eBay does their best to make communication with other buyers and sellers as painless as possible. Sadly, there are plenty of scam artists that are just waiting to use these features to their advantage. One such feature is the ability of an eBay customer or seller to ask you a question through eBay's “My Messages" service. If they've got a question about one of your auction listings, they can click on “Send seller a message" and send the question straight to your email inbox.
Once you open this mail, all you have to do is click on “Respond Now" to answer their question. After doing so, you'll be asked to enter your eBay username and password combination.
That's where the problem comes in for many eBay buyers and sellers. Legitimate potential customers use this feature, but plenty of scam artists send fake “eBay emails" that look exactly like the ones eBay sends - and when you enter your username and password, you're not even on eBay. You're entering your eBay ID and password on a site that looks like eBay, but isn't, and the scammer can see your username and password the second you enter it.
Common questions in these fake eBay emails include:
"What is the postage to West Virginia?" (Nothing against West Virginia, it's just that one persistent scammer picked that state. No one asks what the postage to their state is. )
"Why haven't you paid me yet?" This question makes you think you forgot to pay someone for an item. Sounds legitimate, but it isn't.
"WHERE IS MY ITEM?????" This sounds like an irate customer, but it could also be a scammer.
You might be asking “How do I tell the real questions from the fakes?" Easy. What I recommend is that you do not use the “Respond Now" button. Just go out to eBay, sign in, and click on “My Messages". If you see their question listed there, it's legitimate. If not - you know someone just tried to steal your username and address. You can report this to eBay, but most likely the eBay ID listed in the fake email is a fake eBay name.
Making money online, especially on eBay, means you have to be on guard against potential scam artists. If you go directly to eBay to log in rather than going through an email to do so, you've taken a giant step toward guarding the integrity of your eBay identity.
Chris Bryant is an eight-year veteran of eBay, and he wants eBay to change your life for the better just as it’s done for him! Visit http://www.freeebayauctiontutorials.com for his latest FREE eBay and eBay auction tutorial! Learn how to make money on eBay. It’s easier than you think!