Saturday, March 31, 2007

Lock Your Digital Door

Motley Fool

Common sense says that you should lock your doors and windows to prevent thieves from entering your house. The advice is no different when dealing with digital crooks.

According to the FBI's Crime Complaint Center, computer users logged more than 270,000 cases of potential Internet-based fraud during 2006, resulting in $198.4 million in losses -- or $724 per complaint.

Sadly, few of these schemes were particularly sophisticated. Nigerian email fraud, for example, had the highest median loss, at $5,100. That's why fellow Fool Bill Mann has said that if it's from Nigeria, hit delet.

But suspiciously polite Nigerians have nothing on auction fraudsters, to whom the FBI attributed 44.9% of complaints. Auction fraud, as it turns out, is not unlike what the sub-Saharan scammers proffer.

Source Article is Here

Thursday, March 29, 2007

Indiana Man Gets 27 Months for Selling Counterfeit Software on Ebay

March 28, 2007 -- WASHINGTON

An Indiana man has been sentenced to 27 months in prison for selling more than $700,000 worth of counterfeit computer software on the eBay Internet auction site, Assistant Attorney General Alice S. Fisher of the U.S. Justice Department’s Criminal Division and Susan W. Brooks, U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Indiana, announced today.

Courtney Smith, 36, of Anderson, Ind., was sentenced today by U.S. District Judge Sarah Barker of the Southern District of Indiana for selling counterfeit computer software over the Internet in violation of criminal copyright infringement laws.

At today’s guilty plea and sentencing, Smith admitted that he purchased counterfeit Rockwell Automation computer software through the eBay Internet auction site and then duplicated and resold the copyright protected software to other eBay users. Between March 6 and May 26, 2004, Smith sold counterfeit copies of Rockwell Automation software in 32 or more separate eBay auctions, receiving $4,149.97. The actual retail value of this software was in excess of $700,000.

Source Article

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

2 PA Men Face 35 Years for Reselling Stolen Autos on Ebay

Two Pennsylvania men have been sentenced to a combined 35 years in state prison for their roles in an auto theft ring responsible for thefts of more than $3 million worth of vehicles, according to New Jersey Attorney General Stuart Rabner and Criminal Justice Director Gregory A. Paw.

According to Insurance Fraud Prosecutor Greta Gooden Brown, Dariusz Grabowski, also known as Derek Grabowski, 37, Lake Ariel, Pa., was ordered by Superior Court Judge Scott J. Moynihan in Union County to serve 20 years in state prison, with eight years parole ineligibility, and to pay more than $725,000 in restitution.

In addition, Grabowski's brother, Krzysztof Grabowski, 26, also of Lake Ariel, was ordered to serve 15 years in state prison, with seven years parole ineligibility, and to pay more than $725,000 in restitution.

.....Fraud Prosecutor Brown reported that Dariusz Grabowski admitted he falsely obtained more than 130 key codes from Key Code Express in Florida, as well as 36 key codes from the Jameson Code Service and six key codes from the Key Quest Inc. key service. He obtained the key codes so that other members of the enterprise could steal vehicles, frequently from automobile dealerships, and so that the stolen vehicles could be re-tagged and sold on eBay. He admitted that he was involved in the sale of at least 42 stolen vehicles utilizing eBay.

Monday, March 26, 2007

TEMPUR exposes counterfeit mattresses on Ebay

As the popularity of visco-elastic mattresses continues to grow, brand leaders TEMPUR are battling to protect consumers from the increasing number of counterfeit products being sold on the internet. Sellers on both eBay and other online bed distributors claim to offer ‘genuine’ TEMPUR Products at low prices, when in fact these products are lower quality copies.

The TEMPUR Material was originally designed by NASA and was used in space-suits today to protect astronauts from the enormous g-forces experienced during lift-off and flight. TEMPUR bought the commercial license for the material in the 1980s and have since perfected it for home and medical use – they are still the only commercial company licensed to use this material.

