|Wed June 18 2014 13:24:55|
eBay Users Report Strange Occurrence of New Account Creation
By: Ina Steiner
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.