I’ve been seeing an increasing trend in a phishing technique used to trick you into giving your eBay login account information.

The email comes disguised as a “Question from eBay Member”. eBay allows bidders and sellers to communicate somewhat anonymously by offering this tool for legitimate use. The spoofers are creating a lookalike email to the ones created using the legitimate mail. Often they say something like “I’m still waiting the package to arrive What happened? Please mail me ASAP or I will report you to ebay.” or simply “What happened with that item?. Please respond I’m desperate!”

Basically, they are just trying to get you to use the “Respond Now” button in their email which takes you to what looks like an ebay login page but is a forgery of ebay on the senders own server (in a country like Taiwan). Instead of logging you into ebay, they are just collecting your ebay user account and password if you type them in on this forged page.

The phishers send this to any email address they have in their spam database, they are not necessarily the address someone has used for ebay (that makes it easy to spot). They may send it to people who never use eBay. The point is, if they spread a wide enough net, they will get it sent to someone who DOES sell on eBay and who would WANT to respond to someone who is threatening to report them as a ‘bad seller’.

Always check the true domain name of any links or buttons in an email message (if you hold your cursor over a link in Outlook, it will often pop up the URL destination.) Or better yet– create and use your own bookmarks for online services you use– whether its eBay, Paypal, your credit card company, etc. Then if you receive a message that appears to be from a company you have dealings with, just don’t use the link in the email. Go out to your browser and use your OWN bookmark to access the login page, etc. Any notices or messages that were legitimately sent to you by the company should be available within your account.