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eBay - Hi-tech equipment scam


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EBay stories usually annoy me, but I thought I'd share this one as it is potentially something that could impact on users here.


I have a couple of video jobs coming up that will be one-offs, but the client is very specific on some of the equipment. I'd planned to hire in just for the job, but thought I'd look on eBay (I'm a regular buyer) just in case. I was on a roll! Almost everything I wanted was there, with no bids and a 24 hour limited time auction. The first item I bid on - it was a video camera which new retails about 14K and is pretty rare. I stuck in a bid - I'd not have gone up bid wise, but the screen shot showed the hours meter screen and I put in a low, but fair bid and was highest bidder. After doing the same for 4 other pieces of kit from the same seller, I clicked on the link to all his kit, figuring why waste time searching, I'd just see what he had before he 'moved to america'. There were hundreds of items, a rough total original buying price of about a quarter of a million quid! He had a feedback rating of over a hundred, but non of these were for technical kit? The thing that tipped the scales was that one photo was exactly the one I'd bid on from somebody else a few days before - a really awful photo with features that stuck n my head.


I often get the one-off scam suspicions, so did my usual trick of contacting the seller asking a question - the response usually helps me decide if the sale is genuine. In this case, I also reported the thing to eBay, just in case. Within 10 minutes, eBay cancelled every item, and removed the listings.


I noted that the 'seller' had all these listings done at the same time. A bit of research and it seems you can download a 30 day trial offer of ebays big business marketing tool that lets you prepapre listings off-line, then puts them all on at once. This is what the power sellers use.


So despite eBays annoying policy of never telling you what happens in cases like this, it does seem likely, somebody got access to some poor devils account, the put hundreds of expensive, but good value pieces of technical kit up for sale. All listed with Paypal payment - I'm not sure how he would have got around this?


If you are an ebay buyer, it is well worth doing a search for items you are selling - just in case your details have been phished somehow, I'm certainly going to search myself every few days from now on - the multi-post software is expensive, but the 30 day version is a daft thing to make available free!


Be warned.


I guess the moral is that if something is too good to be true, it probably is!


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This scammer or ones like it have been around awhile.

Here is one way it works.

You as a seller receive a question on an item you are selling (or have sold) when you reply you are taken to a log in screen (not really ebay) that looks like ebay, you enter your user name and pass word BAM! they've got you. Next they change your account details and list a ton of stuff of high value (a lot that has already been legally traded), the listing is usually 24hrs, all payments to their account.


So basically identity theft!!




Not been scammed yet but sure I will be sometime!!!



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they've tried it with me a number of times.


I usually put bornyesterday as my password.



To expand on this a little. Once you have typed in a username and password you are then (often) taken to the actual ebay sign in screen. Somebody who is unaware will pass it off as a small fault and type it in again, actually logging into ebay as normal. by the time you realise there is no record of that question etc. Its too late.

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post script.


The same items have appeared yet again - this time the user is registered in chile! kit in london, same pics. I sent the details to ebay and within 5 mins the whole lot was gone again.


I'd like to think I'm pretty good now at potential scammers - but it does make buying far more complicated.

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The same items have appeared yet again - this time the user is registered in chile! kit in london, same pics. I sent the details to ebay and within 5 mins the whole lot was gone again.

There's a regular scammer who pops up in my regular searches that notify me of kit for sale - the one I highlighted some weeks ago that kept coming back.

The guy advertises, as does Paul's "Friend", on someone else's account but somehow he picked up the description of a Mac 500, but the picture of some large moving mirror fixture.... Hence my original caution!


I must've sent off a couple of dozen reports to Ebay about this scammer, and every time they removed the item (and everything else dodgy from the same 'seller' pretty quick.


the guy is STILL at it, as I get the same item popping into my inbox fairly often, but Ebay must have him sussed now because they've always managed to remove the sales before I can even check 'em!!


Just shows that we CAN help bay to defeat at least some of these mercenary b*****ds if we just communicate!

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