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Mon Nov 25 2019 20:55:11

Seller Suspects Ulterior Motive in eBay Security Puzzles

By: Reader

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Dear Ina,
Over the past year or two, I have gotten used to repeatedly entering my password on eBay even when I'm already logged in. It happens most days more than once, and normally happens when I am trying to edit a listing, end a listing, or create a new listing. 

However, over the past week or two, there has been an addition to entering my password. Now there are "puzzles" to solve, similar to some other sites, particularly ticketing sites and other sites that are selling high-demand items. 

However, in typical eBay fashion, the eBay "puzzles" are far more problematic than any I've come across before. Last night it took me just short of 30 minutes to solve them. They are not making me solve just 1 or 2 (like most sites), but as many as 10 to 15. To make matters worse (far worse), they are (at least in some cases) nearly impossible to solve. One asked for me to select all the images with bridges, but the images were literally SO blurry that I couldn't tell what I was looking at. 

Another asked me to check off all the images with hills or mountains. I can't count the number of times I had to attempt that one. It seemed that every picture was either a hill, a mountain, or a very flat landscape, so it should be easy enough to solve, right? Wrong! I kept trying (probably nearly 50 times, if not more) before it finally accepted what I did. 

In another test, I had to drag a puzzle piece into a hole that was the same shape as the puzzle piece but smaller. You guessed it - it wouldn't accept what I did for that one either! On every attempt, I completely covered the hole with the puzzle piece, but maybe it was off-center by a hundredth of a millimeter or something! 

Yes, my time is valuable, and 25+ minutes to log in to a site that I pay hundreds of dollars a month to use is quite frustrating, but that's not where my concern ends. As stated earlier, these puzzles frequently show up when I am attempting to end a listing. I usually end a listing when I sell out of an item on another site or otherwise no longer have the item available. 

As sellers know, eBay and PayPal (at least in many/most cases) do not refund seller fees when a seller is unable to fulfill an order (and that's not to mention the defect the seller will get). So, if an item I'm trying to end was to sell in the time I am solving these mind games, eBay and PayPal would both stand to profit. So, it is in their best interest financially to make it as difficult as possible for me to log in when I am trying to end a listing, and they are doing just that! 

I contacted "eBay for Business" on Facebook, and they talked about this issue like it was a positive thing, referencing the need for added security. When I countered by asking why they couldn't make just one or two puzzles that were easily able to be solved like other sites where I've encountered similar tests, I was told, "[...]we also do not create the Captchas, so we're not able to change their content." 

These "Captchas," as she calls them, are on eBay's site. So, while eBay may not be the ones "creating" them, they no doubt have the power to change them, even if it would require them to get them "created" by a different company. 

My feeling (as I expressed to eBay in the above referenced Facebook communication) is that eBay WANTS these puzzles to be difficult and time consuming to solve so that items oversell, and eBay can pad their quarterly earnings reports with even more ill-gotten gains!
Troy



Comments (17) | Permalink

Readers Comments

Perminate Link for Seller Suspects Ulterior Motive in eBay Security P   Seller Suspects Ulterior Motive in eBay Security P

by: TrickyMick This user has validated their user name.

Mon Nov 25 21:15:12 2019

Sounds like MTURK, ebay is probably using you to teach their AI to learn images... or they made a pass through for you to do it and earn them around a penny per task completed from other companies, or a rogue programmer for ebay tossed it in to make themselves some extra money.... the people at the top are obviously clueless as to whats going on.
Priceless.

Perminate Link for Seller Suspects Ulterior Motive in eBay Security P   Seller Suspects Ulterior Motive in eBay Security P

by: Junkyardog This user has validated their user name.

Mon Nov 25 21:25:47 2019

Same here. Lots of wasted time, been shopping Amazon.
If you drag the puzzle piece it will not work. You must use the slide button below.
When I complained to Betty in the phillipines she said it was for my security.

