Why Does eBay Need My Information? (A Phishing Scam Story)

I was involved with an eBay phishing incident yesterday. Someone had purchased something from eBay and I received the invoice / receipt, along with a notice that my PayPal account was charged. The email was very well done, so I called eBay to make sure they were aware of this. This is where things turned a little weird for me.

Firstly, I don't have an eBay account. I do have a PayPal account, so maybe they are tied together. I don't know. I don't use eBay.

I mentioned this to the eBay support person I connected with.

She then proceeded to ask me for more personal information, "to see if you're telling the truth". To this point, she had yet to ask me for any details around the actual email / account / receipt ID I received from eBay.

I was annoyed.

She finally gave me an email address to forward the original email. (If you're interested: spoof@ebay.com / spoof@paypal.com). I sent the original email to both addresses (I received a response from eBay, not from PayPal).

I then contacted the vendor to let them know what was happening. They cancelled the order immediately and provided instructions for next steps. I have never used this vendor before but have a very good impression of them now.

Three different organizations handling this one issue in three very different ways:

  • eBay: Seemed to be focused on something other than helping the customer (Again, why do you need my personal information?)
  • PayPal: Quiet through the entire process. Haven't heard anything from them (other than the cancellation which was initiated by the vendor)
  • Vendor: Quick and decisive response with next steps.

I guess it's true what they say: Every customer interaction is an opportunity.

While the orders have been cancelled and I feel better that my PayPal account isn't being charged, the real reason I called was never addressed. If this person had simply added their email address incorrectly, it's likely they'll never know what happened.

And, they're probably pretty ticked off at eBay since their Seidio BD4-HKR5HEV4X Rugged Case Holster For HTC EVO 4G BLK never arrived.

 

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