Friday, February 29, 2008

Ft. Oglethorpe Man Sentenced For eBay Fraud

Kary Dean Head, 50, of Fort Oglethorpe, Georgia, was sentenced today by United States District Judge Harold L. Murphy on a wire fraud charge arising from a scheme to defraud bidders on eBay, the Internet auction service, of over $150,000.

“This defendant attempted to use the anonymity of the Internet to steal more than $150,000 from unsuspecting victims,” said United States Attorney David E. Nahmias. “Members of the public should be able to buy merchandise over the Internet without worry that their money will be stolen by those like Mr. Head who use the Internet to commit fraud.

source: NewsChannel9

eBay Laser Pointer Scam Exposed

2008-02-29 08:53:45 - Like any other market place, eBay has its share of both good and bad sellers, offering bargains and scams. One scam carried out by a small number of eBay sellers that is becoming increasingly common is high powered green laser pointers.

The scam itself is based on the type of light given out by the laser pointer, the way power is measured, changes made to the laser pointer and ignorant and/or dishonest sellers.

These lasers are advertised as green lasers and should give out green light and only green light. That how ever is not the case. Virtually all supposedly
high power green laser pointers on ebay emit a combination of green light with a wave length 532nm light and infrared light with wavelengths of 808nm and 1064nm light.

complete article by Frank Smith at:

Thursday, February 28, 2008

Buyer Beware (Golfworld)

By E. Michael Johnson

Counterfeit equipment is more available and increasingly harder to detect. What you need to know to avoid getting burned by this $240 million international scam

Jay Weibel was browsing eBay, searching for an Odyssey Marxman putter. Finding one for $118 -- an attractive price, but not so cheap it aroused suspicion -- the 4-handicapper from East Brady, Pa., made a bid and eventually won the auction. When the putter arrived, Weibel noticed that while it looked identical to other Marxman putters he had tried, the insert felt decidedly firmer. After two days comparing the putter with photos of other Marxman putters, he discovered it is not always "better when you win." He had bought a counterfeit.

read complete article at GolfWorld

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Artist blasts eBay scam to sell town centre mural

by Hywel Trewyn

A CON artist is using eBay to sell a huge 56ft mural painted on the side of a town centre wall – with the wall included.

The mural called Helter Skelter was painted by artist Ed Povey in Caernarfon to celebrate the National Eisteddfod coming to the town in 1979 and depicts well-known landmarks and characters.

Mr Povey, who has painted 25 murals around North Wales, said last night he was “astounded and outraged” that somebody was using eBay to try and sell the actual mural itself.

The mystery seller, called Tanzrus, who only joined eBay in February and who does not appear to have sold anything else, has listed the mural for a starting bid of 99 US cents – but claims it’s worth around “2.5 million”.

Daily Post

Sunday, February 24, 2008

$3 Million Bid for Record Collection Apparent Fraud

The winning bid from Ireland of $3,002,150 for a massive record collection offered by Paul Mawhinney, of Ross Township, PA was apparently a fraudulent bid.

J. Paul Henderson, an agent for the sale, said he was notified by an eBay executive Friday night that the bid was not legitimate and that the bidder's account had been suspended.The Irish gentleman whose screen name "jopsoup" appeared as the winning bid said he was unaware of the bid until after it had been entered and claimed that he had been a victim of identity theft.

Mr. Mawhinney indicates that he intends to re-list the collection and run the auction in a more semi-private fashion with screened bidders.

Friday, February 22, 2008

Police: Man Stole, Sold $42K In Legos Star Wars Items On Ebay

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. -- Anthony Ricca called the Star Wars Legos items he sold on EBay "Heroes of the Galaxy." West Palm Beach authorities call his actions a $42,000 theft scheme.

The 37-year-old Ricca is charged with grand theft and fraud after allegedly stealing the Legos Star Wars toys from several Target stores in Broward and Palm Beach counties.

source -

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Former archivist charged with selling museum items on eBay

NORFOLK -- The former archivist for Mariners’ Museum in Newport News and his wife allegedly sold items taken from the museum and sold them on eBay.

Lester F. Weber, 46, and Lori E. Childs, 49, were in U.S. District Tuessday, accused of selling more than 1,400 items, including documents from a Titanic survivor, for more than $162,000.


Saturday, February 16, 2008

Keeping clear of eBay fraud

Mahesh Sharma

EVEN as the internet opens up new venues for retail activity, its potential pitfalls are still leading buyers and sellers, large and small, to treat it with caution.

