Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Tale of an Ebay Account Hijack

Portage resident's Ebay profile hacked,

219.762.1397, ext. 2225
This story ran on

About a week ago, a stranger knocked on Tammy

Timpe's door, looking for his Jeep Grand Cherokee.
The Portage resident was confused when the visitor,
Todd Price, expected to drive off with a 53,000-mile
Cherokee, listed on eBay for less than $3,000.

"It seemed too good to be true," he said.Turns out, it

was. someone had hacked into her eBay account information
and posted for auction the vehicle under her name.

About three hours earlier Price, browsing the site for a car

to buy his wife, purchased the Cherokee, choosing the "Buy
It Now" option. Skeptical when asked for a Western Union money
order, Price drove 100 miles to Timpe's house, trailer in tow,
to pay for the car in person.

But Timpe had no Cherokee to sell him. In fact, it had been a

while since she'd even logged into her eBay account.

Complete Story Here

Thursday, November 23, 2006

Coin Dealer Gets 5-Year Prison Sentence for eBay fraud

Associated Press
Tue, Nov. 21, 2006

MIAMI - A former attorney and rare coin dealer was sentenced Tuesday to more than five years in prison after admitting he defrauded more than $1 million from more than 100 people who bought collectibles from him on the eBay online auction site.

Martin Eugene Haber, 59, was sentenced to 63 months in prison by U.S. District Judge Donald Graham after pleading guilty in June to six counts of wire fraud and one count of mail fraud. Graham will hold another hearing Jan. 4 to determine restitution for 100 victims of Haber's fraud.

U.S. Attorney R. Alexander Acosta said 188 complaints were received from May 2001 to January 2005 from buyers who did not receive coins they purchased on eBay from Haber. Haber, who has resigned from the Florida Bar, was twice arrested locally but continued to sell items under other names.

In a letter to Graham, Haber said that he got deeply into debt and was taking prescription drugs to combat depression when he began committing the crimes. He apologized to the victims and promised to repay them if possible

Even though I did not intend the harm, I caused the harm and I am sorry for that," Haber said in the letter. "I was in a spiral that I didn't know how to control."

EBay Software Pirates Fined $100,000

Clement James, 22 Nov 2006

Software & Information Industry Association (SIIA) has been paid $100,000 in damages after settling two cases of illegal software sales.

Two defendants, Kevin Liu and G T Tian, paid a total of $100,000 in damages, as well as agreeing to stop selling illegal software, in one of the cases arising from the SIIA's Auction Litigation Programme.

Liu and Tian also provided the SIIA with records identifying their customers and suppliers of pirated software.

The suit was filed on behalf of
Symantec, and was among the first under the Auction Litigation Programme.

This initiative aims to monitor popular online auction sites, identify individuals or groups selling pirated software and prosecute those pirates on behalf of the Association's member companies.
The defendants were accused in the suit of infringing copyrights and trademarks owned by Symantec in Norton PC Anywhere, Norton SystemWorks 2005 Premier and Norton Ghost.

Over two years, the defendants sold $750,000 worth of software for approximately $123,000.

Complete Story

Saturday, November 18, 2006

Wholesale List Scams

In this scam the scammer is targeting new auction buyers or buyers who do not read English well.

The listing will typically be for a popular electronic item at a very low price. The title, photo, and description will all match the product and the seller may include spec sheets, etc. The listings themselves are usually fairly loud with a lot of different colors, fonts, and photos. In other words, somewhat distracting.

Unobtrusively in the finer print of the ad the scammer will indicate the the auction is actually for a wholesale list of where to buy the product - and not the product itself.

These scams tend to be more common for new products such as cameras or gaming systems that are just hitting the market. Technically the ads are legal as they do somewhere indicate the actual product for sale. The seller counts on buyer excitement over the product to induce a fast (though somewhat deceptive) sale.

Saturday, November 11, 2006

Email Phishing Scams

Phishing scams are an ongoing internet problem that frequently targets Ebay and Paypal users.

The scam involves sending a spoof email to users in an attempt to obtain personal information. The email usually has the address of the legitimate site in the from field. (its a simple thing to change the "from" address in most email clients) Logos will appear to be from legitimate sites. (copy, cut, and paste) Often the form of the letter itself will conform to the legitimate sites email template, complete with valid header and footer links. The difference will be in the clickable link which leads to a spoof website designed to look exactly like an Ebay or Paypal login page. Once you have logged in the scammer now has your login information.

A recent variation targeting Ebay users uses a form identical to the Ebay user to user message form. Often it is an inquiry about an item at auction, etc. Clicking the link to respond takes one to a spoof Ebay login page. Is very easy to get tripped by these when you are busy answering a lot of email. A copy of any Ebay generated messages will appear in your Ebay My Messages folder. If its not there., its probably not legititmate.

The newer version of Internet Explorer as well as some toolbars will alert you if the website you go to appears to be a phishing site. But why even bother? The bottom line is the only way to absolutely avoid being a victim of a phishing scam is to never click on a link in an email. Never. Regardless of how enticing the message, always go to the website through your own browser or bookmarks.

Friday, November 10, 2006

Two Charged with Selling Stolen Merchandise on Ebay

Stonington — Police have charged two women with stealing more than $40,000 worth of merchandise from stores in Connecticut, Massachusetts and Rhode Island and selling it on eBay, the online auction site.

Crystal Mackin, 23, of 1531 Glasgo Road, Lot 126, Griswold, and Pamela J. Murphy, 40, of 207 S. Burnham Highway, Lisbon, were each charged with first-degree larceny and first-degree conspiracy to commit larceny. They turned themselves in to Stonington police Thursday after learning that warrants had been issued for their arrests.

Police said the stolen merchandise ranged from Vera Bradley handbags, Jessica Simpson body frosting, Yankee Candle and Wexler skin-care products to clothing, wallets and bags from the Disney Store and Wal-Mart, to Williams-Sonoma kitchen accessories, Bath and Body Works products, candles, air fresheners, dolls and stuffed animals.

Link to complete article