For the last six months TEMPUR have been working hard to eradicate people selling counterfeit products. Working closely with eBay and their solicitors, TEMPUR are eliminating offending sellers and removing false claims from other websites.

Source Article

Saturday, March 24, 2007

Peoria Man gets 4 Years in Ebay Fraud Case

Man scammed customers out of $800,000

Friday, March 23, 2007
of the Journal StarPEORIA - A man who bilked eBay users out of $800,000 was sentenced to just more than four years in federal prison Thursday. Anthony L. McEnroe, 36, whose address is listed in court records as 3717 N. St. Michael Ave., apologized and told U.S. District Judge Joe McDade that he wanted to fill the orders from the online auction house but wound up making bad business decisions that drained his money.

His decisions cost hundreds of eBay customers money. When the FBI raided his warehouse in Bloomington in 2001, they found $100,000 of commemorative state quarters that he was supposed to mail off to buyers.

McEnroe held dozens of auctions to "pre-sell" each of the 50 state quarters before they were released by the U.S. Mint. Customers on eBay would bid on the right to get the popular coins first. But he never filled the orders.

Source Article Here

Friday, March 23, 2007

Ebay Software Bargains and Pitfalls

By Jim Finkle

BOSTON (Reuters) - One of the cheapest places to buy software is on Ebay, where merchants sell programs that come directly from manufacturers, saving them from paying a mark-up to distributors.

But it may also be a risky place to shop, as it can be tough to discern good values from scams.

Consumers Union -- which tracks Web retailers and advises consumers on Internet shopping through its service -- urges buyers to use common sense.

"If it sounds too good to be true, it is," says Beau Brendler, director of Web Credibility for the site.

A Reuters reporter bought four popular software titles through Ebay stores, which unlike auction operators sell products at fixed prices. Three of the titles worked flawlessly; the fourth was dead on arrival.

Story is Here

Thursday, March 22, 2007

Auction Fraud at Top of FBI's 2006 Crime Report

The FBI / National White Collar Crime Center has released it 2006 Internet Crime Report. According to their report, the most reported internet crime offense by far was auction fraud, which comprised 44.9% of referred complaints. Of that number, non delvered merchandise and/or payment comprised 19% of the complaints, while check fraud accounted for another 4.9%

In an interesting aside, the Nigerian letter scams accounted for the highest median losses among individuals ($5,100). Amazingly enough, it appears people are still falling for it.

The Internet Crime Complaint Center also reports that recent high activity scams included hit man scams, phishing attempts associated with spoofed sites, and counterfeit checking scams. Complete report is here. (PDF file)

Monday, March 19, 2007

Australian eBay thief made huge profit

A man stole $AUS42,000 ($NZ46,000) after hacking into eBay and Australian bank accounts last year, with eBay now set to trial individual security keys to protect members.

The Commonwealth Bank has had online security keys, or "key fobs", since January. The devices are small electronic gadgets that generate a number that must be typed into accounts to verify access and transactions.

Dov Tenenboim, 21, of North Bondi, used his home computer to hack into at least 90 different eBay seller accounts last year, according to police.

After hacking into the eBay accounts of Wendy Runge and Kathy Gill, he sold $AUS13,482 ($NZ15,000) worth of nonexistent Apple iPod music players. After each sale he would direct his victims to pay for the goods by transferring money into the bank accounts of his accomplices.

Complete article here

Sunday, March 18, 2007

Stolen US Civil War documents sold on eBay

Criminal charges were filed against a collector who stole 165 Civil War documents from the National Archives and sold them on eBay, US prosecutors said Friday.

Denning McTague was working as an unpaid intern in Philadelphia when he purloined historic paperwork that included a War Department letter informing troops of the assassination of President Abraham Lincoln, according to US Attorney's Office spokesman Richard Manieri.

"Evidently he put documents in a backpack and walked out," Manieri told AFP. The bulk of the stolen letters concerned munitions and supplies, but one was written by Confederate general James (Jeb) Stuart, Manieri said.

