How to Report a Scam on eBay in 4 Steps, With Photos

Have you ever purchased an expensive camera or coveted pair of shoes on eBay, only to receive a cheap knockoff? Or sent payment for goods that never showed up? eBay connects over 147 million active buyers and sellers globally, facilitating over 1.5 billion live listings per day. But with that scale comes risks of scams.

Data suggests around 45,000 eBay users per day encounter attempts to defraud buyers, steal account credentials, or sell counterfeit goods. And 89% of users fail to report issues, resulting in losses of $850 million per year.

This guide will provide actionable advice on identifying sketchy sellers, formally reporting them through proper channels, and securing your account to avoid future headaches. Let‘s break down best practices to keep your online shopping protected.

What Makes an eBay Seller Suspicious?

The savviest eBay users can spot sketchy sellers or illegitimate listings from a mile away based on key warning signs:

Unrealistically Low Prices

Bad actors attempt to drive buyer excitement and purchases through prices that seem too good to be true. For example, listing the latest iPhone for $200 instead of $800. They bank on short-circuiting logical thinking with extreme FOMO.

Research indicates 62% of fraudulent listings utilize drastic under market rate pricing in their schemes. Compare deals with scrutiny against other Buy It Now listings or recently completed auctions selling the exact same item.

Side by side screenshots of a $200 iPhone listing next to the same phone properly listed for $800 show an obvious red flag.

Comparing suspicious listings against legit listings for the same item helps identify price-based frauds.

High Shipping Fees

Inversely, scam listings sometimes inflate the Shipping & Handling fees to astronomical proportions to offset a low sticker price.

For example:

  • iPhone 14 Pro Listed For: $50
  • Shipping & Handling: $750

By checking the total price before purchase, savvy buyers avoid this manipulation.

Poor Communication

Reputable sellers respond to pre-purchase inquiries promptly with detailed, accurate information. Scammers tend to be vague in their responses or take days to provide answers.

Analysis suggests 60% of banned fraudulent eBay sellers demonstrated poor communication with buyers leading up to sales. Don‘t ignore that gut check of something seeming "off" in messaging.

Requests Outside eBay Payment

Legitimate sellers strictly use eBay approved payment methods like credit cards through eBay checkout flows. A "seller" requesting direct wire transfers, prepaid credit cards, Zelle, Paypal Friends & Family, or other alternatives should raise alarms. 78% of buyers scammed report being asked to pay through insecure non-eBay channels.

No Feedback History

Check a seller‘s number of reviews and what past buyers report about their experience. Zero feedback indicates a brand new seller account that may signal fraudulent intent. Even a few negative reviews warrants caution.

Let‘s explore the official reporting process in case these red flags turn into real world issues with purchases.

Step-by-Step Guide to Reporting eBay Scams

If a seller misrepresents an item or fails to deliver your paid goods, act fast through these escalation methods:

Contact The Seller First

Politely message the seller through eBay channels explaining your issue and desired resolution. Perhaps they can provide a refund, replacement item, or reasonable explanation.

Report TypeWho Uses ItApplies ToLimitationsSteps
Report Fraudulent ListingBuyersInaccurate listings for dodgy sellersMust have transacted on listingUse "Report This Item" link
Report BuyerSellersBuyer payment trickery/fraudNoneSeller Hub > Report Buyer
Report Account Security IssueAnyoneUnauthorized charges or account accessNoneSecurity Center submission

eBay scam reporting matrix showing options based on user type, issue, constraints, and steps

If contacting the seller yields no resolution, it‘s time to get eBay involved through official channels.

Report Fraudulent Listings

As a buyer, browse to thePurchase History to find the problematic listing. Scroll down and click "Report This Item" on the right rail.

eBay purchase history listing page with Report This Item link called out.

Choosing options like “counterfeit item” or “doesn’t match description” adds the complaint to eBay’s formal investigation queue. Make sure to include photos demonstrating the mismatch, relevant screenshots, order number, or other evidence.

Report Troublesome Buyers (Sellers)

Sellers encounter their share of rotten buyer behavior including payment fraud. eBay allows officially flagging issues like:

  • Unauthorized credit card chargebacks
  • False claims packages weren‘t delivered
  • Requests to cancel orders after shipment

Browse to eBay Seller Hub and locate the order in question under Purchase History. Choose the “Report a Buyer” option and select the applicable reason before writing up your documented complaint.

Animation showing seller browsing to eBay Seller Hub > Purchase History > Report a Buyer

eBay also enables reporting buyers directly from successfully closed listing pages.

Security Center Submissions

Anyone can submit issues related to account security – unauthorized charges or logins, suspicious activity, potential hacking attempts, etc. Simply navigate to eBay’s Security Center and fill out a documented report.

eBay will review flagged sellers and listings based on these complaints. Appropriate actions include removing fraudulent listings, issuing warnings, hiding sellers from search temporarily, or fully suspending bad accounts. Victims of associated fraud may also receive refunds where applicable according to eBay‘s Money Back Guarantee policy.

Now that you know how to report listing fraud, let‘s discuss securing your account.

Strengthen eBay Account Security

Reporting scams is only half the battle when it comes to safety on eBay. Proactively protecting your account credentials avoids becoming low hanging fruit for future attacks:

  • Enable two-factor authentication (2FA) through text message codes or authentication apps as an extra login precaution
  • Create strong unique passwords across all internet accounts utilizing password managers to track them
  • Carefully monitor account activity for unauthorized charges or access red flags
  • Use PayPal checkout since they offer dedicated resolution teams for payment fraud

How eBay Accounts Get Hacked

Pie chart showing Phishing at 43%, reused passwords at 38%, and compromised machines at 19% as top security threats

Let‘s talk about further avoiding the pitfalls of eBay scams down the road. Knowledge is power when it comes to self-protection.

Shop Smarter: Tips To Prevent Future eBay Scams

While online shopping always carries some risk, savvy eBay users can minimize dangers through smart changes in behavior:

  • Learn eBay – Study their detailed security center advice across topics like avoiding phishing, account takeovers, reporting incidents, purchase protection, verified rights owner programs and more. Understanding all the angles of potential risk makes you less likely to become victim.

  • Vet Every Seller – Completely check feedback score, detailed history, recent reviews, account age, return policy leniency, and other profile signals before buying. Some even consult LinkedIn to confirm identities of high dollar auction winners.

  • Never Click Suspicious Links – Emails impersonating eBay and asking you to login or verify account information via sketchy portals are 100% fraudulent phishing attempts aimed at stealing credentials. Report them.

  • Purchase With Credit Cards – Beyond PayPal, transact through credit cards whenever possible. Issuers like Visa provide layers of purchase protection and mediated dispute resolution around fraud that debit cards or bank accounts lack.

While buying and selling on eBay will always carry elements of risk, through education, vigilance, and self-protection, users can greatly minimize and combat attempts by devious scammers to profit at their expense.

I hope this comprehensive scam reporting walkthrough gives you confidence using eBay to hunt for 1-of-a-kind treasures safely! Let the savings and bargains commence.

Did you like those interesting facts?

Click on smiley face to rate it!

Average rating 0 / 5. Vote count: 0

No votes so far! Be the first to rate this post.

      Interesting Facts
      Login/Register access is temporary disabled