Docs eBay Motors Sucks Blog

10 Years Observing eBay Scams & Auction Fraud

Summary of 10 years watching eBay Auction Fraud and Used Car Scams. Buyers and Sellers were conned out of their money by slick talking fraudsters and bad sellers. These observations destroyed buyer and seller trust and well established community values.

It is Doc’s belief, had Meg Whitman taken a stand against fraud and misrepresentation back in eBay’s early days, they could have nipped their auction fraud problem in the bud.

But obviously corporate insiders were more interested in stuffing their pockets full of cash. Rather than working on long-term-goals that would insure future success of the first internet auction.

10 Year eBay History

Doc is a former eBay seller from 1999. Back then eBay was something everyone bragged about. Unfortunately a few years later that mighty corporate dollar took precedence over trust and security.

The birth of internet car scams was conceived on eBay Motors in it’s early days, and has since spread to other websites and venues.

Fraudsters started hijacking eBay sellers accounts and offering unbelievably good deals on non existent cars. They also registered new accounts, but the preferred method was to hijack a high feedback sellers account to reassure the buyer the deal was legitimate and the buyer could trust the seller.

It would have been easy to email a monthly community newsletter to eBay members alerting them of new threats to the community.

You see back in it’s beginning eBay Inc was founded by Pierre Omidyar under the simple concept that everyone had something good to offer. Trust and Community was the cornerstone of eBay’s growing empire. But corporate greed, scams and fraud soon started chipping away at that cornerstone of trust that Pierre created.

Doc’s classic website was born in 2004 as a method to reach out and educate the consumer that such an unbelievably low price was a scam. Buyers were literally getting slaughtered by fraudsters left and right.

Here is a podcast by Michael Donahue of EauctionAir.com who talks about about this website and Doc. Donahue also comments about Vlazuz hacking the crap out of eBay, and all the lies eBay told to cover it all up. 🙄

I get a big laugh each time Donahue comments on eBay teaming up with the Romanian Police.. 😆

This is one of three Medved.net eBay listing charts showing huge spikes in alleged indexed and removed auctions that Michael Donahue talks about in his podcast above. The others are here in this classic archive article from 03/05/2007. And here is the fraudsters eBay Phish Kit that Donahue mentioned. And this 2011 Porsche Panamera with an Invalid VIN that should not have been accepted by eBay Motors system.

Medved eBay Auction Chart 03/05/2007

Medved eBay Auction Chart showing huge Vladuz listing spikes except on the weekends when there was nobody home in San Jose.

There were literally thousands of eBay scam collector car auctions running at any given time. And the greatest majority of them were coming from Europe. These fraudsters considered (and still do) Americans “Greedy Sheep” that were easy to con out of their money!

European eBay Car Scammers Targeting Suckers

European eBay Car Scammers Targeting Greedy American “Sheep” Suckers who were easy marks!

Then there were the NARU (not a registered user) scams where eBay apparently suspended the scammer but left the auctions running. You could BID and the Scammer could cancel your bids while being NARU.

I remember a woman that bought a classic 57 Chevy Belair 2dr Hardtop as a birthday present for her husband for $4900.00. “He always wanted one but couldn’t afford the price they were worth. She was going to surprise him!” Ouch!

Early eBay Motors Classic Car Scams

Early eBay Motors Classic Car Sucker Bait Scams. eBay buyers Trusted Their Trading Partners with Disastrous Results!

A good example of an eBay Motors scam listing in 2006.

Example eBay Motors Car Scam Listing From 2006

Example eBay Motors Car Scam Listing From 2006

Trust and Community was everything eBay stood for back in those early days. Buyers and Sellers worked hard to build their trading reputations. But it’s Doc’s personal opinion that Corporate Greed cooked that eBay Golden Goose.

It’s easy to point the finger at someone else as Meg Whitman did at this security conference meeting back in 2007. She claimed the scams were hurting her business and expected others to fix the problem, while fraudsters continued to chip away at her cornerstone of trust. It’s interesting that Yahoo! Removed the posting from their website! Without Trust and Community eBay is as wild as the Internet Itself.

Meanwhile Meg Whitman was complaining about fraudsters and saying other companies should secure their websites, as Vladuz was busy hacking the living crap out of hers.

He even managed to hack into eBay’s forums and post as a pink (Pink header was an eBay employee back then) He hacked eBay’s Trust and Safety forum and posted a slew of eBay members confidential personal information, including valid credit card numbers.. Ouch!

Vladuz 09/25/2007 eBay Trust & Safety Hack. Exposing eBay Members Personal Details AND Credit Card Numbers.

