Sunday, June 01, 2008

Identity Theft

After being stung - not once but twice - with identity theft on eBay, I finally moved on, giving up on selling on eBay for the past two years.

I was lucky - the first time my ID was stolen, I caught it almost immediately, and was able to cancel my credit cards and change my eBay info, so I didn't lose any money. It was just plain luck that it turned out that way, since the thieves certainly could have done me some serious harm.

The second time was a bit more stealthy. Instead of taking my credit card info, they (probably a different "they" since it was a year later) took over my eBay selling site, and attempted to sell a computer on my site, using my good feedback rating to create trust in potential buyers.

I was in the habit of checking my eBay sales daily, sometimes more than once a day. When I saw that there was a computer listed on my site selling for more than $1100, I immediately emailed eBay.

In almost 10 years of selling on eBay, I've never once sold a used computer. Ninety-five per cent of the time, i sell only antiques and collectibles. But trying to convince eBay to pull the computer listing took more than 45 minutes of emailing back and forth, since they were not convinced that bad guys had slipped into my eBay listings and selling a computer under my name.

They had listed the computer as a one-day sale, hoping to have it complete before I'd notice. They'd set it up so that payment would be made directly to them, not me. They even included single photo, shown in very poor lighting from the side, to encourage people to bid. More than likely, they shot a photo of the very computer they were using to perpetrate this fraud.

Finally, after 45 minutes of wrangling with eBay, I was able to convince them to stop the computer auction. The eBay representative even asked me, "How do I know you aren't the bad guys?" When I responded, "If I were the bad guys, would I be asking eBay to pull an auction that would bring me more than $11??", she didn't have an answer.

Again, I was lucky. the auction was closed by eBay, and my feedback and seller reputation was saved. Even better, the about-to-be bidder didn't wasn't scammed into buying a computer which I didn't have. After all that arguing with the eBay rep, she couldn't tell me how someone managed to get into my site and list that computer. I immediately changed my password, but then decided that maybe eBay just wasn't a good place for me to sell.

So I've moved on to a better selling location - Ruby Haven't had any problems there with scammers, fraud or bad guys. I've now been with Ruby Lane for nearly three years, and have met so many nice sellers and buyers. It's been a joy to sell to people from all over the world through Ruby Lane, and I hope you'll visit my little antiques webshop and browse around a bit!

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