Fighting flash fraud on Ebay

The authors of this blog want to elimnate flash fraud on Ebay

New powerseller on ebay offers fake capacity flash drives?

with 9 comments

An ebay member in China since 17-Feb-09 silviajune built up a good feedback score and acheived power seller status in a short time mainly by selling packs of 3 stylus at a big loss. Most sold at 1p with free P&P!! Now why would anyone do something like this? Is silviajune mentally defective? Did this seller fail to grasp basic arithmetic at school? Somehow we doubt it. We think that this is probably yet another cleverly planned ID for the purpose of selling fake flash.

Just recently this seller has started selling very familiar models of flash drive that are commonly used in fake capacity USB flash drive scams – we present an auction listing for one of these below:

silviajune

As always we strongly advise ebayers to test all flash memory with the free program h2testw.

Report in to SOSFakeFlash if your testing confirms you have a false capacity device.

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Written by fightflashfraud

July 4, 2009 at 1:58 PM

9 Responses

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  1. Hi Power Seller,

    The comments from Bo and others indcate that your theory may not be as whaky as it seems. However, this blog is dedicated to he issue of fake memory on ebay.

    Maybe yourself and others who noticed other issues on ebay should set up another blog??

    fightflashfraud

    November 20, 2009 at 7:30 PM

  2. Did anyone just get another high-value purchased by NPB using a low feedback buyer’s account to do the bidding/buying? Did all these new high value NPBs start around the month of April right around the same time the new “Cancel Transaction” feature showed up on the scene?

    I have had tens of thousands a month in NPBs which don’t exhibit the normal pattern of where the “kid bids” using his dad’s account or bids from the guy who is mad at $5.50 shipping costs on a $.99 item and just doesn’t pay in the end. I can handle all those and have never thought twice about those types of NPB over the years. The ones that have caught my attention recently are these are strangely, non-existent bidder accounts used to purchase these high-value items month after month after month.

    Here’s where it gets interesting. I have a theory that it’s actually eBay using stale accounts to fake increased revenue to shareholders during this difficult and challenging time for our economy. If this was happening only to me it would support my narcissistic personality trait but I have been told by 5th floor doctors that the world doesn’t really revolve around me so I have to assume I am not the only one getting these high-value NPBs. Am I correct?

    Here is a quick example to demonstrate the potential magnitude of my theory: take only 2,000,000 of these “stale accounts” which could each be used to randomly purchase $5,000.00 in items each month(by ebay suggesting that sellers use the now faster, more convenient, less punitive- hence no potential negative for the seller- “cancel transaction” feature they keep these buying accounts in play for the duration of this scheme) would accumulate 1 billion dollars in sales and around 300 million dollars in fees from those sales. Delays in the NPB/Cancel Transaction system for fees recovery would make it pretty easy for ebay to actually collect those fees from sellers at the end of the monthly billing cycle. If only 25% of those people didn’t ask for their fees back, 75 million dollars a month remains for the taking.

    Just ask yourself if you could steal 75 million dollars a month using a way which was nearly impossible to identify and even harder to prove by anyone, would you?

    Today on the phone I actually told ebay complicated theory. This was right after I had a shouting match with Trust and Safety as the representative was arguing with one of their most unappreciated sellers (Top Level Power Sellers). The lady said, “Sir, I would know if ebay was doing something like that”. Yea right, that customer service representative would be the first person brought in on the “billion dollar a year conspiracy”…NOT! She also said it wasn’t the sellers who make them money, it is the buyers; implying that seller’s business is not important to them and I should go bother someone else and let her get back to something more important. I have never been so mad at ebay as today and was absolutely screaming at her but I was screaming very good points and not cursing at all, which is why she probably didn’t hang up on me after the first utterance of my outlandish theory.

    If some of the largest servers in the world can trace IPs, MAC, user info bits, and other info which they use to pick on people, they should be able to easily identify accounts which have not been logged into for quite some time(years probably), scramble all their account info around with the other accounts (I usually get these bidding accounts which contain up to three separate account’s info in one. a name from one, address from another and invalid phone number) as not to be able to have a seller be able to ever talk to an account owner, have these accounts randomly bid on items over $500.00, sit back and watch the money pour into their accounts.

    When ebay says it’s hackers who take over these accounts using phishing emails and then do this bidding you have to ask yourself what the motivation would be to go through such extremely technical and time consuming work and effort with absolutely ZERO benefit to the “hacker”. If there was some gains from these fraudulent bids/purchases or if these hackers attempted to pay for items with stolen PayPal accounts, I might even consider my theory to be more remote but the more I think about this, the more it seems so possible with the infinite computing resources at ebay’s disposal.

    Of course I will probably be visited by hired hit men for writing this post regarding this particular issue but I will be darned if I am going not say anything…that is of course unless ebay cuts me in on the scam. All I am asking for is free supersize photos for life 🙂
    Let me know how crazy I sound and if anyone has any supporting or opposing information that I have not considered to explain away this situation.

    Power Seller

    November 20, 2009 at 7:32 AM

  3. Hi Traveler – I am going to put you in touch with another project member who is digging deeper into what is going on with this fraudster. Think the two of you have communicated before but may not have each other’s email addresses. We will be interested to read what your investigations reveal!

    fightflashfraud

    August 9, 2009 at 8:46 PM

  4. This seller has stepped up listings to one every 5 minutes. That works out at about 300 in the next 24 hours alone.

    Traveler

    August 9, 2009 at 8:22 PM

  5. Welcome to the club. A number of us got whacked for doing just that over the months.

    ebay community boards? They are censored. You say something out of line and you receive a very threatening email from ebay.

