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'Near' ebay disaster


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Got a "supprise" e-mail from ebay letting me know my e-mail address was approved for change and use the ...link if I did not authorize (& I didn't). Shocked, I went to the link and filled out a form. Then, I looked at my account and over $200 fees were added and I hadn't put anything on e-bay for a few weeks and should have had a small surplus in my account. No phone number to call, of course. I went to an online e-bay chat and asked how to get to e-bay security. Someone popped in with a link to ebay safeharbor. I opened that chat and asked if that was the right place. It wasn't but, when I explained, they transferred my chat session to an account manager. I explained and went through a long dialog so they could be sure I was the 'real' account holder. Within 15 minutes, they cleared everything, my account, about 50 items that "someone else" listed on ebay in my name, and my anxiety. Bottom line is to change p/w often and read those emails, they are not all "special offers".

I sure was impressed at their speed and help.


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I have the guy's name who stole my eBay identity two weeks ago. I posed as a buyer under my wife's ebay identity for one of the items he listed under my account. I have been in email contact with him since the account takeover. He has given me his name and address to send him $1500 via western union. I am tempted to meet him at the Western Union office when he tries to collect his funds. I am not sure at this point how to proceed. He is getting rather anxious at this point as I keep delaying sending him the $. One idea is to tell him I have a friend in the town in which he lives who could drop off the money and pick up the item. I don't want to spook him quite yet though.

What would you do?


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Richf, sometimes people can guess passwords, if they are weak ones. The most common password used is...

...you guessed it, 'password'. But probably not on ebay. Another method is to spoof a link in an email that purports to be from ebay, but isn't. You click on the link, and are served a page that has a login dialog. You enter your ebay ID and password and they have it. Like the fake ATMS people used to put in malls. They read your card stripe and then recorded your PIN. Then they gave an 'out of order' message and of course no cash. But the bad guys now have your mag stripe info and your PIN. All they need to reproduce your card entirely.

There are password cracking programs that can be run against an authentication routine. These don't work in ATMs because after the third try your card is swallowed by the machine and your account locked. I don't ~think~ they could work on ebay either, as their is surely a limit on the number of times you can login incorrectly before you are no longer offered the login dialog. But I haven't ever checked to verify this.

As my behaviorist brother always says, 'the rat knows best'. By that he means that people will behave in a way that best reinforces their needs, and they will figure out a way to beat the rules. Like the ebay feedback system. Some sellers sell 50 cent trinkets to themselves and build up glowing feedback before scamming. Good system, easily misused. The crackers are smart, determined, and are playing a game. The rest of us are not playing, but we get caught in it.

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