- EBay Sale Of The Century.....Sort Of
See if you can spot what's wrong with the following picture, a snap of an EBay auction for a PSP:
If you had said, "someone has bought it for over a thousand pounds" then you would be right. In addition, the winner seemingly has good feedback (a score of 111!)
What went wrong here? Well, it all seems a little tangled but let's check out the previous bids. Here's a shot of the auction with eight minutes to go (and we're already in the land of silly prices):
Note that the person winning has the less than spectacular name of "Bidder 9". Shall we see who our bidding buddy is?
..there's a surprise, they've been registered for less than a day. Ten items bid on in total, three bids on the PSP, all categories bid on involve electronics and generally expensive equipment.
If it had stayed like that and our clearly fake bidder had "won", that would be the end of it. However, as we can see, someone with a very good EBay score stepped in at the last minute and inexplicably put in a (completely crazy) bid. Shall we look at the individual bids on the auction?
As we can see, everything is normal until Bidders 8 and 9 arrive on the scene, throwing the price up to £500. Then, right at the end, the supposedly "normal" EBay user adds an extra slice of cash (bring things to the £1019 mark), ending up with a grand total of £1,550.
Now ask yourself - does this look like the profile of a scammer?
The answer, of course, is no. A long history of buying and selling, only one piece of negative feedback, and good overall scores. In fact, someone has left feedback today after receiving an item from this person. In all likelihood, this person has been phished and been used in a (fairly crude) fake bidding war. At a guess, the account hijackers would attempt to get the seller to accept payment by cheque or some other method, while seeing if they could get the item sent out before payment has arrived - using the rather large payment in waiting as a bargaining chip.
Of course, I contacted the seller and pointed out that the huge finishing total probably didn't mean this was his lucky day - he seemed fully aware that this was a scam of some description, but better safe than sorry....