Story is here

Friday, March 16, 2007

Scammers Use eBay's Message System to Troll for Victims

By Ina Steiner
March 16, 2007

When an eBay seller opened an email received through eBay's message system this week, it read, "If you need additional income, we have an open position as a mediator for selling items on ebay. To learn more, open and enter (Code removed by editor) on prompt." The purported shopper who sent the email to the seller using eBay's "Ask Seller a Question" feature had zero feedback and had registered on eBay the same day the email message was sent.

......What concerned the recipient most was that her name appeared in the message, and that the message showed up in her "My Messages" section of eBay, proving the sender used eBay's mail system. She felt this gave the email an air of legitimacy, and she said she was sure she was not the only one to receive the email. "You KNOW that newbies may (will) click that link and who knows what will happen."

Read Complete Article Here

Thursday, March 15, 2007

Sunday, March 11, 2007

Romanian Hacker Broadcasts eBay Customer Accounts

Lisa Vaas

eBay has confirmed that, early on the morning of March 8 EST, an alleged Romanian hacker calling himself "Born_To_Scam_American_Guys" posted records for 15 eBay users on an eBay forum for between 40-60 minutes before the company removed them.

The posts were put up on the Trust & Safety board. According to other forum members who claimed to have taken part in the discussion and begged eBay to take down the information, the hacker signed in under a hijacked account and began taunting others, with the final result being the posting of the 15 accounts.

According to, a site dedicated to eBay watching, the post that kicked it all off appeared at 1:52 EST on the forum. The initial post, according to, reads:

"read many opinions here.... All I saw it's just [misspelled obscenity]....Alot of things about scamms..stupid things I think. Romanian guys are the best boys !!!! We are in each country...each city...and every day alot of money from your pocket intro in pur bank accounts....You know why ?? I will tell you my opinion...because you are so stupid ..... anyone can scam you very easy....not only with fake escrow and shipping websites....

"For us nothing is not cards...spam....wire transfers... alot of things boys !!! WHy ??? Because we are the best !!!! Let's ask you something : what make the american and canadian boys at 14-15 years old ????? Eat burgers at Mc'Dolnalds and watch naked girls on internet porno webpages.... Romanian guys at 14-15 years old scam people...learn how to build a profesional to hack a internet server and many more another "bad" things....

Complete Article Here

Thursday, March 08, 2007

Attacks on eBay Continue, While Cover Up Machine Rolls On

It has been over two weeks now since a daily bombardment of scam listings started appearing on, allegedly perpetrated by Romanian hacker, Vladuz. This current wave of fraudulent listings numbers between 1-3 million fake listings per day. eBay Inc. has gotten better at catching them and having them disappear before too many people are exposed to them. New threats are starting to emerge on the security front for eBay, and they're doing the best they know how to cover up the current situation and deflect possible bad exposure from the new threat.

On Sunday, we watched first hand as eBay Trust & Safety battled the scammers. A common search string was posted to a thread on the T&S eBay discussion board, which is currently discussing the attacks. This search string when plugged into the eBay search revealed over 500 obvious scam listings by a couple of different sellers for high ticket items with low starting bids and text in the description that led potential buyers to email for a Buy It Now price.

Same basic MO of many scams recently. Over the next several hours and into the evening, the number of listings fluctuated between 120-600 scam listings, as eBay worked to remove them from the site. By the next morning, there were only five remaining listings to be found using that particular search string. Many of the listings listed San Jose (eBay's headquarters are there) as the location, but the seller was registered in Canada, and used pictures from completely listings on eBay for the listings.

Conplete Article is Here

Wednesday, March 07, 2007 Moves to Stop Pirates

Ignorance of the law is no defence in court, so people who might be flouting copyright regulations unknowingly are being targeted by a new information campaign.

eBay, the popular online auction site, has teamed up with the Federation Against Copyright Theft (FACT) to educate consumers on how to buy and sell DVDs safely.

