EBay Fraud

I appear to be the victim of EBay fraud. I purchased a Playstation 2 video game system for my older son — yeah, um, my son — and have not received it. A look into the seller’s feedback reveals that he/she fleeced a bunch of other people at the same time (Christmas and surrounding days) and is no longer a registered user.

I wonder if the people who study consumer issues more than I do have ideas as to (a) whether this sort of fraud is significantly hurting EBay in its quest to be the world’s marketplace, and (b) what EBay should do about it. Is it appropriate, for example, to require a bond be posted before selling items?

One never likes to blame the victim, particularly when one is the victim in question, but I could have avoided the whole mess by dealing only with clearly reputable sellers. On the other hand, such a limit would (I suspect) lessen the competitive advantages that a wide-open EBay market provides.

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78 Responses

  1. Mike says:

    I was a victim of fraud but for alot more than I have been reading about. I was given a second chance on a 1970 Ford Mustang Boss 302. While the vehicle was listed on ebay the seller wanted the potential buyer to email him for more info. I emailed and got more info two days later and the vehicle was no longer on ebay. The seller said he was offered a Buy It Now price and the buyer backed out and that was why it was longer on ebay.We agreed on a purchase price of $6400.00 and the seller agreed to go through ebay vehicle payment protection program. Supposedly ebay sent me emails on how to proceed with the purchase. I wired the money to Zoard’s Transportation at the Scotia Bank in St. Catherines, Ontario, Canada. I even received confirmation of payment. I received no vehicle and and of course no money returned.

    The ebay emails were so authenic looking that my banker said for me to proceed with the transaction. These guys are good. This was my first purchase on ebay and I can’t believe I got so screwed. The seller’s name on the email was Michael Lin and his email address was nrlbqa@gmail.com. This transaction occured on November 22, 2006 and I emailed ebay and have not gotten a response yet. Anybody that can help me get my money back please email me and I would appreciate it so much. I am just sick about this.

    If it is too good to be true then it is.

    Mike December 2, 2006

  2. Lynn Stutsman says:

    I response to this information about myself, that I found on your site: (see email that follows)

    My name is Lynn Stutsman and according to the information listed by Ms. Silver below, I am guilty of defrauding her of $2950.00 for the sale of a car on ebay.

    I have never sold ANYTHING on ebay. Purchased yes, sold no. I found out of these accusations when I was contacted by the Division of Consumer Affairs,just 2 days ago, on November 30, 2006.

    Talk about a shock. I immediately checked my ebay account and a car had indeed been listed using my ebay user ID, without my knowledge. Somehow this person signed up as a seller under my user ID and even was able to access my financial information. I know this because they changed the account number listed in the system.

    I contacted ebay immediately (by email because no phone number is to be found for them) and have yet to receive any response. I also contacted AOL because this person used an AOL screen name to communicate with Ms. Silver that is still active! ( Ms. Silver kept copies of all email correspondance thank goodness.)

    I was told that AOL couldn’t give me any information but that they would expedite an investigation and get back with me. No word from them yet either.

    I called the Division of Consumer Affairs, the agency who sent me a letter accusing me of this, and explained the situation to them. I was told to respond in writing within 10 days but that there was really nothing they could do to now help clear my name. Their next comment was, “Identity theft is a terrible thing.”

    I’m aware of that!

    I am in the process of having to close and re- open all bank accounts and report any credit card I had listed with ebay or pay pal as stolen. Ms. Silver was a victum of Fraud and theft and I was the victum of identity theft.

    I have spoken personally with Ms. Silver and she now understands that I did not do this to her. Neither of us are getting any support in this matter. We are actually meeting in the next few days to see if we both contact the authorities together if we could get farther than either of us have alone.

    Some advice: Be very careful what you do on ebay! I am so sorry for what happened to Ms. Silver but three very big mistakes were made while she attempted to make this purchase:

    1. She responded to a second chance offer directly from this person.

    2. She paid through Western Union instead of Pay Pal.

    3. She sent the money to another person instead of the seller that was listed.

    4. She communicated and finalized the transaction not on ebay but through email on AOL. The person who actually defrauded her was very smooth. Obviously a professional. They reversed two of the letters in my ebay user ID and created an Aol screen name with that slight change. If you weren’t paying very close attention you would never notice. Just like Ms. Silver never noticed. This made her think she was still communicating with the seller on ebay.