But with a bit of prudence, caution, and plain common sense, online trading advocates say the risk is not as great as it may sometimes appear. Anecdotally, it seems a lot of people have been reluctant to buy and sell using sites such as the online auctioneer eBay. After some recent incidents, it's easy to see why this is the case. Northern Territory police, for example, were recently reported to be on the hunt for a man who scammed buyers of almost $5000.

In that case the suspect, Brent Mack, is alleged to have conned that amount from five people by taking payment for items he had advertised on eBay but allegedly did not own.

continue article on Australian IT

Thursday, February 14, 2008

SIIA sues eBay-based software sellers

Grant Gross

San Francisco - Online auction giant eBay has been slow to respond to concerns about pirated software being sold there, prompting the Software & Information Industry Association (SIIA) to file nine lawsuits against eBay-based software sellers, an SIIA official said.

The SIIA believes it is necessary to file the lawsuits because eBay has been largely uncooperative in cracking down on software piracy, said Keith Kupferschmid, senior vice president of the trade group's antipiracy division.

Yahoo News

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

iPods as Bait in Ebay Pyramid Scams

The iPod is popular bait for one of the latest and greatest Ebay scams. Do a search for “iPod” and you will pull up a few thousand listings. Many look good but turn out to be inducements to join pyramid style matrix schemes.

Ebay these days to be swamped with such (illegal) schemes. Most appear on the outset to be legitimate buyers clubs. For many it is only on closer observation it becomes obvious that they are nothing more than classic pyramid or :Ponzi” style schemes.

In most cases, buyers respond to a great price on an iPod or other (usually electronic and in demand) gizmo. The buyer is told not to bid on the item, but is instead directed to a third party website which will offer the items as free gifts when products like CDs or eBooks are purchased.

Catch is that buyers only get their free iPod or whatever after more people have signed up. In the tradition of the classic Ponzi scheme, names get moved up the list as new people sign on. Eventually (at least in theory), the buyer gets their freebie.

To speed things up, buyers are encouraged to recruit new members, and Ebay is where the victims go to recruit new members.

EBay spokesman Hani Durzy states that he is unaware of the scams.

Monday, February 11, 2008

Ebay Seller Invites You to Steal His Laptop

An outstanding tongue in cheek auction protest which was posted on . The auction is for a (real) SONY VAIO VGN-NR21J/S LAPTOP and contains photos and relevant info. The seller then adds his comments on how "different ways you can steal this laptop from me" .... see below


PAYPAL: Paypal is currently ebays preferred method of stealing high value electrical items off sellers. There are a number of various ways you can use to steal this laptop using paypal.

1: A Fake “Item Not Received” (I.N.R) Claim – All you simply have to do here is purchase my item using an unverified paypal account. Then when you receive the laptop, simply claim that you didn’t receive it at your registered (credit card) and paypal will give you all your money back !

2: A Fake “Item Significantly Not As Described” (S.N.A.D) This is a great way to steal items off sellers. Simply start a dispute after you get the laptop making up some lie about the item being damaged etc – You could use Photoshop to make up fake pictures of damage. Paypal will ask you to send the item back to me, but don’t bother – they never enforce that on buyers and after a short wait you will get all your money back and you will still have the laptop.

3: A fake “Unauthorised Use” Claim – This is a super way of stealing items on ebay and is widely used. Simply claim that someone hijacked your account (paypal & ebay) and that you didn’t order the laptop. Then in conjunction with a fake I.N.R claim you can simply steal the laptop and of course, get your money back.

4: A Stolen Credit card – Of course, ebay make no real attempt to vet any of its buyers, so hey, just register a new ebay account using fake ID information and link it to a paypal account set up with a stolen credit card – and hey presto – A free laptop.


Although officially banned on ebay, fake western union payments are the preferred way for Nigerian Scammers to steal high value electrical items. Simply email me (using pigeon English) telling me that you would like to buy this item using Western Union – Tell me that you would be happy to pay over the odds for the laptop and that it is a present for your mother in law. Then send me a fake western union payment notification and I send you the laptop – Perfect. This method of stealing items off sellers is very widely used on ebay and of course, as ebay do not properly verify buyers its easy to do. Make sure you use Pigeon English as I am really really stupid and it’s bound to fool me.


If you are a traditionalist like me you may prefer a good old mugging. Simply offer to meet me on some dodgy housing estate somewhere and have a load of you mates hiding behind a hedge with a few iron bars. Again, offer to pay me over the odds as there is nothing better than using a sellers greed to bait them into a scam. I would be grateful if you could avoid killing me as this will cause bad publicity for ebay which would be terrible.