    The community boards are not for stark naked truth. The magnitude of the problem and also the sales for the last five years runs into the many millions.

    ebay has to do anything it can to keep a lid on the truth. A fake or counterfeit watch or designer hand bag does not carry the same terrible consequences to a consumer. Only money is lost. Data and files is another matter.

    ebay has permitted and continues to permit the sale of “data poison” plain and simple. What happens to those who sell or permit the sale of poison?

    Do not expect “free speech” on an ebay community board. Once again, it is an illusion. Spin. Just like ebay enhanced buyer experience or paypal buyer protection. It is a marketing ploy to reassure members.

    BTW regardless of continued persecution on eBay, the FrankenFlash Project is receiving reports that fake flash sellers in the Orient are getting extremely rattled and nervious by our sites. So regardless of sanctions on ebay community boards, word gets around.

    My advice?

    To any ebay member who reads this, and who is a victim, go post on a community ebay board. The more the merrier. Especially in different ebay countries. Keep them busy. Make them spend that fake flash profit keeping employee’s busy. Use mis spelling too, makes it more difficult in searching for your opinions. Remember computer programmes are very dumb. They are very cheap in hiring computer programmers. Translate your “fake” and some key words into foreign languages. Again, computer programmes dumb.

    Since they are determined to choke the truth, be “CREATIVE”!

    TechChips

    July 22, 2009 at 4:39 AM

  6. I started to post a few warnings about fake flashes on the Ebay ‘community boards’. I have now been banned from posting 😦

    Good old Ebay trying to cover its tracks.

    Not.

    Bo.

    July 22, 2009 at 2:36 AM

  7. As someone who had a false negative left by a non-paying buyer myself (which ebay refused to remove despite the fact that the ebayer de-registered himself with a feedback score of 1!) I fully agree that ebay has lost the plot.

    The way things are going we have to say, in all honesty, that frankenflash project members wonder whether there will be anything except fraud on ebay in the future.

    fightflashfraud

    July 21, 2009 at 10:57 PM

  8. To be honest …. there is a LOT of truth in the above message.

    Even I have thought very carefully about filing a dispute for a Non Paying Bidder. (Ebay will not normally remove negatives from Non Paying Bidders ….. I have two negatives and 1 neutral from NPB’s).

    Last week I advertised over 600 items and sold about 36 items. 7 items have been classed as ‘Lost In Post, and 3 are NPB’s. I will, of course, start disputes and try and get my Ebay fees returned …………… but I am very worried that I’ll get more negatives on my Ebay account. Ebay have TOTALLY lost the plot and the fun has gone out of selling. Each day is now full of trepidation.

    Reading what Powr Seller says …………….. it actually makes sense. If Ebay won’t remove negs received from NPB’s, then people will STOP filing for return of final value fees from Ebay/Non Paying Bidder, as the seller will be too scared.

    Bo.

    July 21, 2009 at 9:59 PM

  9. Please be aware that there is a new FRAUD being implemented right before your eyes on eBay.

    It’s is difficult to identify due to it’s cleverly hidden implementation.

    Fake and nonesense accounts are being created and used to bid on high value items with no intention to pay.

    These are actually account created and managed by eBay servers/people.

    A normal non paying bidder situation used to be resolved by waiting the standard 7 days and filing a NPB Alert. After the expiry of an additional 7 days, the seller could choose to place a strike against the buyer and receive a fee refund. These buyers were often ones who had a problem with some term or condition they didn’t approve of or communicated they simply changed their minds.

    BUT NOW….

    Suspicious and mysterious account using fake or missing account information are being used to target items in the 1000-10000 range. These accounts having missing or invalid contact information are considered a violation of the TOS and used to be immediately suspended or the accociated transaction was nullified/cancelled leaving no trace of it on the system. NOW….these accounts are not being treated them same and it’s left to the sellers to finalize the cancellation process to receive a refund.

    Often sellers will not do this because They fear that a negative strike against the buyer will cause them to leave a negative feedback. This fear for the seller is overwealming, especially for business owners who depend on eBay for a living.

    With over 20,000.00 in npb sales on my two accounts in the last 30 days, the numbers being added to ebay’s sales figures and the subsequent FVF collected as a result are most likely staggering. It is my estimation, a high percentage of these fees go unrecovered or unclaimed by seller out of fear of a negative.

    Although a new feature has been added to allow the immediate starting of the 7 day process for refund, it’s a little known feature and most likely would be used as a defense to this accusation.

    The winfall from Ebay’s new NPB fraud coupled with the revenue from 21 day holds are difficult for laymen to comprehend. These two matters should be investigated by federal trade comission authorities and charges brought forth against management if crimes are discovered.

    I am convinced that Ebay is involved with NPB Fraud. The next time you have someone who hasn’t said a word to you after 24 hours from invoice being sent….open your eyes to the truth. eBay is trying to steal your money while making itself look good to shareholders.

    From a 10 year power seller with a retarded savant like illness which allows me to see the truth in situations easier than others.

    Powr Seller

    July 20, 2009 at 5:06 AM


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