Ina Steiner EcommerceBytes Blog
News and insight focusing on ecommerce.
by Ina Steiner, Editor of EcommerceBytes.com
Wed June 18 2014 13:24:55

eBay Users Report Strange Occurrence of New Account Creation

By: Ina Steiner

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Users are reporting that someone is creating new eBay accounts using their email addresses. How do they know? They are receiving welcome message emails from eBay.

This morning, an EcommerceBytes reader sent us links to threads on the eBay boards from five different users reporting that the problem had happened to them. Three posted messages using the new mystery account. For example, "aleale-f9qp5g" wrote in this thread:

"Somebody has created this account using my email address - this should not have happened. I requested a password reset to get access and ask this question - I have no other way of contacting eBay. The phone number is for the US...I do not live in the states and cannot call it. How else can I contact eBay to close this account and report the incorrect use of my email? It is very concerning. Thanks, Alex."

Another victim used his (or her) real eBay account to write, "I have now recieved TWO emails from eBay about accounts that i DID NOT create on two separate emails. Both accounts have usernames like 123123123 123123123. Is something being done about this, because it's ridiculous."

Our reader wrote, "It is not known who is doing this and why. If it is being done for fraudulent purposes, it does not seem well thought out, because they don't have access to the email account (or do they?). The details are slowly being revealed in these posts, but a motivation has not become clear."

We immediately reached out to eBay this morning to see how it was possible for someone to create a new account using someone else's password, and whether eBay was aware of the issue.

Some of those affected said they were using the "forgot password" feature on eBay to gain control of the account that was created with their email address. But they expressed concerns about whether they should do that and if they should then request eBay to close the accounts.

"I thought about cancelling the account," said one victim, "but the page says I wouldn't be able to re-open it again, and I don't want that in case I decide to use this email address in the future."

We asked eBay what it advised users do in such cases and asked if it could be related to the recent security breach.

Our reader speculated whether it could be some sort of denial of service attack on eBay, "in that they may be trying to use up all available user IDs, thus making it hard on new users to sign up." However, he said, "the more I thought about that, it seems improbable."

We'll update this post when we learn more, and in the meantime, be on the lookout for strange account activity.




Comments (23) | Leave Comment | Permalink

Readers Comments

Perminate Link for eBay Users Report Strange Occurrence of New Account Creation   eBay Users Report Strange Occurrence of New Account Creation

This user has validated their user name. by: Philip Cohen
Web Site

Wed Jun 18 13:47:22 2014

Johnny Ho said it best ...

"Even though people think I'm an expert at technological innovation, my own instinct for technology was frozen in place in 1982." - John Donahoe (26 Sep 2007) ...

[On the first part, who could have possibly thought that? On the second, a few of the only ingenuous words that Johnny Ho has ever spoken ... http://bit.ly/YvxFEg]

eBay Inc, where the incompetent mingle with the malevolent and the outright criminal, and the just plain stupid ... http://bit.ly/11F2eas

Perminate Link for eBay Users Report Strange Occurrence of New Account Creation   eBay Users Report Strange Occurrence of New Account Creation

This user has validated their user name. by: Puck

Wed Jun 18 13:49:10 2014

So it begins...

Perminate Link for eBay Users Report Strange Occurrence of New Account Creation   eBay Users Report Strange Occurrence of New Account Creation

This user has validated their user name. by: Rexford

Wed Jun 18 14:39:54 2014

Target, eBay, AT&T.  Who knows what these hackers really have.

Still haven't heard the CEO of eBay speak about the eBay breach.  Spit and duct tape security.

Perminate Link for eBay Users Report Strange Occurrence of New Account Creation   eBay Users Report Strange Occurrence of New Account Creation

This user has validated their user name. by: Ed Gadfly

Wed Jun 18 15:08:38 2014

Well, the CEO of eBay runs PayPal too, so he can let you know how both of the Ecommerce giants are doing!

The user names suggest a possible hexadecimal life form.

Perminate Link for eBay Users Report Strange Occurrence of New Account Creation   eBay Users Report Strange Occurrence of New Account Creation

This user has validated their user name. by: Basset

Wed Jun 18 19:47:52 2014

Trying to stop opening eBay promos sent to my email. In the past I maybe would have opened some things like Power Up & Free Listings - now I go to Messages to see if they are there.

Some free listing promos (the sweepstakes one) that I believe are legit, are NOT showing up in messages. At least I know to look for free listing offers on my seller page.


Some other eBay links are not working, too. I've had a couple simple return Transaction Cancellations where the buyers contacted me that they get an error message when they try to ''agree''. After a wait, they are then able to cancel.


Perhaps big business & big govt. just don't give a fig:

When I recently reported to Illinois IDES (Dept Employment Security) that someone in their system was using my email address - they crabbed at me for calling them because they 'did not know what to do with the info'.  
BTW, it appears you are not ALLOWED to block some Govt. emails?