Vladuz 09/25/2007 eBay Trust & Safety Hack. Exposing eBay Members Personal Details AND Credit Card Numbers.

eBay blew that off as a Database corruption fault. But many eBay watchers and forum members were able to validate a pick of credit card numbers and claimed the info Vladuz posted was valid. As usual eBay Lied to the community and quickly covered this hack up. You van see other Vladuz eBay Hacks in our classic archives.

Then there was Rob Chesnuts eBay Fraud Reduction Program that was supposed to rid the eBay website of these oodles and oodles of scams. Looks like it didn’t work very well. There were More Scams than before. 🙄

eBay Rob Chesnut Fraud Reduction Program

eBay Rob Chesnut Fraud Reduction Program. If anything there were MORE Scams than before.

Rob Chesnut (The eBay Sheriff) took sabbatical, and never returned. Chesnut was rumored to be on sabbatical since June 2007, but eBay soon made it official. He seemed like a good guy. I often wondered if all those fees took precedence over the communities security. 😆

Where Is The eBay Sheriff Rob Chesnut

Where Is The eBay Sheriff Rob Chesnut – It appears he is on sabbatical as scammers continue overrunning the eBay marketplace

As one member said, he had 56 Redirect Scams bookmarked. You couldn’t use [email protected] to report eBay internal redirect phishing scams.

Did Ma Meg and Rob Chesnut have their heads buried in the sand while stuffing their pockets full of cash??

The redirect scams were the most dangerous of all the scams on eBay. Fraudsters would hack someones website and upload their scripts and images. They then went over to eBay and planted the sucker bait and waited for some sucker to swallow the hook.

The XSS Flash Redirects started around 2006 and are still scamming in 2014 on eBay Motors. This is one that caught my eye back then. The scammer had bumbled his html code allowing it’s source to be traced back to an unsecured Photo Bucket account.

eBay Flash XSS Redirect Scam 10/21/2006. Redirect files sitting on an unsecured Photo Bucket account.

eBay Flash XSS Redirect Scam 10/21/2006. Redirect files sitting on an unsecured Photo Bucket account.

Meanwhile this xss cross site scripting scam became so deadly that the US Government issued this alert through their US-Cert program.

US Cert SA06-117A Warning Of eBay XSS Cross Site Scripting Attack Vulnerability

US Cert SA06-117A Warning Of eBay XSS Cross Site Scripting Attack Vulnerability

The redirect scams continued. Here is one Doc documented in 2010. At that time he had a Blackberry phone and used it as an IP Modem to slow the redirect down. Perfect to get this screen capture. Even Ina Steiner wrote an article about this one.

And in January 2014 Doc discovered that eBay Motors UK was infested with xss cross site scripting redirect scams. Car shoppers were swept away to the fraudsters cleverly baited trap, where their money and identity was stolen!

He documented and produced several screen videos of these eBay cross site scripting XSS JavaScript Redirect scams in action. In this one below we used a Firefox Plugin called No Script to stop the redirect and show the elements that was doing the redirect.

eBay Motors Zero “0” Feedback seller late model car scams. Around April 2013 we were getting an increase in emails from car shoppers that were getting scammed. After taking a drive over to eBay Motors, Doc was appalled with all the obvious late model car scams he were seeing.

Current model year and down BMW, Porsche, Range Rover, and many other obvious scam auctions. All listed by newly registered sellers with no feedback whatsoever.

Another blogger we know played one scam out and was sent the below email. Not only were the scammers attempting to steal your money, They would phish your identity as well, in a 1-2 double whammy scam.

The whole idea of this scam was to phish the buyer out of an $8450 deposit by bank wire transfer. Of course by calling that toll free scam eBay support phone number the fraudsters would also steal your identity.

With the large number of scam listings we were seeing, it’s very possible these new accounts were being set up with someones stolen identity, and credit card.

eBay Second Chance Offer Scam That Will Phish Your Identity AND Steal Your Money!

eBay Second Chance Offer Scam That Will Phish Your Identity AND Steal Your Money!

Doc documented these deadly car scams using Narrated HD Screen Video and archived them in his Video Server.

Averaging at least a single video daily and sometimes two or three. He would Google the VIN and quickly find out who the legitimate seller was. eBay started pulling the scams but like back in the good old days the scammers just re-listed.

There is NO Seller Limits or Verification for eBay Vehicle Sellers. A fraudster could set up a sellers account with a phished credit card and list a Rolls Royce or other expensive car with no verification whatsoever. I had suggested eBay to set up ID Verify for anyone selling a motor vehicle but that never was implemented.

