EcommerceBytes-NewsFlash, Number 1370 - September 19, 2006     2 of 4

AuctionBytes Survey Reveals eBay Phishing, Account Hijacking Problems

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In a recent survey of readers, discovered that 98% of respondents have received phishing emails purporting to be from eBay, and 14% have responded to them. These hoax attempts come in the form of emails purporting to be from eBay that try to trick recipients into revealing sensitive information, such as passwords.

Phishing emails are used by scammers to conduct identity theft scams, and are also used to hijack eBay accounts to perpetrate further fraud on the auction site.

Twenty-one percent of respondents said they had received notification from eBay that their account had been taken over by another party, also called "account hijacking." 78% said they had never received such a notification, and 1% did not know or were not sure.

eBay sellers sometimes share passwords with employees, which may add to the vulnerability of their accounts. The survey questioned respondents on practices regarding password-sharing.

When asked how many people had access to their eBay password, 64% of respondents said only they had access. 27% said members of their household have access to one or more of their eBay passwords. 10% said trusted employees have access to one or more of their eBay passwords, and 1% said friends and/or colleagues have access to one or more of their eBay passwords.

eBay sellers have in the past requested that eBay create a permissions-based system in which they could give employees access to their accounts so they could handle customer service issues, but limit other actions employees could take with those passwords.

AuctionBytes conducted the online survey of readers in September 2006. A total of 1225 people completed the survey. Information about the respondents along with responses to other questions in the survey can be found on the website.

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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