business of phishing, you obviously are looking for money. Scam, business, money. So it comes as no surprise that 80% of phishing is targeted at financial institutions. That is where a lot of money is, eh?

If you threw Paypal into the mix (they hold money, pay interest, extend credit, but are not FDIC insured per se), I bet the number would climb ten more points!

Ebay’s phishing hole

Ebay has long been a target for fraud. Some of it has to do with the gamey nature of eBay – everyone is looking for a “steal” of a deal, and some simply take it literally. As the market has become more liquid, it is less a place to find basement-price bargains, at least legitimately, but the auction format and reputation are still enough to fool some folks into buying non-existent goods at some ridiculously low price.

But of course, eBay and its cousin Paypal have also been the pawn in many phishing attempts. And like the tracking of a deadly disease, it would be interesting to hear how it got started and why, and what ebay is doing about it. Well now you can.
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Are Slashdotters beginning to like Bill Gates?

I am not sure how to take this post over at Slashdot: Gates’ Resolve in Bringing Spammers to Justice. I think any major legal action (and a hundred plus lawsuits should be considered a major legal action) is a positive step for the anti-phishing movement, but I don’t think Microsoft is to blame for the epidemic. It seems some of the posters in the above referenced post agree, while others are still miffed. I want your opinion.
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MailFrontier Phishing Survey

For those who think they are too smart to get nabbed by a phishing attempt, here is a little test you can take to see how skeptical you really are: MailFrontier Phishing IQ Test.

While the test is designed for UK email users (the bank examples include Barclays and the like), in our global economy, this is clearly applicable to everyone.