    This has been a nightmare. I had no idea that any of this occured and now I not only have been the victim of identity theft, having to quickly cancel bank accounts and credit cards, but I also have to clear my name with approximately 8-10 agencies Ms. Silver reported me to, including the local police department.

    Tonight I find this damaging information about me on your site. Very disturbing. Before you accuse someone, please be sure of the facts. I’m so sorry for what happened to her but now an innocent person has been wrongly accused and didn’t deserve to be.

    Thank you,

    Lynn Stutsman

    Ms. Silvers original posting:

    I was a victim of fraud on October 17, 2006 by Ebayer bsyldy1 of Lavergne, TN. The name of this person is supposedly Lynn Stutsman. Another person who posed as an Ebay agent for the fake transaction is Julia Ritzsmanst is in on the whole scam and actually picked up the wired money in Plano, Texas. I thought I was purchasing a 2005 Pontiac Vibe and paid $2950 via Western Union. NEVER wire money to anyone on Ebay if after this you still choose to buy/sell on their site. I have had no support from Ebay, the Police, IC3.gov or any other agency that I have been referred to. I keep getting handed off from one to the other.

    Posted by: Adela Silver at October 29, 2006 10:21 PM


  3. Paul Ottensmann says:

    I won an auction #280048672729 and paid via cashiers check. I got a box, but nothing inside was the items listed in the auction. It was a Second Chance Offer from auction #280043813465. The winner of that auction also paid him and received a box of old videos. Collectively we are out $8,000. Any help appreciated. ANYONE WITH CONNECTIONS IN BOSTON, MA PLEASE CONTACT ME @ POTTENSMANN@NEW.RR.COM

  4. win worrall says:

    I also was scammed by sending over 4000.00 to some in Helsinki, Finland selling large farm equipment. Name is Andrew Bower and it was bought through e-bay. When will someone put a stop to all this.

    Mybad December 18, 2006

  5. Barrie Blake says:

    I was also ripped off my a Jeff(Jason) Hollis of Shreveport, LA on Sept 1/06 . Bought a Mackie 1620 mixer off e-ABay for $521 + $30 S/H and never recieved it. Said it was insured for up to $1000 using PayPal. Only recovered $175 from payPal as they charged $25 service fee. What a rip-off. Now will not buy off e-bay and my feedback is 676+ and 0- , so it is their loss.

  6. Dalia says:

    Hi. I have been fleeced out of almost 400.00 via an eBay auction. I bid and won a computer. The seller claims that it was immediate payment but it wasn’t. I won on 11/27 and paid for it via Paypal on 12/1/06. Two weeks later I contacted the seller to find out when I could expect delivery and he told me never. He had relisted and sold the computer and was keeping my money. He says that since it took me 4 days to pay I forfeited the auction. I filed a dispute with eBay, Paypal and my bank after Paypal informed me that I had to. Paypal told my bank that the transaction was good and they have decided that I have to pursue this through Paypal. Well, Paypal will only consider refunding 200.00 of which they take 25.00 as their investigative fees. Also, the seller has faxed them “proof” of a partial refund. I don’t think I have to tell you that I never recieved anything including an answer to my query of what he supposedly sent me. Now I am going to have to hire an attorney and file criminal charges. I have been on eBay for almost 10 years and am thankful that this is the only time that something like this has happened. Now for my question, do any of you know of any other way that I can get my money back? Paypal won’t even tell me the seller’s address.

  7. Sandra says:


    Check it out never buy without checking feedback


  8. Bobby B. Stovall says:

    This message is for Mike re his 12/2/06 posting concerning Michael Lin: I got hit too with all ebay authentic emails and responses. I got a response from ebay but they would not release his contact information even though it is probably available. If you get this and want to respond. contact me via my email. Bobby

  9. Steve says:

    Well, I have to start with “Happy new year everyone!”

