Don’t Buy From an Ebay Scam Bot

Savvy Ebay shoppers look at a seller’s satisfaction rating, but it takes more than a glance.

Auction criminals are using bots to boost these rankings. The scammers establish an array of fake accounts and buy and sell 1 or 2 cent “virtual” items, like wallpaper and ebooks, to each other.

Each bot praises the other bot.

Reader Phil always checks out a seller by reading the satisfaction posts. “If there are a lot posted on or around the same date, or if the satisfaction posts show the purchases were sold at a very low price (1 or 2 cent sales) then the seller is most likely a scammer,” he says.

Apparently, bots are easily pleased.


Edit Your Comment

  1. kerry says:

    Toolhaus and can both help users suss out the good sellers from the bad by looking for shady connections like this.

  2. Papercutninja says:

    Also if you pay attention to their feedbacks. If the seller has like 20 feedback, all from the same day, with very similar feedback comments, don’t buy from them. The descriptions are usually sparse as well. Also, if a deal is too good to be true, it usually is.

  3. Ubermaus says:

    This goes for other sites like Epinions too (anything where buyers may judge a seller based on customer reviews). You’ll see a lot of shady camera-equipment dealerships listed there with eight glowing comments from brand-new posters who have no other reviews.

  4. I saw this on a camera auction on ebay. The rating was > 10 for the seller but when I looked, they were screensavers. oh how lame.

  5. AcidReign says:

    …..I bow to economic (lack of a high-paying job)constraints and buy used cars and houses, but otherwise, no. I can afford to buy new, or do without! Ebay scares the hell out of me. Especially the Paypal requirement on a lot of the items!