EcommerceBytes-NewsFlash, Number 1769 - April 15, 2008     3 of 4

eBay Tracks Members' Computer Usage in Anti-Fraud Initiative

Email This Story to a Friend

eBay is launching a "Trusted Selling with Identity Confirmation" initiative in its efforts to fight the problem of account hijacking in which fraudsters take over users' accounts to list scam auctions. eBay said it has started recording which computers members typically use to conduct their buying and selling activity. Beginning in June, it will begin verifying sellers are using the same computers they have used previously. If sellers list items using a different computer, eBay will make an automated call to the seller for confirmation, and may also prompt them to verify their identity in other, as yet unspecified, ways.

eBay said identity confirmation will only be applied to selling activity initially, but said it may extend it to other activity in the future.

eBay recommended sellers update their phone numbers since wrong or outdated phone numbers may delay sellers' ability to list items or respond to their customers. eBay also recommended sellers register their mobile phones as a secondary phone number in registration details. eBay will host a workshop about Trusted Selling with Identity Confirmation on May 6.

eBay is apparently testing another initiative on eBay Motors to limit fraud on the site. Some listings are loading descriptions in a frame that are being served from rather than By moving the listing description to its own domain, eBay can supposedly limit hackers' ability to use HTML and javascript to overlay other images or text on top of real eBay pages. Reportedly, if the initiative is successful, it could roll out to all eBay Motors listings by June.

See eBay Australia announcement:

Comment on the AuctionBytes Blog:

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

You may quote up to 50 words of any article on the condition that you attribute the article to and either link to the original article or to
All other use is prohibited.