    Then to the serious part.

    I have been taken for over $1000 from paypal because they do no have the proper insurance that regular credit card company would have, and that is the consumer protection against fraudulent transaction. for example if someone comes to your store with a stolen credit card and bought $1000 worth of stuff, well the credit card company would never, never, never take the money back out of your account.

    My personal opinion about Paypal is just a “CHEAP WANNABE” with NO pride and respect for their costumers. All they care about is making more money. What about this poor guy that sell is prize possession to pay his bills and then come to find out that the person that bought it used fraudulent funds? Well, if the guy would have used “visa” for example, nothing would happened, BUT if he used Paypal his account would go in the red… “Go figure”

    I`m sorry if you work for them, I am not trying to hurt anyones feelings, just hoping that I can open some peoples eyes to where Paypal may actually do what credit cards company would do, or NOT do.



  10. terry says:

    i too was taken for 150.00 for n.b.a. jerseys i bought from thomval (thafiveanddimestore) i sent a money order and she cashed it a week later and that is the last i heard from AMANDA GIVENS i even called the phone number provided and she hung up on me. the real funny part- e-bay would not allow me to leave a negative feedback to warn others, e-bay also gave me the runaround. with their kind ,sympathetic words. i don’t want their sympathy, i want my money back.

  11. Mikhail says:

    I am not a victim but could easily be the one.

    I saw tonight a posting for a Fuji 6×17 camera sold by belle_cashmere store. There were some other high tech items sold by the same seller (Power Seller, by the way!). All items were priced at 1000GBP which was several times below the market price. And there was a note to send requests directly to arrgger@cs.com, not through bidding process.

    When I checked history of belle_cashmere I found that the store was selling only gloves, scarfs and other woven products. No high tech gear at all.

    Now my question is – what kind of technology eBay uses that it is so easy to hack its site and substitute some stuff under some other seller’s name?

    I almost positive that this “seller” is not belle_cashmere and the posted items do not exist.

    I sent a question to eBay’s security center but have not received any response so far.

    P.S. All listings are marked as 24 hour sales (take the money and go away)

  12. Carol Habets says:

    Happy New Year to me: I purchased an embroidery/sewing machine on 1/18, was a listing asking to contact seller before bidding. Offered a buy-it-now price, said everything was “legit” thru e-bay and they were using i-Sold It for their transaction, item was all packed and ready to be shipped. This bozo even said he was on his honeymoon in London but not to worry with i-Sold It, he was insured, rated, etc. I got the ‘invoice’ from i-S. and they had his name plugged in with all this high rating info and reassurances, told all about the process, (of course I was to send via Western Union, which I stupidly did), and the forms looked official with e-Bay logo, i-Sold it logo’s, the works. The e-Bay listing was yanked so fast that I didn’t even get a copy of the listing and item number! That evening I started receiving e-mails from the “i-Sold It Trust dept.” in charge of the sale, asking me to verify the name of the seller and the name of the agent who was supposed to receive the payment on seller’s behalf. My radar went up, I e-mailed back and they asked again, telling me to just send a scanned copy of the Western Union receipt. They e-mailed back afterward and said everything was OK and they would start shipping process. I have been e-mailing since Friday for proof of shipment, tracking number, etc. and (naturally) I am getting nada. I feel like such a gullible idiot after reading all of your posts…I will never use ANY kind of online auction again. Has anyone else been scammed by an i-Sold It connection? I am just sick because this was to be my $1200 birthday gift from my husband. I have an e-mail in to i-Sold It in UK, but no response yet…

  13. Tony M says:

    Beware of a Joshua Goldstein. I sent him 1K for a laptop that never arrived, after being held up at customs etc etc.

    He has been deregistered by ebay but reckons he trades at amazon under es electronics.

    Ebay and paypal have been pathetic, I got 175 back after naively? upping my dispute to a claim or vice versa.

    I will be cancelling my accounts at both once all hope of retrieval is lost.

