When shopping online, many people wonder how they can get the best deals on the items they want the most. That’s why many people purchase used items online that they need or want the most. Many people use sites like Facebook Marketplace and eBay to get the products on their wish lists. However, what happens when a scammer tries to ruin someone’s purchase? This is why it’s important to know the types of eBay scams and how to avoid them.
eBay Scams: Can You Get Scammed on eBay?
The answer is yes. Scammers will find a way to scam their victims on any platform they can find, and eBay is no exception. Users can post anything they want to sell on that site in order to sell it and make a profit. However, scammers will take advantage of this system and try to steal money from innocent people.
Here are some eBay scams you need to watch out for:
Phishing Emails and Text Messages
Scammers send phishing emails and text messages to their victims pretending to be eBay. They claim that they need their victims to update their account information in order to access their account information. They state in the email or text message that someone was trying to break into their account and they need to update their information immediately.
Scared, the victims click the link on the text message or email and follow the directions to “verify” their account and “change their password.” Unfortunately, the victims have entered their information on a fraudulent website, meaning that scammers have access to their account information. Through this, they can also access customers’ payment information and steal their finances.
Scammers create fake pop-up advertisements that claim you need to update your account information or that you need to contact eBay’s customer service. Their victims believe in these fake pop-up advertisements and follow the instructions that the advertisement says.
In some cases, the pop-up advertisement will tell the victims to click on the pop-up advertisement in order to change their account information. The victim enters their information on a fake website that pops up from clicking on the advertisement, thinking that it’s the real eBay site. However, they were fooled into giving scammers their account information, giving them access to their accounts without even realizing it. This also gives scammers access to their credit card information, making it easier for them to access their finances.
In other cases, they instruct their victims to call a certain number in order to access eBay’s customer service. They call the number, and listen to the instructions of the fake customer service, thinking that it’s legit. The customer service usually asks for account access, and the victims give it to them thinking that they are just trying to help. Then, the scammer hacks into the victims’ accounts and gains access to their financial information. The scammer locks their victims out of their account so they can’t access it.
Wanting to Pay with Wire Transfer or Gift Card
Scammers will ask their victims to pay using wire transfers or gift cards. They ask their victims to send over the wire transfer or gift card information separate from the payment form on the eBay website, even though it goes against eBay’s rules. The reason why scammers want victims to pay using these methods is that these types of payments are untraceable.
Once victims realize it’s a scam, they usually want to file a report with law enforcement or a bank to get their money back. However, since a wire transfer and gift card are untraceable, it’s nearly impossible to get your money back if you pay using these forms of payment.
Buying a Photo or Empty Box Scam
Scammers sell a luxury item on eBay for a little bit lower than the market price and wait for victims to latch onto their bait. The victims purchase the luxury item on sale, thinking that they got a good deal on the product. However, when it shows up at the victims’ house, it’s only an empty box or photo of the product!
When they contact the scammer about this mix-up, the scammer tells them to read the fine print on the photo of the item. On the listing, it says that the victim is purchasing just the box or photo of the product, not the actual product. This means that the victim can’t get their money back for the product, since it says what the product is on the listing in tiny letters.
Receiving Items That Aren’t in Good Condition
Scammers sell a product at a too-good-to-be-true price, and the victims purchase it thinking that it’s a good deal. They purchase the item through eBay and receive the package at their home. They open the package, excited to get their item, only to find that it’s a different or damaged item.
They contact the scammer about this issue, but the scammer argues that it’s the product. They refuse to give the customer their money back and argue that the customer wanted the product.
Picking the Item Up in Person Scam
Scammers go to purchase an item on the victim’s page and request to pick it up in person at the victim’s house. The scammer goes to the house and picks up the item while paying for it online. The scammer then goes onto eBay and claims that they didn’t get the package.
The victim tries to refute the claim, but there is no evidence that the scammer went to their house to pick up the item. The victim then loses out on their money and their item.
Victims purchase an item from their scammer, thinking that they just got a good deal on a product. They wait a few weeks for their product, then check the status of where their product is. The eBay website claims that their product delivered to them, even though the victim didn’t receive anything.
In most cases, a victim can request a refund from eBay and receive their money back. However, eBay will not honor refunds if the items are vehicles, real estate, items sold by Sotheby’s, websites and businesses listed for sale, classified ads, services, and certain types of business equipment.
Fake Check Scam
A scammer sends you a check for a product they purchased from your eBay page. They claim that they accidentally sent you too much money, and ask for you to pay it back. The victim agrees and cashes their check at the bank. They pay the scammer a portion of what they cashed in and keep the rest for themselves as profit for the product they sold.
The bank calls them a few days later, claiming that the check was fake. They ask the victim to pay back the money that they withdrew, and the victim has to do so.
How to Avoid eBay Scams
- Don’t give out any of your personal or financial information.
- Don’t click on any links on pop-up advertisements, emails, or text messages.
- Only pay with approved forms of payment on the eBay website.
- Don’t pay using wire transfers or gift cards (except the eBay gift card on the official eBay payment form)
- Report any issues that you have selling or receiving a product to eBay.
- Don’t let the person pick up their product in person unless you have recorded proof that they did.
- Read the fine print on photos or item descriptions before purchasing it.
- Don’t accept checks as payment for the products you sell.
- Only accept debit card and eBay gift card payments through the eBay official website.
Social Catfish is Here to Help You with eBay Scams!
At Social Catfish, we want to help you verify the identities of those who might seem suspicious to you. If you have their name, email address, phone number, social media username, or image, you can reverse search and see who the suspected person was that you’ve been in contact with. If you were involved in eBay scams, make sure to report it to the FTC as well.