Summary of 10 years watching eBay Auction Fraud and Used Car Scams. Buyers and Sellers were conned out of their money by slick-talking fraudsters and bad sellers. These observations destroyed buyer and seller trust and well-established community values.
It is Doc’s belief, that had Meg Whitman taken a stand against fraud and misrepresentation back in eBay’s early days, they could have nipped their auction fraud problem in the bud.
But obviously, corporate insiders were more interested in stuffing their pockets full of cash. Rather than working on long-term goals that would insure the future success of the first internet auction.
Doc is a former eBay seller from 1999 . Back then eBay was something everyone bragged about. Unfortunately, a few years later that mighty corporate dollar took precedence over trust and security.
The birth of internet car scams was conceived on eBay Motors in its early days and has since spread to other websites and venues.
Fraudsters started hijacking eBay sellers’ accounts and offering unbelievably good deals on nonexistent cars. They also registered new accounts, but the preferred method was to hijack a high feedback seller’s account to reassure the buyer the deal was legitimate and the buyer could trust the seller.
It would have been easy to email a monthly community newsletter to eBay members alerting them of new threats to the community.
You see back in its beginning eBay Inc was founded by Pierre Omidyar under the simple concept that everyone had something good to offer. Trust and Community were the cornerstones of eBay’s growing empire. But corporate greed, scams, and fraud soon started chipping away at that cornerstone of trust that Pierre created.
Doc’s classic website was born in 2004 as a method to reach out and educate the consumer that such an unbelievably low price was a scam. Buyers were literally getting slaughtered by fraudsters left and right.
Here is a podcast by Michael Donahue of EauctionAir.com who talks about this website and Doc. Donahue also comments about Vlazuz hacking the crap out of eBay, and all the lies eBay told to cover it all up. 🙄
I get a big laugh each time Donahue comments on eBay teaming up with the Romanian Police.. 😆
This is one of three Medved.net eBay listing charts showing huge spikes in alleged indexed and removed auctions that Michael Donahue talks about in his podcast above. The others are here in this classic archive article from 03/05/2007. And here is the fraudster’s eBay Phish Kit that Donahue mentioned. And this 2011 Porsche Panamera with an Invalid VIN should not have been accepted by the eBay Motors system.
There were literally thousands of eBay scam collector car auctions running at any given time. And the greatest majority of them were coming from Europe. These fraudsters considered (and still do) Americans “Greedy Sheep” that were easy to con out of their money!
Then there were the NARU (not a registered user) scams where eBay apparently suspended the scammer but left the auctions running. You could BID and the Scammer could cancel your bids while being NARU.
I remember a woman that bought a classic 57 Chevy Belair 2dr Hardtop as a birthday present for her husband for $4900.00. “He always wanted one but couldn’t afford the price they were worth. She was going to surprise him!” Ouch!
A good example of an eBay Motors scam listing in 2006.
Trust and Community was everything eBay stood for back in those early days. Buyers and Sellers worked hard to build their trading reputations. But it’s Doc’s personal opinion that Corporate Greed cooked that eBay Golden Goose.
It’s easy to point the finger at someone else as Meg Whitman did at this security conference meeting back in 2007. She claimed the scams were hurting her business and expected others to fix the problem, while fraudsters continued to chip away at her cornerstone of trust. It’s interesting that Yahoo! Removed the posting from their website! Without Trust and Community eBay is as wild as the Internet Itself.
Meanwhile Meg Whitman was complaining about fraudsters and saying other companies should secure their websites, as Vladuz was busy hacking the living crap out of hers.
He even managed to hack into eBay’s forums and post as a pink (Pink header was an eBay employee back then) He hacked eBay’s Trust and Safety forum and posted a slew of eBay members confidential personal information, including valid credit card numbers.. Ouch!
eBay blew that off as a Database corruption fault. But many eBay watchers and forum members were able to validate a pick of credit card numbers and claimed the info Vladuz posted was valid. As usual, eBay Lied to the community and quickly covered this hack up. You can see other Vladuz eBay Hacks in our classic archives.
Then there was Rob Chesnuts eBay Fraud Reduction Program that was supposed to rid the eBay website of these oodles and oodles of scams. Looks like it didn’t work very well. There were More Scams than before. 🙄
Rob Chesnut (The eBay Sheriff) took a sabbatical and never returned. Chesnut was rumored to be on sabbatical since June 2007, but eBay soon made it official . He seemed like a good guy. I often wondered if all those fees took precedence over the communities security. 😆
As one member said, he had 56 Redirect Scams bookmarked. You couldn’t use [email protected] to report eBay internal redirect phishing scams. Did Meg and Rob Chesnut have their heads buried in the sand while stuffing their pockets full of cash??
The redirect scams were the most dangerous of all the scams on eBay. Fraudsters would hack someone’s website and upload their scripts and images. They then went over to eBay and planted the sucker bait and waited for some sucker to swallow the hook.
The XSS Flash Redirects started around 2006 and are still scamming in 2014 on eBay Motors. This is one that caught my eye back then. The scammer had bumbled his HTML code allowing its source to be traced back to an unsecured Photo Bucket account.
Meanwhile, this xss cross-site scripting scam became so deadly that the US Government issued this alert through their US-Cert program.
The redirect scams continued. Here is one Doc documented in 2010. At that time he had a Blackberry phone and used it as an IP Modem to slow the redirect down. Perfect to get this screen capture. Even Ina Steiner wrote an article about this one .
eBay Motors Zero “0” Feedback seller late model car scams. Around April 2013 we were getting an increase in emails from car shoppers that were getting scammed. After taking a drive over to eBay Motors, Doc was appalled with all the obvious late model car scams he was seeing.
Current model year and down BMW, Porsche, Range Rover, and many other obvious scam auctions. All are listed by newly registered sellers with no feedback whatsoever.
Another blogger we know played one scam out and was sent the below email. Not only were the scammers attempting to steal your money, but They would also phish your identity as well, in a 1-2 double whammy scam.
The whole idea of this scam was to phish the buyer out of an $8450 deposit by bank wire transfer. Of course by calling that toll-free scam eBay support phone number the fraudsters would also steal your identity.
With the large number of scam listings we were seeing, it’s very possible these new accounts were being set up with someone’s stolen identity, and credit card.
Doc documented these deadly car scams using Narrated HD Screen Video and archived them in his Video Server .
Averaging at least a single video daily and sometimes two or three. He would Google the VIN and quickly find out who the legitimate seller was. eBay started pulling the scams but like back in the good old days the scammers just re-listed.
There are NO Seller Limits or Verification for eBay Vehicle Sellers. A fraudster could set up a seller’s account with a phished credit card and list a Rolls Royce or other expensive car with no verification whatsoever. I had suggested eBay set up ID Verify for anyone selling a motor vehicle but that never was implemented.
So as long as eBay refuses to secure its website and allow fraudsters to phish car shoppers, Doc will continue to publish them as a warning to the public. This also goes for scammers conning prospective buyers in Amazon’s or anyone else name.
As it is now – it’s not illegal for a company to have security issues. Possibly the government will take action by passing a law that will force companies like eBay to properly secure their website. It’s my opinion that a shopper on the net should have the right to shop securely. And big fines for companies that refuse to secure their venues.
Apparently, things are not very rosy at eBay Motors headquarters like they were back in the good old days . Despite the eBay media pr machine spinning out positive articles and news, this article by Richard Truette of Automotive News paints a grim picture , of why eBay Motors is losing traction.
Just beware when car shopping if you come across an unbelievably good-priced car deal. There’s usually a reason that the price is so low. It could be a scam, a vehicle with an undisclosed salvage title, or another major problem. Always inspect or have someone inspect a car and its title documentation before sending payment or a small deposit. Remember.. “Don’t let GREED Make A Believer Out Of You!” Remember. Doc sez ~ If you can’t inspect the car and its title documents first – forget about it!
We will leave you with this final tidbit. In early July 2011, Doc’s website was the victim of a particularly nasty DDOS Attack. At that time unknown to him, the FBI was investigating fraudsters using eBay’s vehicle purchase protection (VPP) branding to scam internet car purchasers. Doc’s website had been reporting on scammers that used eBay VPP to defraud good honest eBay members since at least the middle of 2009. So we were 2 full years ahead of the FBI when they started their investigation.
Doc will always believe eBay was behind this attack to prevent the FBI from seeing how many years Doc’s website had been reporting VPP fraud and educating consumers on how to avoid eBay Motors VPP Branding Fraud. 😡
He also believes the old saying “nothing hurts worse than the truth” is positively appropriate in this situation. So the big question remains, are corporate profits more important that a shopper’s safety and security?