Perminate Link for Seller Suspects Ulterior Motive in eBay Security P   Seller Suspects Ulterior Motive in eBay Security P

by: eBay Shill Buster This user has validated their user name.

Mon Nov 25 22:17:07 2019

They are inept at all programming chores, their security programs are second rate, they and PayPal use those stupid photo CAPTCHAS WHERE YOU HAVE TO CHECK ALL THE BUSES, TRAFFIC LIGHTS AND SO ON.

Their security people have no idea what they are doing, but since they are getting attacked by log in hacker bots they are trying anything to stop them, even though they already know it is you by your user agent, computer ID, cookies and IP.

Perminate Link for Seller Suspects Ulterior Motive in eBay Security P   Seller Suspects Ulterior Motive in eBay Security P

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

Tue Nov 26 02:25:50 2019

A privacy setting could be the culprit.....
Make sure you have your browser set NOT to erase your history or cookies.

Perminate Link for Seller Suspects Ulterior Motive in eBay Security P   Seller Suspects Ulterior Motive in eBay Security P

by: P.Dorf This user has validated their user name.

Tue Nov 26 06:09:08 2019

Those sound like the Google captchas. The sites that use them get paid for training their AI, at your expense & frustration.
A lot of sites genuinely using them as security, ask for 1, maybe 2 captcha solutions.
Other sites repeatedly asking, when you know you got the correct result, are just profiteering.
Gee, I wonder which type ebay fall under.

Perminate Link for Seller Suspects Ulterior Motive in eBay Security P   Seller Suspects Ulterior Motive in eBay Security P

by: Mamak This user has validated their user name.

Tue Nov 26 09:53:17 2019

I put up with that new security sign in for about a week and opted out.  

Perminate Link for Seller Suspects Ulterior Motive in eBay Security P   Seller Suspects Ulterior Motive in eBay Security P

This user has validated their user name. by: CanBrit

Tue Nov 26 10:40:01 2019

Worthpoint started doing that quite a few months ago. It was extremely frustrating but now they only ask you to hit the check mark and no puzzles. So, eBay can have the Captcha's do alternate things. Silly devils just don't know how.

Perminate Link for Seller Suspects Ulterior Motive in eBay Security P   Seller Suspects Ulterior Motive in eBay Security P

by: pace306 This user has validated their user name.

Tue Nov 26 10:59:22 2019

..... people dont get it, eBay just sucks - why is it so hard to understand. They are King Midas in Reverse - what ever they touch - turns to junk.

Perminate Link for Seller Suspects Ulterior Motive in eBay Security P   Seller Suspects Ulterior Motive in eBay Security P

This user has validated their user name. by: iheartjacksparrow

Tue Nov 26 12:45:43 2019

Wouldn't it be a whole lot easier to just send you a security code number that you would type in? That's what happens whenever I log into my Stripe dashboard. They text a six-digit number to my cellphone, which I then type in on my computer.  

Perminate Link for Seller Suspects Ulterior Motive in eBay Security P   Seller Suspects Ulterior Motive in eBay Security P

by: thievesBay This user has validated their user name.

Tue Nov 26 13:21:21 2019

@iheartjacksparrow Exactly. Most sites send you a code by text or email. But as we all know eBay wouldn't want to do what everyone else does. They think they're too smart for that. They have to be different. And go totally overboard and make a complete mess of everything in the process. Typical of eBay.  

Perminate Link for Seller Suspects Ulterior Motive in eBay Security P   Seller Suspects Ulterior Motive in eBay Security P

by: eBay Shill Buster This user has validated their user name.

Tue Nov 26 16:52:44 2019

Don't give eBay any ideas, the were running the phone confirmation code in the past when you revised listings and their software malfunctioned, even when you entered the right code you got over the phone it still locked you out.

They have no idea what they are doing except wasting millions of man hours and untold hundreds of millions of dollars.

They have no idea that time wasting is money, and they waste sellers and users time, buyers can hardly checkout due to problems with eBay and Paypal, and eBay can hardly serve web pages to various browsers half the time.