Perminate Link for eBay Users Report Strange Occurrence of New Account Creation   eBay Users Report Strange Occurrence of New Account Creation

by: Ebay's Slow Death This user has validated their user name.

Thu Jun 19 02:07:09 2014

Ebay's site is getting weirder every day. About a week ago, many of my pictures weren't showing up. I was able to fix some of them manually, and then finally all of them over several days.

Then one day, all my listings said the shipping amount was unspecified (I have a flat shipping rate). And, all my prices were shown in English Pounds. It seemed like my listings had been shifted to a foreign site. That corrected after about a day, but who knows how much business I lost because the shipping amount was not showing.

With the new accounts being created, I wonder if this is the Ho's way of upping the number of new accounts, so he can brag to the stock analysts about how many new users came on board this quarter. We are coming up on the end of the quarter, and desperation must be setting in. From what is happening (or not happening) on my accounts, business is pretty bad.

Desperate times call for desperate measures. And we all know the Ho will do ANYTHING to show new revenue.

Perminate Link for eBay Users Report Strange Occurrence of New Account Creation   eBay Users Report Strange Occurrence of New Account Creation

This user has validated their user name. by: Philip Cohen
Web Site

Thu Jun 19 03:04:55 2014

@Ebay's Slow Death,

I doubt that Johnny Ho knows what's going on either ...

"Man, we've got something special [at eBay]. Don't screw it up." - Maynard Webb (11 Aug 2003) ...
[Regrettably, a couple of years later, along came John Joseph Donahoe II ... http://bit.ly/YvxFEg]


eBay Inc, where the incompetent mingle with the malevolent and the outright criminal, and the just plain stupid ... http://bit.ly/11F2eas

Perminate Link for eBay Users Report Strange Occurrence of New Account Creation   eBay Users Report Strange Occurrence of New Account Creation

by: a_c_green This user has validated their user name.

Thu Jun 19 07:00:27 2014

@Basset:

> BTW, it appears you are not ALLOWED to block
> some Govt. emails?

Where did you get that idea? Please elaborate.
Very few networks are government-owned, and those
that are not are free to block or accept outside
email however they wish. Their server, their rules.

(For that matter, government servers are
probably filtering their intake as well.)

Perminate Link for eBay Users Report Strange Occurrence of New Account Creation   eBay Users Report Strange Occurrence of New Account Creation

This user has validated their user name. by: Basset

Thu Jun 19 08:31:08 2014

@ a_c_

First, Illinois:
When I tried to unsubscribe from the Illinois emails a message popped up - I deleted the emails so I can't copy the exact wording of the message until another one comes.
If I remember correctly, It sounded like if you receive their services you agree to get the email.

Problem is, I DON'T receive their services or even live in that state - but then, as I stated earlier, they don't care.



Second, my own state:
I hold a license granted by a state entity that sends way to many emails unrelated to me.  In trying to opt out of some I got a message that basically said - nope, you can't opt out because we hold your license.  So they fill up my 'trash'.

Probably something I agreed to in the fine print for my license - like all user agreements.

Perminate Link for eBay Users Report Strange Occurrence of New Account Creation   eBay Users Report Strange Occurrence of New Account Creation

This user has validated their user name. by: LDS Brother

Thu Jun 19 09:53:46 2014

Sad to say but eBay is DEAD ! The hack ??? Google search ??? BOTH ? Whatever, this is the absolute poorest i have ever been since selling on the site since the 1990's

I must state that this started after the hack announcement at eBay.

This might be the final think that kills off eBay. It sure as heck demoloshed me, I sell a high demand item for this time of year and nothing, nothing, nothing !

I told my spouse, a paper boy earns more delivering papers than me a TRS with 16+ years of selling on eBay, it is THAT BAD !

And I did get an email to my eBay email address thanking me for creating an account, but that was on another site, and it was AFTER the hack announcement, and it was from the site that sent it to me, they were ery perplexed as to why this person used my email address to register an account on an online site ?

In the mean time, the CEO just plugs along as though all is well.

It isn't well ! If I am TRS, almost perfect DEFECT rating, popular product, and good placement in Best Match, and making less than a paper boy, for working all week, then the site is DEAD !

Looks like the buyers and sellers have had enough, and the hack is what did it ! All Mr. Donahoe is worried about is how to inflict more pain on the remaining sellers who can't even earn a living no more !

You want buyers eBay ??? then be friendlier to the sellers ! Buyers go where the sellers are ! Without sellers, there are no buyers !

Want to boost your stock eBay ??? Be more friendly to sellers again, encourage them to come back, and not be put out of business by silly ratings and defects, if you became sellers friendly again, then you would draw back tons and toms of sellers, which in turn would draw back the buyers.

I mean this hack has SERIOUSLY crippled my income more than anything ever in 16+ years on eBay !

