Ina Steiner EcommerceBytes Blog
News and insight focusing on ecommerce.
by Ina Steiner, Editor of EcommerceBytes.com
Sat Aug 17 2013 13:47:03

eBay Spam and Etsy Hijacking Keep Sellers on Their Toes

By: Ina Steiner

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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 support@etsy.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.




Comments (10) | Leave Comment | Permalink

Readers Comments

Perminate Link for eBay Spam and Etsy Hijacking Keep Sellers on Their Toes   eBay Spam and Etsy Hijacking Keep Sellers on Their Toes

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

Sat Aug 17 14:42:28 2013

Sameer is The Ho's Arabic code name.

If Etsy wants to go bigtime, they'd better upgrade their customer service. It's absolutely pathetic right now.

Etsy tries very hard to hide their phone numbers, but here's one:

1-718-855-7955

I don't know whether it works or not.

Until etsy customers demand better customer service, they won't get it.

Perminate Link for eBay Spam and Etsy Hijacking Keep Sellers on Their Toes   eBay Spam and Etsy Hijacking Keep Sellers on Their Toes

by: sasikat9 This user has validated their user name.

Sat Aug 17 16:53:26 2013

Oh well just the same old Ebay stuff. Happens all the time. Click the back button and move on.

Perminate Link for eBay Spam and Etsy Hijacking Keep Sellers on Their Toes   eBay Spam and Etsy Hijacking Keep Sellers on Their Toes

by: blaumann2 This user has validated their user name.

Sun Aug 18 23:28:27 2013

Can't the real account holder change their Etsy password????

Perminate Link for eBay Spam and Etsy Hijacking Keep Sellers on Their Toes   eBay Spam and Etsy Hijacking Keep Sellers on Their Toes

by: comet This user has validated their user name.

Mon Aug 19 00:12:19 2013

When I got an ETSY account a few years ago I remember that they pretty much WON'T give you but one account and one PW!!!!!

Now that might have changed (I don't sell there)  but if this is the case then this seller is screwed.

Yep you can't use the word CASH on ebay  ( as in Johnny and June Carter---)  but you CAN get a HOOKER!!!!!

Wow.   Just----wow.    

Perminate Link for eBay Spam and Etsy Hijacking Keep Sellers on Their Toes   eBay Spam and Etsy Hijacking Keep Sellers on Their Toes

by: Sierra This user has validated their user name.

Mon Aug 19 02:09:18 2013

Comet, Etsy sellers can have as many shops as they can keep up with. The only ''rule'' about multiple shops (which isn't exactly enforced) is that each shop is supposed to disclose the names of the other shops belonging to the same person.

Perminate Link for eBay Spam and Etsy Hijacking Keep Sellers on Their Toes   eBay Spam and Etsy Hijacking Keep Sellers on Their Toes

by: Watching the Wheels This user has validated their user name.

Mon Aug 19 06:36:30 2013

I don't think that anyone answers the phone number, at Etsy.

Luckily, I live local, and if the need arose, guess who'd be driving to Brooklyn?

Perminate Link for eBay Spam and Etsy Hijacking Keep Sellers on Their Toes   eBay Spam and Etsy Hijacking Keep Sellers on Their Toes

This user has validated their user name. by: Bad Hair Day

Mon Aug 19 08:44:40 2013

One of the things that Etsy does best is closing threads. They like to keep the 'appearance' of their discussion boards looking squeaky clean. They don't like to give people the 'impression' that they have the same problems on Etsy that plague Ebay. In reality, they have all of the same problems and then some. Etsy is a facade.

Perminate Link for eBay Spam and Etsy Hijacking Keep Sellers on Their Toes   eBay Spam and Etsy Hijacking Keep Sellers on Their Toes

This user has validated their user name. by: Ina

Mon Aug 19 09:20:03 2013

eBay spammer is back, this time on the eBay Mobile board. First one posted at 08-19-2013 05:47 AM (Pacific), it's now 6:19 Pacific time.

Perminate Link for eBay Spam and Etsy Hijacking Keep Sellers on Their Toes   eBay Spam and Etsy Hijacking Keep Sellers on Their Toes

by: FREDDY This user has validated their user name.

Mon Aug 19 09:32:16 2013

Find it amazing that they can spend time and money on stupid changes and ignore fixing problems that are real problems.
I HATE the fact that when doing an etsy search you have to click on another page to find shipping cost. That turns me off and I am sure a lot of others as well. Must have been reading ebays play book- ''How to make stupid moves that makes it difficult for sellers and buyer''

Perminate Link for eBay Spam and Etsy Hijacking Keep Sellers on Their Toes   eBay Spam and Etsy Hijacking Keep Sellers on Their Toes

This user has validated their user name. by: Tula

Tue Aug 20 14:58:08 2013

@blaumann2: The first thing a hijacker does is change the password to keep the true account owner from getting back in to screw up their scam listings.



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