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Home ScamsPhishing Scams eBay ‘Please Confirm Your Identity’ Phishing Scam

eBay ‘Please Confirm Your Identity’ Phishing Scam

by Brett M. Christensen

Outline

Email, purporting to be from eBay, claims that you have tried to sign in from an unfamiliar computer and must, therefore, confirm your identity by clicking a link in the message. 

Brief Analysis

The email is not from eBay. The message is designed to trick eBay users into divulging their account login details to Internet criminals. The criminals have used a standard security protocol sometimes used by eBay as a means of making their false claims seem more legitimate.

Example

Subject: Please confirm your identity

eBay – Please confirm your identity

Dear eBay Community Member

You’re signing in from a computer we’re not familiar with. That’s no problem, but we need to take a few moments just to make sure no one is trying to access your account without permission. Please log in to your account and complete the form on the next page.
[Link to bogus website removed]

Regards
eBay

 

Detailed Analysis

This email, which purports to be from eBay, claims that the recipient has attempted to log in to his or her eBay account from a computer that eBay is not familiar with. Supposedly, eBay needs to confirm the user’s identity to ensure that the account is not being accessed without the user’s permission.

To confirm his or her identity, the user is instructed to log in to the eBay account by clicking a ink in the email. 
However, the message is not from eBay and the link in the email does not lead to an eBay identity confirmation page as expected.

In fact, the link opens a bogus webpage designed to closely resemble a genuine eBay login page. When the victim has entered his or her username and password on the fake page, a new page will appear that asks for the answer to the security question attached to the account as well as the user’s email address.

After supplying this information, the victim will see a final message noting that he or she has successfully confirmed his or her identity. The victim will then be redirected to the genuine eBay website.

The login credentials and other information submitted on the fake website can be collected by the criminals operating the scam and subsequently used to hijack the account. Once they have gained access to the compromised account, the criminals can lock out the real user by changing the account password, steal personal and financial information from the account and use it to conduct further fraudulent activities in the victim’s name.

The link in the email uses HTML to make it appear that it points to a genuine eBay web address. Moreover, to further the illusion of legitimacy, the scammers have copied the text of a standard security protocol message that is sometimes sent by eBay to help protect user accounts.

Because it conducts its business online, eBay and sister company Paypal are continually targeted by online scammers. New phishing scam variations that target eBay users are regularly distributed. Be wary of any eBay message that asks you to click a link or open an attachment and supply personal or financial information.

eBay has published information telling users how to avoid becoming a victim of such phishing scams.



Importance Notice

After considerable thought and with an ache in my heart, I have decided that the time has come to close down the Hoax-Slayer website.

These days, the site does not generate enough revenue to cover expenses, and I do not have the financial resources to sustain it going forward.

Moreover, I now work long hours in a full-time and physically taxing job, so maintaining and managing the website and publishing new material has become difficult for me.

And finally, after 18 years of writing about scams and hoaxes, I feel that it is time for me to take my fingers off the keyboard and focus on other projects and pastimes.

When I first started Hoax-Slayer, I never dreamed that I would still be working on the project all these years later or that it would become such an important part of my life. It's been a fantastic and engaging experience and one that I will always treasure.

I hope that my work over the years has helped to make the Internet a little safer and thwarted the activities of at least a few scammers and malicious pranksters.

A Big Thank You

I would also like to thank all of those wonderful people who have supported the project by sharing information from the site, contributing examples of scams and hoaxes, offering suggestions, donating funds, or helping behind the scenes.

I would especially like to thank David White for his tireless contribution to the Hoax-Slayer Facebook Page over many years. David's support has been invaluable, and I can not thank him enough.

Closing Date

Hoax-Slayer will still be around for a few weeks while I wind things down. The site will go offline on May 31, 2021. While I will not be publishing any new posts, you can still access existing material on the site until the date of closure.

Thank you, one and all!

Brett Christensen,
Hoax-Slayer