So as long as eBay refuses to secure their website and allow fraudsters to phish car shoppers, Doc will continue to publish them as a warning to the public. This also goes for scammers conning prospective buyers in Amazon’s or anyone else name.

As it is now – it’s not illegal for a company to have security issues. Possibly the government will take action by passing a law that will force companies like eBay to properly secure their website. It’s my opinion that a shopper on the net should have the right to shop securely. And big fines for companies that refuse to secure their venues.

Apparently things are not very rosy at eBay Motors headquarters like they were back in the good old days. Despite the eBay media pr machine spinning out positive articles and news, this article by Richard Truette of Automotive News paints a grim picture, why eBay Motors is losing traction.

Just beware when car shopping if you come across an unbelievably good priced car deal. There’s usually a reason that the price is so low. It could be a scam, or a vehicle with an undisclosed salvage title, or other major problem.

Always inspect or have someone inspect a car and it’s title documentation before sending payment or a small deposit. Remember.. “Don’t let GREED Make A Believer Out Of You!” Remember.. Doc sez ~ If you can’t inspect the car and it’s title documents first – forget about it!

We will leave you with this final tidbit. In early July 2011 Doc’s website was the victim of a particularly nasty DDOS Attack. At that time unknown to him, the FBI was investigating fraudsters using eBay’s vehicle purchase protection (VPP) branding to scam internet car purchasers. Doc’s website had been reporting on scammers that used eBay VPP to defraud good honest eBay members since at least the middle of 2009. So we were 2 full years ahead of the FBI when they started their investigation.

Doc will always believe eBay was behind this attack to prevent the FBI from seeing how many years Doc’s website had been reporting VPP fraud and educating consumers how to avoid eBay Motors VPP Branding Fraud. 😡

He also believes the old saying “nothing hurts worse than the truth” is positively appropriate in this situation. So the big question remains, are corporate profits more important that a shoppers safety and security?

Former eBay Motors PowerSeller and retired licensed car dealer shares 19 years of eBay observations. Doc is not afraid to blog his true opinion of what led to this once great venue's fall from grace without applying any sugarcoating or holding back!

7 Comments

  1. Aztech

    Congratulations I see your tenth is up, I thank you for all your help, even buying a car off ebay helped me out last year. I purchased a BMW with 43,000 from a listing from craigslist, the add stated repo must sell. Thanks to your site, the car turned out to be well taken care of I even got all the records since it was an instate car under a 150,000 extended maintenance program. I purchased the car, and the dealer even let me keep the maintenance program. Thanks ebay motors sucks.

    Reply
  2. Andy

    Ebay has it out for you doc. Better be prepaired for another ddos attack.

    Reply
  3. best

    Very nice post. I just stumbled upon your weblog and wanted to say that I have really enjoyed browsing your blog posts.
    After all I’ll be subscribing to your rss feed and I hope you write again soon!

    Reply
  4. Tony

    I just got the fishy smelling email about a ar valued very low.

    Let me to explain you better how this works. You send me your full name and your full shipping address and phone number so I can initiate the transaction. eBay contacts you with further details regarding the payment and shipping process. You submit the payment to eBay, eBay confirms the payment and asks me to release the shipment. I ship the car which should be at your door within 2-3 days with all the necessary papers (clear title, bill of sale, user’s manual, keys etc).You have a 5 days inspection period before you confirm the deal and eBay forwards the payment to me or you cancel the deal and get your money back .
    Basically eBay holds your money safe until you confirm that this car is what you have been expected and you want to buy it. It is not a sight unseen deal.
    On the other hand I can ship my car knowing eBay has your money and you won’t “disappear” with my car. We are both covered.

    Anyone seen this or have a comment?

    Reply
    1. Doc (Post author)

      Good catch, Tony..

      Scammers are everywhere!

      Reply
  5. Kellie

    My friend was JUST scammed out of money… it is sickening! he’s young and worked until he saved enough to buy a car. found a “great deal” online. took all his money and they disappeared.

    I’m trying to help him sort it all out, but the FBI and Police and all sorts of people are now involved. but I doubt that he will get his money back…

    I just feel so bad, because that was his savings and all he had… so no, no money and no car!

    it is crazy to think that you go to eBaymotors.com find a car, then click on it and it takes you to a phishing page and not the real deal 🙁

    Reply
    1. Doc (Post author)

      Unfortunately there is a lot of vehicle fraud going on. It’s a 50×50 responsibility in our opinion.

      The buyer should verify the transaction is legitimate. Websites like eBay, Craigslist, etc, should verify the seller is the vehicles owner before allowing the listing to go live.

      Reply

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.