Jacquelyn Lynn - Online Consumer Advice and Commentary

Jacquelyn Lynn is a business writer whose dynamic books and insightful articles have been helping business owners and managers work smarter and more profitably for more than two decades. She is the author of Entrepreneur’s Almanac, Online Shopper’s Survival Guide and co-author of Make Big Profits on eBay, as well as a regular contributor to Entrepreneur magazine. For more information and for the link to her business blog, visit www.jacquelynlynn.com.

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Thursday, June 15, 2006

Watch those eBay and PayPal spoof e-mails

I just received a very clever spoof e-mail. It was designed to look like it came through the member-to-member eBay system, and the message was that this person had paid for a Dell laptop computer and wanted to know when it would be shipped.

While I do occasionally sell things on eBay (I buy far more than I sell), I’ve never sold a computer. What the sender of the e-mail is counting on is that the receiver will panic and start clicking on links to let the “buyer” know that they’ve contacted the wrong person. And when you start clicking on those links and answering questions, you are giving information away that a scammer can use to steal from you.

Whenever you receive an e-mail regarding an eBay transaction that you’re not involved in, go to your eBay account to see if the e-mail shows up there. If it does, it’s legitimate. (Go to My eBay, then to My Messages.) If it doesn’t, it’s a spoof – forward it to spoof@ebay.com so that the eBay security folks can check it out and report it to the proper authorities.

Be equally suspicious of any e-mails that claim to be from PayPal saying that your account has a problem and that you need to verify your information. Forward those messages to spoof@paypal.com. Never try to access your eBay or PayPal accounts from the link in an e-mail—always close the e-mail, and log on to your account from the main website.

The scammers are smart – you have to be smarter to avoid becoming another fraud victim.

Jacquelyn Lynn

1 Comments:

Blogger Linda Saracino, The Dicta Diva said...

Good info. I get spoofed a lot--I think I have the eBay and PayPal spoof addresses memorized.

BTW, I just now got myself into an apostrophe jam--eBay's and PayPal's--so I evaded the whole thing. Which in turn reminds me to invite you to start an "apostrophe rant" on my space, and we'll see who else chimes in with what.

11:04 AM  

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