eBay sent a mass email this morning advising users to update their personal information with the subject line, "Help us protect your account."
The email led to confusion and concern from eBay users who had to reset their passwords last year as a result of a security breach.
"I have never gotten a message like this from eBay," one reader wrote to EcommerceBytes. "Is this something new you are aware of? I know they did something like this when they got hacked last year. Oh please tell me it hasn't happened again?!?!?"
Here's the text of the email eBay sent:
Is your personal info up to date, (name)?
Get a higher level of protection
It's been more than a year since you last updated your personal info.
Keeping your personal info up to date can help better protect your account.
Sound like a good idea? All you have to do is go to eBay and take a look at your personal info to confirm that it's still correct. If you updated your personal info recently, please ignore this reminder.
Protect your account
The eBay Accounts Team
The email included a link to a log-in page, a practice that some security experts frown on since fraudsters include links to fake log-in pages in phishing emails.
eBay failed to put an announcement on its website about the email and chose a questionable day to send it. Many eBay employees are likely on break due to the New Year's holiday, meaning there are fewer staff on hand to respond to users who have questions about the email.
The email is different
from the one it sent in May 2014 when it required all eBay users to change their passwords - here's a link to the announcement board post
from last year.
We have a request in to eBay's PR department about the reason behind the email and will update this post as warranted.