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Old February 16th, 2003, 11:56 AM   #1
Obstreperous Rex
 
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Ebay Warning: Watchdog used as tool to rip people off

Howdy from Texas,

Many thanks to a loyal Watchdog reader for tipping me off to this. Please see http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll...category=21165

This is clearly a scam. The guy has taken my words and my pictures (see originals at http://www.dvinfo.net/canon/images/images17.php) and is trying to sucker someone into sending him $2000 via wire transfer.

Be advised, he has no such item... what he's trying to "sell" is a lens worth more than $80,000. This is another Ebay rip-off. He has no such item in his posession and is just trying to get your money, using my words and my pictures to do so.

I'm still thinking about how to proceed. I've captured an image of the page already and am now exploring options about how to best go after this crook (your suggestions are welcome). I have a "feeling" that since I've posted about it now, this auction might quietly go away... if he's smart, he'll retract it immediately. But crooks aren't smart... that's why they're crooks. The more I look at that auction page, the more I realize it's just one dumb crook trying to feed off the dumb greediness of people who should know better.

Unbelieveable! Thanks again to the loyal reader who informed me of this scam which uses my words and my pictures.
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Old February 16th, 2003, 12:08 PM   #2
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I'd definately let e-bay know for starters.
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Old February 16th, 2003, 12:14 PM   #3
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E-mail the real link to Ebay. They will cancel the auction.
They will probably find and delete it anyway. It puts up all the red flags of a scam.
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Old February 16th, 2003, 12:48 PM   #4
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an idea-

Another thing:

Chris, perhaps you could monitor this "auction" and send an email to any potential bidders, informing them of your site and the review of this lens and the bogus nature of the "auction"....if the bidder is genuine and still wants to proceed with checkout- then they're pretty much hopeless- but at least you've informed them.

Just an idea
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Old February 16th, 2003, 01:02 PM   #5
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Thanks, Steve... I'll do that.

Dylan, would you happen to have an e-mail address for the proper entity to contact at Ebay? I've looked over their site and it's very confusing.

Also, a "friend of mine" has entered a bid, and I've sent the seller a query through the contact link on that auction page.
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Old February 16th, 2003, 01:15 PM   #6
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Chris, I will try to find it for you tonight.

I'd like everyone here to look at that auction as a perfect example of what a scam Ebay auction looks like. Remember it, there will be many more.
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Old February 16th, 2003, 01:22 PM   #7
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<< I'd like everyone here to look at that auction as a perfect example of what a scam Ebay auction looks like. >>

The first thing I did this morning was to grab an image of the auction, which I can upload and refer people to later if (or rather, when) the auction is withdrawn.
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Old February 16th, 2003, 01:34 PM   #8
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something else is weird too. why is the bidder's name 1 letter different than the sellers? seller's is jatiwood and buyer's is iatiwood. bidding on his own auction to inflate the price? getting a camera or camcorder, etc on ebay for a few hundred less is one thing. but something for $80k, and being generous i'd say the bid will close at no more than $20k. even if i had the money for that piece (to buy it new). i'm not going to take a $50-60k loss on it. it must be his first scam, i think it's too far-fetched even for a scam.

chris, is he linking to the pics on watchdog? or did he take the pics and upload them to ebay? if he's hotlinking, you could modify the pics so they include a message like: hi, i'm trying to pull a scam, i'm also stealing other people's bandwidth and content. i remember a guy on ebay trying to sell a motherboard and using (2cpu.com's) pictures. we all had a good laugh after the mods redid the pics.
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Old February 16th, 2003, 01:42 PM   #9
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Hi Matt,

<< seller's is jatiwood and buyer's is iatiwood >>

Yeah, isn't that weird? Looks like the seller doesn't have the slightest chance of pulling this off, doesn't it. Heh, heh. ;-)

<< is he linking to the pics on watchdog? or did he take the pics and upload them to ebay? >>

From what I can tell, it looks like he stole them and uploaded his copies. I wish he was hot-linking; I'd love to modify those images!
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Old February 16th, 2003, 01:48 PM   #10
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Chris,

I suggest you check this out:

http://pages.ebay.com/help/confidenc...tigations.html

I think you can contact them if you go down the link to shill
bidding.

Good luck!
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Old February 16th, 2003, 01:48 PM   #11
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Chris,

I think here is where you start. The link should take you to a form where you can select "Questionable content on e-bay" then "Potentially Infringing Issues" and then "Use of images, text or links without proper permission". Click continue and it will take you to a new page. Scroll to the bottom of this page and click "Contact support" which will take you to a e-mail form to make your complaint.

This should be a lot easier than it is.

http://pages.ebay.com/help/basics/select-RS.html
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Old February 16th, 2003, 02:28 PM   #12
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Thanks, Rick! That's just what I needed.
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Old February 16th, 2003, 02:34 PM   #13
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Well, this ended fairly quickly:

----------------------------------------------

To: chris@dvinfo.net
Subject: eBay Auction 3008349266 Cancelled - Results Null and Void

Dear Chris Hurd (chris@dvinfo.net),

Pease be advised that the following auction:
3008349266 - The Canon XL1 with Extreme Lens
was ended early by eBay. The auction was ended due to the account suspension of the seller. All results for this auction are null and void.

Regards,
Customer Support (Trust and Safety Department)
eBay Inc

----------------------------------------------

To: chris@dvinfo.net
Subject: Important Message from eBay Loss Prevention Department

We are writing to inform you that we recently ended all listings for seller jatiwood on eBay. The sellerís privileges to trade on eBay have been temporarily suspended while we investigate this matter further. (The current account status can be viewed next to the user ID of the seller on the eBay site.).

As described in our User Agreement, eBay is only a venue, and we cannot guarantee that sellers will complete transactions nor can we guarantee the delivery or quality of bought items. As a basic principle, a buyer should know with whom he or she is dealing before sending a payment to a seller.

eBay Customer Support

----------------------------------------------

Looks like it's a happy ending, but let this be a lesson for those who feel a need to "shop for dirt-bottom prices" on Ebay. I use Ebay myself, but I would never consider conducting business there in any way other than what Dylan Couper and others have outlined in our Ebay Buyer's Guide at http://www.dvinfo.net/articles/buyersguide/ebay.php

Hope this helps,
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Old February 16th, 2003, 04:14 PM   #14
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yep, true to what Dylan has said before about them being "out of town" while the auction is going on....

seeing that they put down ontario for their location, i figured being in detroit, it wouldn't look too weird to drive almost anywhere for this kind of lens. so i gave her a quick email as if i were interested in buying this, asking where exactly she lived that if i won the auction i would like to just drive there, check it out and pay for it. she told me that she'll be "out of town for some weeks". but, from what i could make of her email, that it was in excellent condition. her english was quite broken ( don't know if this means much). here's her exact reply:
Quote:
thank's, i would like to do but right now i'm not in my town for some weeks i'll bet you if the item is in broke or scracth 'cause it's always keep clean and works 100%.
i don't know if ebay lists "problem sellers" real names or what, but, at least the name given was Lisa J. Chardus

but i see from Chris's above posts it's taken care of, glad noone got hurt from this :)
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Old February 16th, 2003, 06:42 PM   #15
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Thanks for the additional info, Matt -- much appreciated.
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