  14. Emilie says:


    I was just victim of a small fraud, there wasn’t much money involved but i’m not very rich…

    I bought a dvd box set from a seller, paid through paypal, the money went through very quickly. In the mean time, I received a tko email notifying me that a 3rd party had been using the account. I received 2 emails from paypal One for the receipt, the other for the tracking. the seller email addresses are different on each email. it seems that they come from China. there is a tracking number but ems has no record of it. I’ve filled a claim form on paypal. i have not much hope, but is there anything i can do? i read somewhere here that you have more protection using a credit card, which i did. what exactly am i supposed to do to stop the payment or get it back?

    thanks for any help!

  15. Jacques says:

    I, too, was a victim of “Second Chance Offer”. A crook posed as the seller of a vehicle and scammed me of $2000. I filed a police report to no avail. I now realize how useless the Washington, DC police Fraud Department can be. They have all the needed information (the crook’s Bank of America Account Number and other correspondence). I filed the report and the Police Fraud Department kept giving me the run around. Finally, I stopped calling the police department. Ebay and the Police Department are useless in this regard. I am for any “Class Action Suit” against Ebay for allowing a crook to get my email address and send me fraudulent second chance offer.


  16. Michael says:


    I had payed for 3 items + shipping for $100 from Japan seller: Anime X and 2 items are never arrived and another was send defect. Than I have try to get a compensation but I receive only lies.

    As I have give a negativ feedback I receive a negative feedback too. As I took back the feedback

    Anime X have never send the items or the money back.

    The best is, before bid to read the feedback from

    the sellers.


  17. michael says:

    Hi all,

    I was taken for $500 from seller fashionless on ebay. I was not the only one as I started to get emails of concern from about 5 others who also purchased Ion detox machine from fashionless. This seller is no longer ebay member. I am sure after reading the posts here that I will get absolutely no help from ebay or paypal. I am now in the process of contacting credit card company.

  18. michael says:

    Hi all,

    I was taken for $500 from seller fashionless on ebay. I was not the only one as I started to get emails of concern from about 5 others who also purchased Ion detox machine from fashionless. This seller is no longer ebay member. I am sure after reading the posts here that I will get absolutely no help from ebay or paypal. I am now in the process of contacting credit card company.

  19. Don says:

    eBay should protect our information and should not let criminals get out bidding history and our email addresses. I was had by the second chance offer scam and the criminal used a Google email address. Google will not tell me a thing about that address because they are protecting his information. Money Gram will not tell me where the money was picked up because they are protecting his information. WHY DOSE E-BAY NOT PROTECT MY INFORMATION????? Any Ideas???

  20. William Borgstrom says:

    Sent 150.00 postal money order to Ron G in Capon Bridge, WV for 12 TROY ounce silver MERCURY DIME. Ad said “THIS IS ONE POUND OF SILVER.” He sent worthless counterfeit as/per Loop Coin of Mobile, Alabama who tested it. His e-mail to me said,”I didn’t advertise it as .999 silver.” E-Bay was NO HELP AT ALL. I didn’t have the postal money order receipt any more and they wouldn’t pursue it. So I guess wire fraud is LEGAL ON E-BAY.

  21. geoff magee says:

    I too have been ripped off but it always seems to be by some 3rd party who nhas acessed an innocent persons account. ebay are totally useless in doing anything about it and people should get together and sue them

  22. steven mcmanis says:

    Today I was the newest member in ebay fraud. A man put a horse trailer on ebay, sold it to me, with an ebay invoice and the whole nine yards. Ebay told me today that it was all fake and that he had stolen another sellers information to put the item up for bid. I am not an avid ebay user and did not realize that sending the money western union…. to Romania…. where he was “there on business” was unsafe. I asked ebay what there responsibility was since they sent me a “purchase protection and refund” statement and they said they had no responsibility. This seller too had positive feedback and substantial items sold. Now I am out of a few thousand dollars and nothing to show for it. I felt as though I trusted the ebay co. to have enough security that someone as naive as myself could trust the sell at hand. If anyone know’s how to help, please get in touch. The FBI said that there are so many cases that they usually do not even investigate them. I too believe that there should be stronger standards by ebay. They should be held responsible for something instead of the consumer being the one left without a leg to stand on.