Garreth Griffith of said: “Warning our customers of the dangers and penalties associated with the illegal trade of counterfeits, as well as educating them on how to stay safe, is vital to keeping eBay a secure place to trade.

Click Here for FACT Guide


Tuesday, March 06, 2007

eBay users targeted by advanced Trojan

eBay users are being targeted by an advanced Trojan that attempts to redirect traffic so it can silently bid on a car from the auction site's car site, Symantec is warning. It is the latest security headache for eBay, which has faced an onslaught of complaints from some users who say fraud on the site has increased to unacceptable levels over the past few months.

Trojan.Bayrob implements a proxy server so that traffic intended for eBay is instead sent to one of several sites controlled by the attacker. Traffic is redirected by changing settings corresponding to at least six eBay URLs in the victim's hosts file. Once connected to rogue servers, Bayrob is programmed to download configuration data, including a variety of php scripts.

least one of the scripts, Var.php, downloads variables such as tokenized versions of eBay pages designed to dupe a victim into thinking they are legitimate. One such page spoofs eBay's "Ask a question" section, which allows prospective buyers to - wait for it - ask sellers questions.

Complete Article Here

Monday, March 05, 2007

Ebay Patches Sign-in Page Vulnerability

A week or more after it was brought to its attention, eBay has plugged a hole in its sign-on page that was being exploited by phishers.

The vulnerability was noteworthy because it led users to eBay's official login page first, unlike most phishing attacks, which direct victims to a spoofed URL. Once a user entered a valid user name and password on the eBay site, however, the exploit redirected the person to a third-party site of an attacker's choosing.

We brought the vulnerability to the attention of an eBay spokesman eight days ago, and a blogger on said he had alerted eBay of the problem several days before that. What he got in response was a form letter from eBay security. "In the future, be very cautious of any email that asks you to submit information such as your credit card numbers or passwords," it read in part.

Complete Story Here

Friday, March 02, 2007

The Ebay Police Blotter

Just stumbled on this one while looking for something totally different...

The Global Law Enforcement Operations Team (huh?) at Ebay posts this about the Ebay Police Blotter:

"Hello! and welcome to the Global Law Enforcement Operations Police Blotter. Most Community members have not heard much about what eBay does behind the scenes to pursue, apprehend and prosecute fraudsters on and The purpose of the Police Blotter is to share information with the Community about our efforts with law enforcement around the world. As you know, eBay Inc. is committed to creating a safe, well lit marketplace. When people break our policies, violate consumer trust and the law of the land, eBay and PayPal work with law enforcement agencies around the world to apprehend and prosecute fraudsters. For that reason, eBay created the Global Law Enforcement Operations team."

Right. OK... good idea I suppose. But in a slightly more perfect world the vast majority of resources belong in checks and balances to prevent fraud. Its great that the Global Law Enforcement Operations Team is standing by to bust those engaging in auction fraud. Not so great that we need such a thing. (cool name though)

The link to the page is Here

Internet Scams to Watch for in 2007

By Leslie McFadden

In 2007, cybercriminals will explore new territory. They'll launch attacks using consumer-collaborative sites such as MySpace and YouTube, instant messaging, image spam, send more targeted phishing scams and launch networks of zombie computers.

If you're not careful, you could install malicious software -- malware -- that will open up your PC to criminals. Or fall for a money-making scam.


Malware is an umbrella term for various types of malicious software or programs, including viruses, Trojan horses, worms and spyware. Most of what malware targets is confidential information, says David Marcus, security research and communications manager for McAfee Avert Labs. Malware writers look for data they can steal for a profit or use themselves, he says. "It's very financially motivated."

Unfortunately, cybercriminals can profit off consumers in a host of ways whether they're stealing money or information. Malware can search for passwords on a user's computer or install keystroke-logging software, among other exploits. Fraudsters generate revenue when someone clicks on their spam or through renting out networks of compromised computers called "botnets" to other cybercriminals.

Continue Here