HomeCyberBust6 Most Popular eBay scams

6 Most Popular eBay scams

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The majority of the eBay scams happen on the eBay platform between a buyer and a seller. However, there are other scams perpetrated with eBay’s name without being a seller or a buyer on eBay.The good news is this: as a buyer or a seller on eBay; you can recognize most of these popular eBay scams and take preventive measures to protect yourself from being scammed.

To help you fight and protect yourself from eBay scams, I have listed out the most common eBay scams, how to recognize them, and how to protect yourself either as a buyer or a seller on eBay.

Six Most Popular eBay Scams

Common popular eBay Scams to avoid as a buyer

  1. Buying an expensive box or photograph from an auction

This scam made the headlines twice in its early days in the UK. This scam involves a seller listing some popularly demanded goods, e.g., an iPhone or a Nintendo PlayStation waiting for a buyer to win the auction.

The unsuspecting buyer gets a picture or a box from the seller; the seller claims that technically, the buyer ordered for an empty box or a photograph.

How to prevent this scam

  • Read the listing carefully and watch out for key phrases like ‘box only,’ or ‘picture only.’
  • Be wary of suspicious winnings
  • Check out the seller’s history and listings; you should keep away from sellers with pretty scanty listings and history.

Most times, victims of this fraud types usually get a refund of their money from eBay.

Read Also; 15 Tips to Protect Your Privacy Online

  1. Seller takes off with your money

You send money to the seller for a product, but the product never gets to you, neither can you find the seller.

In most instances, eBay’s money-back guarantee for buyers protects the buyers along as they didn’t take delivery of the product. However, there are categories of products and services that are not covered by eBay’s money-back guarantee. These products and services are of high value, with prices costing above a thousand US dollars.

Such products and services include

  • Real estates
  • Websites and businesses for sale
  • Vehicles
  • Some office equipment
  • Services
  • Items sold by Sotheby’s

How to prevent such scam

  • Pay only at the point of collection
  • Meet with the dealer face-to-face
  • Request for more details
  • Avoid buying goods, and patronizing products not listed under eBay’s money-back guarantee
  1. Seller ships products with an incorrect name

The seller ships the correct item you have ordered for the right address. However, the seller tricks you into believing that you have got the wrong product by shipping it with an altered name. Hence you will be forced to return the product without opening it.

In this situation, your money-back guarantee is voided once the product is marked as ‘Returned’ or ‘Refused.’ The seller keeps your money and also gets his goods back. You are left with no options because this issue is registered as a resolved dispute, and you can’t any feedback once a dispute is marked as ‘resolved.’

How to prevent such scams

Open all products coming to your address if you’re expecting a package from eBay, the address is correct, and the tracking shows the product delivered.

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  1. Phishing emails from eBay

Be wary of opening emails purportedly from eBay, asking you to click on a link or provide private information about yourself. Clicking on the email link redirects you to a fake eBay site that looks like the actual eBay site set up to harvest essential details like the username and password to your eBay account.

How to prevent such scam

  • Avoid clicking on links in messages purportedly from eBay
  • Check your eBay account from a secure browser or use a VPN to secure your information
  • Verify before providing sensitive information like bank details.
  1. Fake PayPal account

Some buyers can trick you with a fake PayPal account or a fake confirmation email from eBay into believing that they have paid for purchased products.

How to prevent such scam

  • Check your PayPal account balance before shipping any product to the buyer
  • Do not click on any link in the PayPal confirmation email

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  1. Sealing deals outside of eBay

A buyer tricks a seller with the idea of paying privately outside of the eBay platform. The seller doesn’t have to pay for transaction fees.

In most cases, the buyer either does not pay, or they report to eBay, claiming that you sold a damaged or counterfeit product.

How to prevent such scam

All transactions should be on the eBay platform. On no condition should you engage in any transaction with the buyer outside of the eBay platform.


So there you have it; the most recurring popular eBay scams. To protect yourself from falling a victim of a scam on eBay, you should familiarise yourself with eBay’s security center for current, up-to-date tips on staying safe on eBay.

You should also check out eBay’s guidelines before engaging in any transactions no longer on eBay.

As a seller, you should not ship out any item until you have received payment. As a buyer, always read through listings carefully and in detail, and you should avoid giving out sensitive information without verifying the claims. Also, it would be best if you got yourself familiarised with eBay’s money-back guarantee.

READ ALSO: 5 Common Online Scam Tactics


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Daniel Segun
Daniel Segunhttp://www.techsegun.com/
Daniel Segun is the Founder and CEO of SecureBlitz Cybersecurity Media, with a background in Computer Science and Digital Marketing. When not writing, he's probably busy designing graphics or developing websites.


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