|Sat Aug 17 2013 13:47:03|
eBay Spam and Etsy Hijacking Keep Sellers on Their Toes
By: Ina Steiner
eBay's new community section has been the recent victim of spamming, and its new platform service provider Lithium has been slow to respond to at least two cases we're aware of. And while readers are likely familiar with the problem of Account Takeovers on eBay, Etsy sellers aren't immune from such hijackings either.
An Etsy seller posted on the Etsy boards on Friday evening, "My etsy account was hijacked last night and I have sent numerous emails to email@example.com with no response. The hijacker has control of my payment account and he is receiving any payments from items sold."
Account takeovers occur when a fraudster figures out a seller's password (sometimes through phishing emails) and logs in to their selling account. On eBay, the pattern has been for account hijackers to create listings for expensive items for sale at heavy discounts, with instructions for the buyers to email them directly using throw-away email accounts. The high feedback on the account reassures naive shoppers that the seller is trustworthy, not aware that the account has been hijacked. The fraudsters then instruct buyers who email them to wire transfer money to them, so time is of the essence in shutting down such accounts.
In an interesting twist, the Etsy seller said the hijacker was extorting her. "He has send me an email demanding $500 in order to get my account back or he threatens to delete all of my items," she wrote.
While a day had gone by from when she first reached out to Etsy about the problem, once she posted on the Etsy board at 7:13 pm on Friday, it took over two hours (9:31 pm) for an Etsy moderator to respond that the company was looking into the matter. He closed the 7-page thread, thanking participants for being supportive of their fellow community member.
Meanwhile, scammers have been spamming eBay's new community boards posting messages about services targeted at adults (ahem). The latest incident reported to us began Thursday evening at 11:10 pm when dozens of similar messages were posted on the eBay Giving Works board right through 11:41 pm.
At 5 am the next morning, the messages were still visible on the board. A reader wrote, "Now the Call Girl ads are being posted on the eBay Giving Works Message board. Why is it eBay insists on making change for the sake of change and fixing what isn't broken when they have glitches that have existed for years and stuff like this keeps happening?"
A similar incident occurred on August 10 on eBay's About Me board. At the time, the same reader had written to me, "eBay's Lithium can't seem to get a handle on controlling the call girl ads being posted on the discussion boards. The About Me discussion board has had someone posting Call Girl ads for about 5 hours now and still going."
eBay recently moved its community area from LiveWorld to a platform from Lithium, which users have accused of being overly aggressive in moderating the boards - Julia Wilkinson recently blogged about moderators having a problem with the term NIP, which in collectibles parlance indicates New in Package. But apparently the terms "call girl" and "escort service" have not been blacklisted by eBay and Lithium.