First off, let me state that over 99% of eBay users are genuinely honest, it is the remainder that catch the headlines as people ONLY report bad news widely.This article is aimed at advising you on how to protect your eBay account. These guides can also be used to protect other online accounts you may hold.
First off, how do they get my details?
If I was to call you on the telephone and ask for your username and password, you would tell me where to go right? So why do many users enter this information into an unsolicited email?
The sites that ask for your details are usually what is referred to as “phishing sites”. Phishing sites are malicious sites that will look like the real banking sites they are pretending to be. These sites will ask you to enter your username and password so that they can verify you are the person making the purchase they are emailing.
These emails normally take the form of an e-mailalert containing a link that tells you the site you have accessed is safe, this is a common method for setting up the alert. You will be directed to a web page that once you have authorized the site to access your account information.
When you visit the site in question, what happens is you are asked to sign in. You are asked to give your usernames, passwords and more information about your account. Most all of your information will go into the hands of criminals. What good then, is an e-mail if they are able to capture all of your information?
In addition to phishing, there are a number of other malicious e-mail campaigns that imitate legitimate bank sites and ask you to send sensitive information like you credit card numbers, pin numbers, or bank accounts. I have received several of these hoaxes. The last one I received was for our bank, Wells Fargo. Here is what it said:
“Dear Wells Fargo Customer,
You have received an e-mail from Wells Fargo (We) saying that there has been an error in your account (Statement of Account) and that you should click on the link below to update your account.
“This link sends you to a web site that looks similar to Wells Fargo’s website. On this web site, you will find information about statements, account updates, and novelties. However, this web site is bogus. It doesn’t even have a working link to Wells Fargo’s site.
“Instead, this web site sends you to an Internet address that loads a fake copy of Wells Fargo’s website. Once you visit the site, it captures your sensitive information and sends it back to the criminals who wrote this e-mail.
“To guard against this fraud, it is important to look for a closed padlock in the status bar at the bottom of your browser window. Right after the http (Hypertext Transfer Protocol) tag, click on the padlock and then browsing to the ‘my accounts’ area of the new window.
“This will show you that they have closed the padlock and that the criminals can no longer reach your account.
“Also, shortly after your account was opened, the phone number in the lower right corner of your browser will change. If the number changes to a area with charging rumors, change it to a area without ads like the whistle.
“Finally, this type of fraud can happen to anyone, including you. Never let your emotions get triggered by suspicious phone calls. By doing nothing, you may get infected right in front of your home without you even knowing it. Guard your PC well.