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Ebay investigation for fraud

post #1 of 10
Thread Starter 
I was not sure whether to post this here on in the general community. So mods if this is better in general can you please move it.

Ok so me and the hubby (more the hubby) decided to try and sale a few things we have at home on ebay. Well hubby got to talking to the night security guard at his work (an off duty police man) and the security guy said ebay was under investigation for fraud. Now I did not understand this because ebay does not really sale anything they are just the vehicle so others can. And hubby said the cop explained it like this:

Say you give a friend a ride to the bank. You assume he is going to cash a check but never ask him. And the guy ends up robbing the bank hops in car and you drive away. And say you still never really know he robbed that bank you can still be arrested for accessory after the fact.

But to me that is not a good example of what ebay does. This is how I see ebay. And if this is true they are under investigation:

Someone decides to steal a jacket from someone's house. After a week they decide to sale said jacket through the newspaper classifieds. And it does sale. Newspaper goes under investigation for fraud because said person sold jacket through the paper.

So I guess my question is should ebay be under investigation for some type of fraud after the fact if they are never selling a product?

**If you need me to clarify the question let me know and I will try to word it better.**
post #2 of 10
I used to do a LOT of buying and selling on eBay and still do some trades from time to time....
First I looked to see if eBay is under investigation for fraud and could not find anything. What happens once in a while is that either a seller will be selling a lot of stolen property, or that there sill be a seller who "sells" items that do not exist (they post pictures of things that do not belong to them for example, take the money, and disappear). If that happens it is not really eBay's fault, since as you said they are just a venue. Whoever commited the crime is the one that the cops go after.
Paypal is another issue. THey have been known to do some very strange things with people's money (like freezing accounts if a seller starts doing more business than usual) and violate bank law, but somehow they keep on going.

So no, I don't think it is eBay, I think there are some dishonest sellers (and buyers) so you have to watch yourself. It's not the same eBay it was a few years ago.
post #3 of 10
Thread Starter 
You do know PayPal is owned by Ebay. Or at least I have been told such. Thats one of the things I do not like about PayPal is that they can freeze your account for little to no reason at all. I had read once before why they can do that over and over again.

One thing I did read about is people driving the bids up on their own products. Even tho that is against Ebay policy.
post #4 of 10
While I was in Bosnia I had my Paypal account frozen for a while as apparently Bosnia is a 'proscribed country' known for money laundering! I was able to sort it out by sending some documents, but, like extra security at airports, I was quite pleased that they have these rules even though it can be inconvenient.
post #5 of 10
I've worked in a classified ads industry and IF eBay is under investigation, it's probably because some whiney customer got scammed, he can't locate the seller, so it's now eBay's responsibility.

We would get calls for people that sold a car through our classifieds ads, received a money order from the buyer, and turns out the money is forged...somehow it became "our" fault for selling the classified ads to this particular person. sheesh...

Most likely though, since I personally haven't seen an article for it, the fraud is behind the scenes, maybe an employee committed fraud on eBay or Paypal and it has nothing to do with the buyers and sellers.
post #6 of 10
I haven't heard anything about this but I do agree that one has to be careful on what they are buying on ebay.
post #7 of 10
I think the people prosecuting them would have to prove that eBay actually knew about fraud but didn't do anything about it.

For example, one of my friend knew a pawn shop in town that had a young man come in to sell a brand new violin. So the pawn shop called the only store in town who sold violins, asked them if they had one stolen. They did, so the pawn shop called the cops and had the man arrested.
If they had known that the violin was possibly stolen but consciously refused to investigate, then I think they should have been liable to a certain extent.
Same thing with eBay.... IF they actually choose to keep security low to make money out of frauds committed by others, then they should be liable. But I doubt that's what's going on...

But what if eBay advertising downplays the risk of fraud to the point of being misleading... is that enough for them to be liable.

(ok, I haven't been on eBay in years... so I don't know what's going on. Just speculating)
post #8 of 10
I have done many many Ebay transactions as a buyer, and occasionally as a seller.
I have recently had a bad eBay experience, and am going to be extremely hesitant from conducting any business over eBay again. What happned is this. In September, I purchased an item from a seller (a winter hat). In October, when I did not have hat, I contacted the seller, who was very prompt, very helpful, and informed me that they had been having customs issues, please wait another 2 weeks. So I did, and then contacted seller again, who took just over a week to reply, but explained they were away, was very helpful and promised to send me a new hat. It was by now the end of November. So after 2 weeks not having the NEW hat, I attempt to contact seller again. No response. I have 2 email addresses and a phone number, messages left at all 3 are ignored. I finally inform the seller that despite them trying to help me out, I have to report this item. I get a response "Too late for that now ". Which INFURIATED me, because it turned out the seller was right: if you dont file an Item not received witin 45 days of auction close date (60 for extended circumstances) you are screwed. Ebay policy says "do not file, attempt to resolve with seller, and then complain if seller is uncooperative. I explain that seller was deliberately EXTREMELY cooperative until the day past my 60 days. I was then ignored. I complained to Ebay, who told me that this happens sometimes on Ebay, they cant monitor everyone, and I should have filed even though the seller was being helpful. Thanks a lot Ebay - imo, that is them admitting that they know fraud is occurring on Ebay and are doing nothing about it - I hope they are being investigated. Paypal has the same policy, of course they do, they are the same company really. I am so mad that the seller admitted to me that they strung me along until it was too late for me to complain (and I forwarded ALL communication between me and him), and that Ebay does nothing about it. Here I am, out an item, out money, and because I tried to contact the seller, believed he was helpful/making amends, its "all my fault".
post #9 of 10
Paypal is owned by eBay, they bought them quite a few years ago.

eBay actually works with authorities to catch fraudulent buyers and sellers. If they were actually being investigated for fraud, it would be likely be for your normal business fraud. They are going to avoid any of it though. If they are even suspected as being party to fraud, no one would ever use their site. They have to stay extremely clean.

Previous poster, sorry for your bad experience, but you really shouldn't have waited a month before contacting the seller. Sounds like it was just a lack of knowledge about auction culture. You should expect a seller to send an item IMMEDIATELY; this is standard for auctions. Afte two weeks, you start to email the seller. By one month, you report them.

Most of my items arrive within the week. I once had an item take a little longer, but the seller actually sent me an email ahead of time to explain. I was buying plants, and he noticed that a cold front was coming through so that my plants would have been frozen! He shipped as soon as the weather turned good again.

I think that, given most people will be infuriated after two weeks, two months is a fair amount of time.

As far as downplaying the risk of fraud, that might be more interesting. However, they do have a lot of stuff on their site warning of fraud. If you find it, they're also very responsive (I reported someone once actually! I didn't get taken by the fraud, but someone else would have. I know they removed the posting, and I was told that they closed the account and started an investigation.)
post #10 of 10
I went searching for some news on this through forums and so far the closest thing I have found is that one of their top sellers is under investigation for fraud. He has now been banned from selling or buying on eBay.

He was using his ex-wife's account to "boost" sales.

Bidding Above
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