EcommerceBytes-NewsFlash, Number 522 - April 21, 2003     1 of 2

Jobseekers: Beware New eBay Scam

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It's possible that cyber criminals in Eastern Europe are using job-listing sites to attract unsuspecting victims into an eBay scam. AuctionBytes received a letter from a reader stating he had contacted an employer listing a position for a part-time sales representative. Upon further correspondence, he learned that the "employer," located in Taiwan, wanted him to sell Plasma TVs on eBay.

"I was told that [company name] was new to the U.S. market and in the process of opening US bank and PayPal accounts. Until then, all payments for items were to be wired to an account in Latvia." The sales rep would receive $2,150/month as long as he sold at least one product. The company would ship the TVs worldwide, free of charge via Federal Express.

The reader, an eBay Powerseller, became suspicious, and was unable to get satisfactory answers to his questions. AuctionBytes contacted Friday. A spokesperson said she would investigate the matter, but was unaware of any reports scams of this nature. She did say that CareerBuilder warns jobseekers not to reveal private or financial information, and not to send payments, to prospective employers.

In January, we reported on a similar scam in which criminals from Estonia send emails asking recipients to become the company's U.S. representative and help them process eBay auction payments through the recipient's PayPal account. PayPal specifically warns users not to use their accounts to collect and transfer money for someone else.

If you think you've become a victim of fraud, report it at the Internet Fraud Complaint Center at and visit the AuctionBytes Fraud Resource page at

Some of CareerBuilder's advice for protecting yourself:

Never give out your social security number to a prospective employer.

Never provide credit card or bank numbers or monetary transaction of any sort.

Be cautious when dealing with contacts outside of your own country.

Do not provide any non-work related personal information (i.e. social security number, eye color, marital status etc.) over the phone or online.

About the author:

Ina Steiner is co-founder and Editor of EcommerceBytes and has been reporting on ecommerce since 1999. She's a widely cited authority on marketplace selling and is author of "Turn eBay Data Into Dollars" (McGraw-Hill 2006). Her blog was featured in the book, "Blogging Heroes" (Wiley 2008). Follow her on Twitter at @ecommercebytes and send news tips to

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