  23. Stop Fraud says:

    Jason Sandison 95 Lemmen Dr 204-218-6907 or 204-667-7955

    Winnipeg, MB R2K 3J7 (204) 667-7955 (204) 218-

    6907 Report for online Fraud
    Peel Regional Police

    Report Number 07-02038 Jason Sandison from 95 Lemmen

    Drive Winnipeg, MB CANADA is known by Winnipeg Police

    for committing fraud on Ebay. I was taken for $1400 after

    I thought I was buying a Dell computer . Jason aka Geoff

    Hamel are known by police for taking your money. They

    will tell you that their wallets were lost and ID was

    comprimised and to wire the funds or send a moeny order

    and not Paypal and then you will never receive the goods. If

    you have purchased anything from Gifts4all07 or received an

    email from Gifts4all@MTS.Net, GeoffHamel@MTS.Net,

    jasonsandison@hotmail.com or sandman2@mts.net,

    funclubtours@mts.net and allcanadiantours@mts.net Please

    speak to Sgt. Molley at the Winnipeg Commerical Crime

    Unit at 204-986-3094. Lets all work together to get these

    individuals in Jail !!!!!!!!!!

  24. Val says:

    Message for “steven mcmanis”. Steven, I was ripped off too by horse trailer on eBay in March. Could you tell me, please, when did you contact the eBay about the fraud (date), and also what are the details of the fraud (was the ebay customer real, did you contact him through eBay or through e-mail, etc.). My email kit_v_kat@hotmail.com so would be great to discuss all that… Thanks!

  25. Tsai says:

    I was ripped off by Abigail Enriquez who lives in California on April 23, 2007. I bought a Fendi bag from her as a Mother’s day gift for $420. She asked me to pay by cashier check and I was so stupid to do that. However, when I got the bag, I found it was not authentic and I asked for the refund immediately. She asked me to send the bag back and she will issue a refund to me. Until now, I did not receive any refund from her. I raised a dispute from ebay (it didn’t work and ebay did nothing for me) and also sent the mail to ask when she will return my money several times. Finally, I got a mail from her and said, her boyfriend used her account to sell the bag to me and there is nothing related to her. I don’t believe what she said because my cashier check was paid to her. Also, I got a mail from her boyfriend (I’m not sure whether it was really written by her boyfriend) and said, he will not reply any mail from me if I ask when he’s going to refund. If he wants to refund, he will. What a ridiculous person?? I tried to call her several times but she never picked up the phone. I left the messages but she never replied.

    Anyway, I’m not a Native American and I’m sorry to use my poor English to say my long long story. I just cannot believe she does not deserve any punishment. Now, I decide never buy anything from ebay again.

    I will continue to call her and email her for the refund (these are the only ways I can do now) and I’ll appreciate anyone of you can tell me what else I can do to ask my money back. My email: loveshiho0813@hotmail.com



  26. Lee says:

    I just had a terrible experience with fake clothing on Ebay! I should have known better, but bid on a Marni blouse and necklace from a seller who said I would get a discount for buying both items. I won, and then the items came in the mail…they were so pathetic. The stitching on the blouse is puckered and uneven. The blouse hangs lopsided on the hanger. The fabric is cheap, see-through polyester. The necklace is literally made of plastic beads and gold-colored adhesive tape! The pictures on Ebay were photos of authentic items that do not match the ridiculous junk I got. I am furious with myself for spending money on junk that is so cheap and badly made that it is too embarassing to wear. My advice to anyone considering buying designer clothing on Ebay: beware of any seller who lists information about previous auctions and buyers as “Private.” This allows them to hide details about the fake items sold before, and also does not allow buyers to communicate with each other. I wrote to the seller and asked for a refund, but never heard anything back. Ebay said that since I got items that match description and I do not have proof of non-authenticity from a licensed vendor, I do not have a legitimate claim. I regret flushing my hard-earned money down the toilet. I had only good experiences with Ebay before venturing into buying clothes. I really sympathize with everyone on this site.

  27. alice says:




  28. alice says: