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E-Mail Safety Tips - How to Spot Spoof & Phishing E-Mails
One of the many ways Identity thieves steal information is by using "spoof" e-mails. Spoof e-mails are often designed to look like they came from a company or person that you normally do business with, but when you click on the links in the e-mail and answer the security questions, that information is stolen and might be used to access your account. Here are some tips to keep your information secure.

eBay Phishing Tutorial - eBay web site tutorial with numerous examples and information.
Stay Safe on eBay - General links to eBay safety information tips.

Spoof & Scammer Warning News

eCommerceBytes - 04-18-2015 - New Threat Could Be Mining eBay User Data.

eCommerceBytes - 11-05-2015 - eBay Sellers: Beware of Different Ship-to Address.
I had no idea. What will scammers think of next.

eCommerceBytes - 08-14-2014 - Reports of eBay Live-Chat Account Takeovers.
eBay users are receiving transcripts of conversations they've supposedly had with eBay customer service...they never had...

To Spot Spoof Emails

General Tips

Rule #1 - Look before you click!

Look at the email account name to which a suspicious email came. I receive spoof emails from what look like banks and credit card companies, even PayPal, that come to email accounts that those companies do not even know exist. Obviously not honest emails.

Hoover over an email link (do not click it) and an address will pop up that says were the link will take you. Do be aware that some tricksters will incorporate the name of the company they are impersonating within the link.

If you click a fraudulent email in error, contact the actual company immediately, the criminals are often just in the initial stages of capturing information to be sold later to other criminals. With quick reactions and change of password you may be able to prevent access to your account.

Tips To Spot Fake eBay E-Mails
(From my experience. This is not official, just things I have noticed that seem to be indicters to me.)

As a seller, you may receive e-mails that say something like "I want to buy this item #1424568730 how much with shipping?" It's probably not real. And ones such as "I bought this and I don't have it yet". It's probably not real. These style spoofs are generally sloppy, bad English and grammar, and may even have dates that are not logical.

Sometimes spoofers put eBay listing numbers into their spoof e-mails and they are usually incorrect numbers, so the numbers can be another big clue that it is a fake e-mail. I think the eBay listing numbers may vary by area of the country, because the listing numbers for all of my auctions tend to be just a few variations of the starting numbers, the ending numbers seem to increase with each new listing, but the beginning numbers seem pretty constant. Take note of what those beginning numbers are for your listings and this may help you to spot a spoof e-mail quickly, because spoofs often don't use real eBay listing numbers. When I am unsure of a listing number, I simply copy and paste the listing number from a questionable e-mail into an eBay search and see what comes up.

Because spoofers are tricky, here is a valuable test that may tell you if an e-mail is a spoof. Before you ever click on a link in any e-mail, not just eBay, but any e-mail you get, hoover over the link with your mouse pointer (do not click on the link, just hover) and the URL link name should appear. With a spoof e-mail the URL link will be someplace that you don't want to go, it may say something like "doanddie@donnersparty.com". Now better spoofs may go so far as to include sound-a-like names such as, "consumerbox.ebay.places.com, or pagestogo.ebay.com", that gets the word "eBay" in there, but don't click and go there. Generally eBay pages seem to mostly start with eBay.com, but they do have some others pre-fixes like "rover" and "cgi". When in doubt it might be best to fall back on eBay's suggestion - Go check your eBay messages and see if the message is there.

eBay - Spoof Email Help


As an eBay seller, the number and variety of spoof e-mails that you may receive is long and wide, but here are some clues to help you determine if an e-mail is a spoof.

eBay will send you e-mails, such as listing news, updates and specials, and those may have links, but from my understanding, there is a one rule above all others, eBay will never ask you to reply to an e-mail message with confidential information.

eBay Quote: Real eBay email: Recognizing spoof (fake) eBay websites / Signs that an email is fake.
* *We won't ask you to provide confidential information by email.
**Any messages from us requesting information will also be in the Messages tab in My eBay. If an email seems suspicious, check to see if it's there. If it's not, it's fake
**Our emails never include attachments. If you receive a message with an attachment, don't open it.
**Our emails usually greet you by the first and last name you registered on your eBay account, and your eBay user ID.

Recognizing spoof (fake) eBay websites. eBay Quote: How to tell if an email is really from eBay. The easiest way to make sure an email is from us is to check your messages in My eBay. Go to My eBay, and then click the Messages tab. If you don't see the same message there, the email is fake.

From my understanding, eBay always includes your name within an e-mail; however, it is not an absolute that an e-mail is from eBay just because it has your name. There are some sophisticated spoofers that somehow get your name and put it into a fake e-mail, I've had some. eBay Quote: Our emails usually greet you by the first and last name you registered on your eBay account, and your eBay user ID. Recognizing spoof (fake) eBay websites / Signs that an email is fake.

If you receive an e-mail and respond to it and it asks you to log into your account and when you try to log into your account, you can not login, there is a good chance that it is a spoof and you have given an identity thief your information. You should probably change you password IMMEDIATELY and contact eBay or PayPal or whoever IMMEDIATELY. The stolen information may not be harvested for hours and you may be able to prevent any intrusion into your account with quick action.

When you get a spoof eBay e-mail, you might want to quickly forward it to eBay, because eBay really does have a security department and hopefully when they get new spoofs they can block them and protect you and others from ID thieves.

When you get a spoof, to forward it to eBay, look at your e-mail options, find and click Forward (icon) and for the e-mail forwarding address use: spoof@ebay.com

PayPal - Spoof Email Help


A very excellent suggestion. PayPal Quote: Any time you receive an email about your PayPal account, the safest and easiest course of action is to open a new browser, type in https://www.paypal.com, and log in to your account directly.

Your Guide to Phishing
What is Phishing? - Identity Theft
Recognizing Phishing - How to Spot a Fake Email
Spoof Websites - How to Spot A Fake Website

To forward spoofs to PayPal the e-mail address is: spoof@paypal.com

Sign up for PayPal and start accepting credit card payments instantly.

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