A hellish few weeks followed after Anthony received a message out of the blue on eBay demanding a $500 refund. Here’s how this cloned account scam works.
An eBay buyer messaged Anthony saying he hadn’t received his order and demanded a $500 refund.
Anthony had never heard of him nor sold him anything. On closer inspection, it appeared that the hacker cloned his eBay account, opened a bogus PayPal account, sold an item in his name and received the money.
Passing the buck
He was told by eBay not to worry, as both sellers and purchasers are protected against fraud. The catch here though, is that Anthony was neither.
eBay refunded the buyer, then debited $500 from Anthony’s own PayPal.
Hellish weeks followed, with many calls and emails to eBay. It claimed it was PayPal’s problem, but PayPal said the opposite.
Even a conference call didn’t resolve anything, but after involving the UK and US CEOs of eBay, Anthony did get his money back, but was refused compensation.
A bureaucratic nightmare
We got in touch with eBay, which said cases such as Anthony’s are ‘extremely rare’ and fraudsters ‘use very sophisticated methods’ to circumvent security, claiming its defences were ‘continuously updated’ to tackle new trends.
It told us that systems were in place to ‘protect both the buyer and seller’. So, we’re still not clear on what happened. It added:
“With regard to why we do not offer compensation, we would always direct the member to our eBay user agreement which covers liability and correcting mistakes”
We’re not impressed at all with the bureaucratic nightmare Anthony faced. When firms fail to safeguard your money or details, we recommend voting with your feet.
Have you ever been contacted out of the blue by someone on eBay? What happened? Let us know in the comments.