In the unlikely event that you are actually a genuine buyer then you really should be shopping in a real shop and not this scammers paradise. However this laptop does really exist and is really for sale. You can email me or skype me with suggestions on how we may actually transact this item to both our satisfaction – with both our safety in mind. Don’t even think of buying it using paypal. I’ve only listed it as accepted because ebay run a protection racket that means I have to accept it. If you do pay by paypal I will simply refund your payment and give you a nice new shiny NEG.


Of course you will no doubt be aware that from May onwards you will be able to blackmail sellers into giving you free P&P / discounts etc. You will be able to give them neg feedback and they will not be able to give you any.. I regret to advise you that because this rule does not come in until May this option of scamming me is not open to you yet.


I would grateful if some sad failed traffic warden could report this auction for two reasons

1: Ebay will see this listing and will hopefully close my account, saving me a 180 days wait to do it myself.

2: You will save me listing fees, making this a free advert.

Happy Bidding!

The actual auction listing (if it has not been pulled by Ebay) can be found at:

Sunday, February 10, 2008

EBay to Buy Back Stolen Historical Items


ALBANY, N.Y. - Documents dating from the Civil War and others to and from Theodore and Franklin Roosevelt are among hundreds of stolen documents sold online that eBay is agreeing to buy back and return to New York's archives, a state official said Saturday.

The online auction giant has no liability in the sale of the stolen artifacts, but agreed voluntarily to offer buyers the amount that they paid, according to the official who spoke on the condition of anonymity because not all details of the investigation have been announced.

Daily News Online

Saturday, February 09, 2008

Penn Busts eBayer Without Auctioneer License

Jason Lee Miller

Some Pennsylvania bureaucrats have lost their minds, probably somewhere in the stack of papers their shuffling, after noticing how much money the state was losing by not enforcing an arcane law established long before anybody ever heard of eBay.

A Pennsylvania woman, eBay seller, and mother to an infant with a brain tumor is the government's target. That was sort of the whole point of finding an at-home form of income, which eBay provided for her. But the pencil-pushers, like the claims adjusters, aren't there to feel for anyone, they're there to make sure their reports look good to their superiors.


Thursday, February 07, 2008

Seven caught in eBay scam

By Toriano L. Porter |

An Independence woman was among seven people indicted in an alleged eBay scheme that netted more than $1.2 million from the sale of stolen goods

Stacie M. Emmerich, 33, of Independence, was among six other associates of John Charles Chass, 40, of Kansas City charged by the federal attorney in a scheme to steal property from area retailers and sell the items on the online auction site.

Chass, the alleged ringleader and creator of the Stairway-to-the-Stars Web store on eBay, Emmerich and Joshua L. Zimmerman, 22, of Kansas City, Barbara J. Sharp, 52, and Michael Dale Ivester Jr., 27, both of Gladstone, and Daniel G. Moody, 30, from Gower, Mo., appeared in court Monday to hear the charges.

The Examiner

Tuesday, February 05, 2008

12 Arrested In Alleged Stolen Property Scam

KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- The FBI said 12 people were arrested Monday in connection with a multimillion-dollar property scam in the Northland.

Agents said three years of investigation culminated in the FBI raid of a home in the 6300 block of North Bedford Avenue.

The FBI said investigators found millions of dollars in stolen merchandise, including electronics, tools and vacuum cleaners. The merchandise was being sold on eBay.

Kansas City News

Saturday, February 02, 2008

Cyber-savvy town gets rich on eBay frauds

Nicola Smith, Dragasani, Romania

HUNDREDS of people in the poor Romanian town of Dragasani have grown rich by conning eBay online auction customers with deals that seem too good to be true - and often are.

The scammers have even put the new town hall up for sale on eBay, the mayor admitted last week. “I mean, who would want it?” he asked.

Despite growing concern about online frauds, the European Union has poured £150,000 into computer training courses in Dragasani over the past three years in “special recognition” of its IT skills.

complete article at Times Online (UK)

Friday, February 01, 2008

More eBay Cautionary Tales

James A. Martin

Often, when the words "eBay fraud" are spoken, they're accompanied by an accusatory finger pointing to the seller. But as I described in "Selling Your Laptop on eBay," buyers are quite capable of trying to pull a fast one, too. (My column detailed two different fraudulent attempts to purchase my Sony Vaio laptop on eBay.)

Since that column appeared, I've heard from several laptop sellers who say they've been victimized by fraudulent buyers on eBay.

This week I've included excerpts from e-mail I received from two such sellers. Next week I'll share tips I've gathered from sellers (and from my own experience) for safely selling your laptop on eBay.

PC World - Yahoo News