EcommerceBytes-Update, Number 78 - September 08, 2002 - ISSN 1528-6703     5 of 6

Book Review: Net Crimes & Misdemeanors

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Last week, I received a letter from a reader. She wrote that her daughter was being harassed by an eBay seller.

"My daughter ordered an item on eBay from [email address omitted by editor]. She emailed this woman as to when the item was shipped and has received nasty emails since. (We still have not received the item.) Is there anything we can do about this person? ... My daughter also contacted another person who left negative feedback and that person has also been receiving harassing emails a year later. Please help us we just started using eBay a few months ago, but now have met "the stalker at ebay" Thanks!"

I contacted eBay to find out what members should do if they find themselves being harassed by another eBay member. Kevin Pursglove told me that if the emails contain the threat of physical harm, the user should contact eBay's Safe Harbor and the police. eBay will suspend such members. But if the emails do not break the law by threatening physical harm, there is nothing eBay can do. Emails are private communications between members, Pursglove said, and eBay will not interfere.

Online disputes can too easily turn into harassment and Cyberstalking. If you ever find yourself being harassed online, get "Net Crimes & Misdemeanors," a new book from Information Today. Author J.A. (Jayne) Hitchcock reveals how she was a victim of Cyberstalking that put her in serious danger and ultimately changed her life.

Jayne wrote this book to help others with similar problems and recounts some stories of people victimized online. She covers Cyberstalking, hoaxes, scams, online banking, adoption fraud, stolen identity and personal lives exposed.

Jayne has helped pass laws related to online harassment in six states, and she is president of WHOA (Working to Halt Online Abuse). In "Net Crimes & Misdemeanors," Jayne provides tips, strategies, and techniques that can be put to immediate use. She also points to the laws, organizations and Web resources that can aid victims and help them fight back.

WHOA ( is an excellent starting place if you want to learn more about harassment.

"Net Crimes & Misdemeanors," by J.A. Hitchcock, edited by Loraine Page Published by CyberAge Books (Information Today Inc.)

About the author:

Ina Steiner is co-founder and Editor of EcommerceBytes and has been reporting on ecommerce since 1999. She's a widely cited authority on marketplace selling and is author of "Turn eBay Data Into Dollars" (McGraw-Hill 2006). Her blog was featured in the book, "Blogging Heroes" (Wiley 2008). Follow her on Twitter at @ecommercebytes and send news tips to

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