Perminate Link for Seller Suspects Ulterior Motive in eBay Security P   Seller Suspects Ulterior Motive in eBay Security P

by: night This user has validated their user name.

Thu Nov 28 02:31:48 2019

I thought I was loosing my eyesight. They shouldn't play these tricks on old people. lol

Perminate Link for Seller Suspects Ulterior Motive in eBay Security P   Seller Suspects Ulterior Motive in eBay Security P

by: HardWorkingSeller This user has validated their user name.

Thu Nov 28 08:02:31 2019

This is a big deal for auction sellers.  It's blocking bids from people who use sniping software (which is anyone who is serious about buying on eBay).

So you're not getting those vital last second bids which is when all value of the item is achieved, as those bids come from serious shoppers who know exactly what the item is worth and who don't need the crowd to clue them in on what to bid.

So another eBay own-goal, leaving money on the table at the expense of sellers.

Perminate Link for Seller Suspects Ulterior Motive in eBay Security P   Seller Suspects Ulterior Motive in eBay Security P

by: thebobman This user has validated their user name.

Thu Nov 28 08:10:07 2019

The only ones i get is the slide puzzles. I get them right 100% of the time, and notice a blurb under themflash for a second with something like "you beat 89% of other users". And im like, that wasnt hard, why cant no one else get them?

Perminate Link for Seller Suspects Ulterior Motive in eBay Security P   Seller Suspects Ulterior Motive in eBay Security P

This user has validated their user name. by: unsuckEBAY
Web Site

Thu Nov 28 09:25:44 2019

Sellers in the UK have experienced staggering fraud the past few months.

This has been covered extensively by UK site Tamebay, as well as stories in BBC and The Daily Mail (George Nixon, the DM journalist who's been covering the fraud in his ''This is Money'' column was kind enough to send us a link when his last story went live: ''Currys PC World eBay store hit by scam: Customers left £500k out of pocket as PayPal copycats strike again''. Googling that story will get you up to speed if you're interested).

eBay appears to finally have gotten a handle on things, but eBay failed to publicly acknowledge the fraud (interestingly, after Marie O'Huber was repeatedly tagged in retweets of news reports of the fraud, O'Huber shut down her Twitter account).

The fraud was perpetrated by thieves changing the sellers' PayPal email address and siphoning off funds from high-velocity, but smaller value items without detection by the seller, often over many months.

eBay has had to step-up authentication security measures in order to thwart these attacks, and it's likely these new CAPTCHAs are part of eBay's efforts to get account security under control.

In yesterday's eBay chat seller @dentalsales4u wrote:
''I was wondering why I have to verify who I am every time I log into one of my eBay accounts.

This has been going on for a couple weeks now???

@tyler I have to slide a puzzle piece to fit. Most times it takes on the first try, but there are times I have to do it a couple times...''

@Tyler responded:
''This is helpful, thanks @dentalsales4u - this is actually an open technical issue that is being worked on, let me get you added.''

Perminate Link for Seller Suspects Ulterior Motive in eBay Security P   Seller Suspects Ulterior Motive in eBay Security P

by: Fahrenheit451 This user has validated their user name.
Web Site

Thu Nov 28 15:18:53 2019

Many of the sites I work with have actually disabled their CAPTCHA firewalls and gone with a checkmark or nothing at all. It looks like eBay will have to abandon it as well, since CAPTCHA puzzles are no guarantee that accounts will not be hacked. As for wasting time, that is a given in any business venture. Perhaps eBay is the wrong place to sell wares.

Perminate Link for Seller Suspects Ulterior Motive in eBay Security P   Seller Suspects Ulterior Motive in eBay Security P

by: elcheapoposters This user has validated their user name.
Web Site

Sun Dec 1 10:52:45 2019

This can also happen if you've enabled anonymous surfing in your web browser. Ebay expects a lot of cookies and other ways to ID you - anonymous browsing, proxies, TOR all get in the way.



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