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Sun Oct 15 2017 10:23:05

How UK Vigilantes Target eBay Scammers

By: Ina Steiner

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Read about a group of vigilantes who identify fake eBay listings and take action to shut down the scammers' bank accounts.

Interesting story from The Guardian newspaper today, "Buster Jack: the eBay vigilantes who are outconning the con men." It reports "a secretive network of "bank busters" have made it their mission to help shut down accounts used by internet fraudsters."

It's remarkable these scams are still succeeding after more than a decade. The Guardian writes: 

"The group responds to "obviously" fake listings for cars, camper vans, diggers and a whole range of expensive items being offered on eBay - usually at about 40% of their real value - to trick buyers into handing over their cash.

"Having found the scam listings, members of the group pose as buyers, engaging in lengthy email correspondence to gain the scammer's confidence. If successful they will be sent the bank details in order to transfer the cash. Armed with screenshots and carefully gathered evidence they then take it to the bank."

The must-read article focuses on the role banks play in unintentionally aiding the scammers. But if it's so easy for a group of users to spot these "obviously" fake listings, why can't eBay? 

Is there a way for eBay to support users who wish to help police the site?




Comments (11) | Permalink

Readers Comments

How UK Vigilantes Target eBay Scammers   How UK Vigilantes Target eBay Scammers

by: ebayout This user has validated their user name.

Sun Oct 15 11:09:38 2017

That would involve 2 things...
1) ebay admitting it has warts...can't have that happen
2) ebay giving up FVF on the scams...can't have that happen

How UK Vigilantes Target eBay Scammers   How UK Vigilantes Target eBay Scammers

by: pace306 This user has validated their user name.

Sun Oct 15 12:19:53 2017

Since the buyer is always right on eBay - even in the face of evidence and a sellers history - this will never end.

eBay has too much invested in making every sale - so they can claim %3 growth!! (LMAO)

Huzzah to these guys and any other group that routes out bad sellers AND (not OR) buyers!

How UK Vigilantes Target eBay Scammers   How UK Vigilantes Target eBay Scammers

This user has validated their user name. by: eXtinctBay

Sun Oct 15 12:46:13 2017

The term ''Vigilante'' describes a person or group of people who agree that a crime has been committed, and, since there is no punishment, the person or persons takes the law into their own hands.

Unfortunately, they refuse to police their own site, so their users have to do eBay's job for them. The sad thing is that these scams affect their valued customers when someone is ripped off. Not a good business model at all.

Perhaps someday eBay will get a taste of their own medicine, and be outed for all their transgressions. Our President is on record stating that he will be going after Amazon. And just to be fair and equitable, should do the same with eBay as well.

How UK Vigilantes Target eBay Scammers   How UK Vigilantes Target eBay Scammers

This user has validated their user name. by: The End

Sun Oct 15 20:40:01 2017

In memory of Phil Cohen.
Rest In Peace.

How UK Vigilantes Target eBay Scammers   How UK Vigilantes Target eBay Scammers

This user has validated their user name. by: Ming the Merciless

Sun Oct 15 23:34:37 2017

Despite their hypocritical statements to the contrary, ebafia really isn't invested in ferreting out and prosecuting scammers BECAUSE THEY MAKE MONEY FROM MANY SCAMS.

There are a plethora of reasons why I refer to this despicable corporation as ebafia.

In many ways, they operate exactly like the Mafia does.

How UK Vigilantes Target eBay Scammers   How UK Vigilantes Target eBay Scammers

This user has validated their user name. by: LasVagueness

Mon Oct 16 00:31:19 2017

Phillip Cohen passed? No wonder he has not been posting. Very sad to hear this news.  

How UK Vigilantes Target eBay Scammers   How UK Vigilantes Target eBay Scammers

This user has validated their user name. by: LasVagueness

Mon Oct 16 00:34:39 2017

Last week, a 'concerned' buyer sent me an email stating that a $4,500 handbag I was selling for ~$2,500 "was obviously a fake." Said concerned buyer reported me to eBay. She couldn't stop there sending me a second email stating "fake as hell. Made in China." I HOPE the vigilantes mentioned in the link are more discriminating.  

How UK Vigilantes Target eBay Scammers   How UK Vigilantes Target eBay Scammers

This user has validated their user name. by: Ming the Merciless

Mon Oct 16 01:41:03 2017

I'm don't think Phil is dead but concentrating on Australian politics.

How UK Vigilantes Target eBay Scammers   How UK Vigilantes Target eBay Scammers

This user has validated their user name. by: Rexford

Mon Oct 16 06:48:37 2017

If I stop posting for a while, please don't declare me dead.

How UK Vigilantes Target eBay Scammers   How UK Vigilantes Target eBay Scammers

This user has validated their user name. by: eXtinctBay

Mon Oct 16 13:51:43 2017

I loved it when Philip called Donahoe the "Pain From Bain"............

How UK Vigilantes Target eBay Scammers   How UK Vigilantes Target eBay Scammers

This user has validated their user name. by: LasVagueness

Mon Oct 16 16:40:52 2017

I echo @Rexford



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