Emails offering second-chance to buy item from lost eBay auction can be scams

April 12, 2013 8:22:05 PM PDT
A warning for eBay bidders: If you ever lose an eBay auction, you may be contacted about a second chance to buy that item, but in some cases, that offer is just an attempt to steal your money.

When John Manlove wanted to buy an airstream travel trailer, he turned to eBay.

"I bid up to $11,200 and thought, 'Hey if I get that, that's great.' But it went on beyond that," Manlove said.

Manlove lost the auction but days after it ended, Manlove was contacted by personal email by what appeared to be eBay offering a second chance to buy the trailer.

"It had the buyer protection symbols all over it and all of that. It had my name, my password name, and the name of the guy who was selling it," Manlove said.

That supposed eBay notification directed Manlove to contact the seller directly.

"I emailed the email address on there and the guy responds," Manlove said.

Manlove says a few emails later, the buyer was ready to accept $11,000 for the trailer, telling Manlove...

"You'll be getting an email real soon from eBay because I am going to tell them you are the guy," Manlove said.

That email arrived moments later, but instead of using PayPal, Manlove was directed to wire money to a bank in London. So Manlove called eBay.

"They said no, this is a scam," Manlove said.

It turns out all of those eBay emails were fake. It was part of an elaborate spoofing scam that Monica Russo with the Houston Better Business Bureau says consumers should know about and avoid.

"They were asking to a direct wire transfer, and that's a huge red flag, especially when you look where it was going. It was going outside the United States to the United Kingdom," Russo said.

This is not the first time this has been reported. In fact, eBay even has a way to report these kinds of spoofing attempts directly to the company.

Find Jeff on Facebook at ABC13JeffEhling or on Twitter at @jeffehlingabc13

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