This is very serious, I think the buyers are gone ! This is not a typical summer slowdown, this is a GHOST TOWN !

With 11main coming soon, this is not good for eBay or any of us Loyal sellers to eBay who can't give something away after the hack, and google search issue !

Perminate Link for eBay Users Report Strange Occurrence of New Account Creation   eBay Users Report Strange Occurrence of New Account Creation

This user has validated their user name. by: iheartjacksparrow

Thu Jun 19 10:05:16 2014

Every day I get offers from eBay. First it was a $10 coupon, then $20 coupon, and now I can win a $100K car if I see on eBay. The sellers must be leaving in droves if eBay needs to tempt people with cars for listing on their site.

Perminate Link for eBay Users Report Strange Occurrence of New Account Creation   eBay Users Report Strange Occurrence of New Account Creation

This user has validated their user name. by: Basset

Thu Jun 19 10:38:59 2014

Jack - do you open your offers from your email or do you go into eBay messages to open them. If so, are they all in eBay messages?

That is my dilemma in trying not to open any links in any emails.

Perminate Link for eBay Users Report Strange Occurrence of New Account Creation   eBay Users Report Strange Occurrence of New Account Creation

This user has validated their user name. by: Rexford

Thu Jun 19 14:04:30 2014

LDS says "The hack ??? Google search ???"

Yes, and we know who the real hack is.  The one who won't stop until eBay is sold off into bits and pieces.

Perminate Link for eBay Users Report Strange Occurrence of New Account Creation   eBay Users Report Strange Occurrence of New Account Creation

This user has validated their user name. by: iheartjacksparrow

Thu Jun 19 14:14:25 2014

@Basset - I only read them from my messages section in eBay.  

Perminate Link for eBay Users Report Strange Occurrence of New Account Creation   eBay Users Report Strange Occurrence of New Account Creation

by: Cassie This user has validated their user name.

Thu Jun 19 20:42:07 2014

Well, the hack is spreading they won't admit it..Sorry to say but expect the Affordable Care Act Market Place be the next report- it does use a 10 year technology. -eh

Perminate Link for eBay Users Report Strange Occurrence of New Account Creation   eBay Users Report Strange Occurrence of New Account Creation

by: donald This user has validated their user name.

Thu Jun 19 21:26:36 2014




I thought it was only me but I see all you guys are experiencing too. In all the years never been this slow. More like dead. However I started noticing it back in March


Perminate Link for eBay Users Report Strange Occurrence of New Account Creation   eBay Users Report Strange Occurrence of New Account Creation

by: donald This user has validated their user name.

Thu Jun 19 21:32:16 2014




and my hunch is that the hack is the reason why we are now so slow. It prevents sales by their constant guarding of the site...

Perminate Link for eBay Users Report Strange Occurrence of New Account Creation   eBay Users Report Strange Occurrence of New Account Creation

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

Fri Jun 20 08:20:12 2014

While the hack was devastating, I believe another external reason may be the looming, potentially damaging fuel inflation (Iraq) and the Affordable Health Care costs on the horizon. I'm not spending at all, because of the magnitude of the uncertainty. I have 2 jobs, and 1 is a small (micro)steady income. I'm living on the knife's edge here. Property taxes will also inflate again.

Perminate Link for eBay Users Report Strange Occurrence of New Account Creation   eBay Users Report Strange Occurrence of New Account Creation

This user has validated their user name. by: Basset

Fri Jun 20 10:03:13 2014

I agree with Cassie. The data from the ACA is a treasure trove (online info and the paper applications out there) that is likely more attractive to hackers now than when they were trying to roll it out and getting hack attacks.


The End also makes some very good points.

Does anyone REALLY believes the economy is all rainbows and unicorns as the main media would have us believe? The under-employed or unemployed that have dropped of the radar.

The feeling that the world is at war with itself, healthcare cost uncertainty and IRS penalties. Gas and Electricity prices on the rise.  

No relief for the disappearing working remnant of the middle class who are barely over the level for any help, living paycheck to paycheck. (you almost think they might  be better off BELOW the poverty level). The anger when writing out a quarterly check to the IRS to pay taxes to support politicians, wars and what seems like every other country out there.


Top that off with being called 'defective', at times for things you don't even control. Then add 90 day returns! A data breach. Google tweaking. Invisibility.


Many people aren't shopping - They are holding their collective breath waiting for the perfect storm looming out there to hit land.

Perminate Link for eBay Users Report Strange Occurrence of New Account Creation   eBay Users Report Strange Occurrence of New Account Creation

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

Fri Jun 20 15:54:48 2014

@ Phil

Apparently Nike believes The Ho knows a lot about "digitial commerce and techn ology." This was the reason the Nike BoD gave for appointing him to the Nike BoD this week.

I have to ask what under the table deal The Ho gave Nike. Surely they can't be that clueless.

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