Thursday, June 01, 2006

Ebay Caution Today

Today I got an email asking about my Camaro on Ebay.  I got another email from reader Doug asking when I got a Camaro.  I DO NOT have a Camaro.  Someone put that auction on Ebay using my account.  YIKES!

I am sophisticated when it comes to phishing or spoof email. Those are emails trying to get your personal information.  I get DAILY spoof emails trying to get my Paypal and Ebay account information.  I have seen them all. I never respond.  These type emails also come from your bank or other financial institution.  They are phony emails trying to steal your identity. 

OK, how did this happen to me if I am so knowledgeable?  I think I may have clicked one of those emails and logged into my Ebay account, which was actually a phony Ebay site made to look like Ebay.

As a seller on Ebay I get email questions from people. They use the Ebay system to contact me.  I get an email from Ebay with a RESPOND NOW button embedded in the email.  I often click that button to answer their questions.  The questions are always about an item I am selling.  A phished email is usually about an bogus item.

If these scammers are getting smarter and using my actual auction information and asking a question about my item, I might click the RESPOND NOW button and log into my account (actually not my account) and answer. BINGO!  They win!  They just got my user ID and password.

So, smart as I think am when it comes to scammers, I may have been caught by one.  They are getting better and better at their phony emails. 

The answer is, if you ever get an email from your bank, credit card company, Ebay, Paypal or any other place you have a password, DO NOT use any link in the email to go to the site you need to log into.  Go to you browser, Internet Explorer, Netscape, Firefox, or whatever browser you use and type in the address (URL) for the business you want to go to (use one of your Favorites or Bookmark links, it is the same thing). 

If I want to answer a question on one of my auctions I can log into by typing that into the IE address window.  I can then log into my account and see the email question in my Ebay account.

Remember, this is not only an Ebay and Paypal problem.  Phishing or Spoof or Phony emails are sent for every bank and financial institution around 

Here is an article about a 14 year old Nigerian millionaire who sends phony email for a living.


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