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Question From eBay Member Phishing Scam

by Brett M. Christensen

Online auction site eBay has consistently been a target for phishing scammers. Scammers have used a number of ruses in order to coerce victims into providing sensitive personal information on fraudulent, look-a-like websites.

One trick scammers are currently using is to send out emails that masquerade as questions from eBay members. The emails are designed to look like official eBay messages complete with eBay logos and formatting.

The messages ask recipients about an item for sale on eBay or rudely accuse them of not sending a purchased item as promised. Thus, unwary recipients may be tricked into clicking the “Respond Now” link in the fake email. The link opens a bogus website that looks very similar to the genuine eBay login page. Login details and other personal information that victims enter into forms on this bogus website can then be harvested by scammers.

If you receive any unsolicited emails from eBay or other institutions that ask you to click an included hyperlink and provide sensitive personal information, then you should view the message with the utmost suspicion. Legitimate institutions are unlikely to request information from customers in this way. Be very cautious of clicking on a link in an unsolicited email in order to access the website of a bank or other institution that may be the target of scammers. The safest method is to manually enter the URL of the institution’s website into your browser’s address bar.


Example:
Text of scam message:

Question from eBay Member — Respond Now

eBay sent this message on behalf of an eBay member via My Messages. Responses sent using email will not reach the eBay member. Use the Respond Now button below to respond to this message.

I’ve sent you the money for the laptop and I have not receive any item from you! You are an (expletive removed) who tricked me! If you don’t Respond Now and explain me what happen’ I will contact eBay to report you and I also go to the police! I am waiting your Respond Now !You have to know I am not so stupid as you think!!!


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