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eBay Fraud-Detection Triggers Password Reset

Some eBay users became alarmed on Wednesday when eBay required them to reset their passwords. Spokesperson Ryan Moore confirmed the issue, telling EcommerceBytes the issue impacted a small subset of users – “far less than 0.1%,” he said.

We first became aware of the issue thanks to a report on Ecommerce EKG. “Given notices this morning MC010 stating to change all passwords including passwords to your personal email accounts,” a reader reported. “The wait time to call them is 55 minutes. Anyone else?”

Another reader said they had to reset passwords for all four of their eBay IDs.

After a security breach last year, eBay required all users to reset passwords, making it a concern for those who received the message yesterday, but Moore said there was no evidence of unauthorized activity on affected accounts. eBay is still feeling the effects of requiring all users to reset their passwords last year it said as recently as last week when reporting second-quarter earnings.

It’s important to note that readers should be wary of any such notices about password resets via email due to the possibility of phishing scams. Don’t click on links in an email, but rather, go to the site and try logging in as you normally would.

Here’s the full statement Ryan Moore emailed us in response to our inquiry:

“Earlier today, a small subset of eBay users (far less than 0.1%) received a message stating that there had been unauthorized activity on their account and their action was required to reset their password.

“After a thorough investigation, we’ve determined this email message was sent in error and was triggered by one of the many risk detection models we have in place to keep our customers secure and safe.

“We have no evidence that these specific customers have experienced unauthorized activity on their account. However, these users will still need to reset their passwords in order to access their account. We apologize for any inconvenience or concern that this situation may have caused our customers.”

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Ina Steiner
Ina Steiner
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). She is a member of the Online News Association (Sep 2005 - present) and Investigative Reporters and Editors (Mar 2006 - present). Follow her on Twitter at @ecommercebytes and send news tips to ina@ecommercebytes.com. See disclosure at EcommerceBytes.com/disclosure/.