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What to do when you find a fishing hook set in your jaw.
I recently logged into my EBAY account to do some searching and noticed that I had 11 unanswered emails in my box. Imagine my surprise when they concerned an item I never put up for auction. The auction was for an Apple Laptop and the buyer was writing to express their reservation about paying for the item through Western Union.
Needless to say I was a bit distressed so I called our local EBAY expert AKA Michael our Technology VP and asked for his assistance.
He told me to go to EBAY and click on help.
Type in Identity Theft.
Here is what we saw.
The next step was to go to LIVE CHAT and talk with an EBAY representative.
The following is a copy of that conversation.
While waiting for your chat to begin, you can start typing in your question. To help us address your questions as quickly as possible, please include your email address, eBay User ID and any other pertinent information such as item numbers, error messages, etc. (if available). We may also require your name, address and phone number for verification purposes.
Your entries will become visible to the agent once they have joined the chat. Thank you for your patience.
animus44: Someone is selling item #5824679920 and it is not me. What do I do?
Your chat session has started.
Kassie: Hello and thank you for contacting Account Security Live Help, my name is Kassie. Please give me a moment to review what you have already typed.
animus44: The buyer wants this item but of course I don't have it as it is all a fraud.
animus44: Here is the text of email I got from the buyer. “I would like to complete this transaction on eBay, not with cash via western union. Please contact me with an invoice so I can do so. Thank you.”
Kassie: Thank you for waiting.
Kassie: In order to help you, I need to verify your information. Could you please provide me with your name, address, and telephone number? (Note that eBay would never ask you for sensitive information like passwords and credit card numbers)
animus44: Sure, Timothy J. Kilkenny etc. etc. (Confidential)
(Here they asked me for my personal information like my full name, birthday, address, and phone number. I had neglected to update my new phone # with eBay.)
Kassie: Great, thank you Timothy. I have a different telephone number registered to your eBay account.
animus44: I am sorry
animus44: How about 405………..
animus44: it is my cell?
animus44: I can give you credit card info to verify identity.
animus44: I pay with a visa...
Kassie: Thank you Timothy.
Kassie: For the unauthorized listing, are you referring to the Apple notebook?
animus44: don’t own one
animus44: just logged into Ebay to do some searching and noticed.
Kassie: Okay, we now know for certain that a third party gained access to your account and listed this item. All fees have been reversed.
animus44: 10 emails in box
animus44: since I wasn't listing anything
Kassie: While I restore your account Timothy, I would like to give you some information on how this could have happened and how you can protect yourself in the future.
animus44: How do I prevent negative feedback?
Kassie: Your feedback should not be affected as a result of this unauthorized third party activity.
animus44: I am aware of fishing.
animus44: I run an ISP....
Kassie: If you do encounter problems, please don't hesitate to return to Live Help.
animus44: Should I contact the buyer
animus44: or do you guys do that...?
Kassie: It's not necessary to do so, as when I ended the auction, the bidders were sent emails that this was an unauthorized listing.
animus44: Thank you for your help...
Kassie: However, if you do receive any messages, you may explain to the bidder what happened or you may ask them to contact Live Help.
animus44: okay... well I have several...
animus44: emails from the buyer
Kassie: Okay Timothy, have you seen any spoof messages before? They can look like any eBay e-mail, such as: “Become an eBay Power Seller”, “eBay Fraud Alert”, “Security Measures (Safe Harbor)”.
animus44: Yes... many
animus44: I never answer them
animus44: I think perhaps this a Trojan horse virus
Kassie: Do you use any antivirus software?
animus44: I will have my techs scan this computer
Kassie: Sounds good.
animus44: Yes... I use Norton Internet suite
animus44: I write newsletters about fishing
Kassie: While I restore your account, I would like to give you some information on eBay tools. It will just take me a few minutes to restore your eBay account.
animus44: cautioning my clients
animus44: No problem, send what ever you like.
Kassie: Any email sent to your registered eBay email address from eBay that affects your account, or from another eBay member via eBay’s member-to-member communication system, will now appear in My Messages.
If you receive a questionable email that asks you to click on a link and it isn’t in My Messages, do not click the link or enter information. Forward the email to email@example.com. This lets us take quick action on the fake website and we will respond to you within minutes to tell you if it was really from eBay.
Kassie: To secure this account, you will need to change your EMAIL password with your provider. May I ask if you have done that?
animus44: I haven't but I will....
Kassie: Changing your E-MAIL password is important because if your e-mail account was compromised, the party who took over your account in the first place could easily access your eBay account again by clicking on the "forgot password" link on eBay.
animus44: right now...
Kassie: Great! I strongly suggest using secure passwords: Mix of letters and numbers, and different for each online account (eBay, e-mail, PayPal, banking, etc.)
animus44: got it...
Kassie: Please let me know when you have changed your email password, Timothy.
animus44: almost done
animus44: Done... it is changed.
Kassie: I have restored your eBay account, Timothy.
animus44: different for each of eBay, paypal, email.
Kassie: I will send a temporary eBay password to your email account. Please sign in with this and change it immediately to a secure one -- one that includes a mix of numbers and letters.
Kassie: You're welcome!
Kassie: Is there anything else I can help you with today?
animus44: No thanks :)
Kassie: You're welcome! Have a great day and thank you for using eBay Timothy!
The agent ended your chat session.
By far the best thing you can do to protect yourself is change your passwords often, use virus protection and never, I mean never, answer the fishing emails asking for personal information. Most reputable companies will not send you email fishing for your information.
It is not clear to me how this happened but if it happens to you the key is to act quickly!
Timothy J. Kilkenny
Founder & CEO
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