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An amazing story about eBay - it really proves how important it is NEVER to follow a link in an email and then fill in ANY info. I was intrigued to read about your German experience... somehow my eBay identity was used in the auction of a "Koffee-perkolator" or espesso machine or something? I received emails from Germany - nothing ever came of it in the end so I never really thought any more about it! Makes me wonder now though!!! Thanks again for some great clues about how to fight these things. An excellent article - well written, well-laid out & no glitches... everything worked as it should! [PDF's, links etc]!

Sydney, Australia

Sam n Joe Note: Thanks very much! Yes, I'm learning that, in this day and age, staying a step ahead of the scammers means having to learn tomorrow's technology today. And ... I can't control much ... but I can (sometimes!) control the HTML coding!

Your CNET posting is a tremendous help. For a couple of years, a couple of years ago, I was part of an anti-scam users' group at Yahoo Auctions. I've not been active lately but your tips and information are extremely helpful. IOU one!

J. Carter Daniels
Washington, DC USA

Sam n Joe Note: Thank you! VERY glad to have helped!

Interesting and enlightening article. I guess it's time to chane all my passwords/logins for all my accounts. The information that you had available to trace everything is amazing. I wouldn't even know where to start and I have been online since 1989. Thank you for the effort you put into your article. It has made me even more cautious, hence the lack of my e-mail address. But, with your knowledge base, you will be able to trace this without it. every year. I also shed a tear during Jim Nabor's "Back Home Again in Indiana". I was only 11 years old, but I continued my vigil/rememberance for Swede many years after 1973, with reminders on my closet doors.


Sam n Joe Note: No worries. I don't need to hunt you down ...    =|:-)    Thanks also for the mention of Swede. I appreciate that.

Thanks for your story, while reading I felt like I was you in great frustration, trying to get a handle on the chaos. I had a near miss while selling an item to someone who said they couldnt use paypal, and wanted a bank-wire for such-and-such a reason. Firstly the amount of the sale was no where near warranting a wire, and with my experience working at a bank for three years, I realized that he would have my bank's swift #, ABA routing number, and my account number, enabling them to electronically debit my account from anywhere in the WORLD. I reported him to eBay, and his account was soon thereafter reported to have been frozen for fruadulent activity. I wish I were as computer savvy as you are so I could help more people with my story. But it is not really a story since nothing was lost.

Thanks for your work in informing the general public.

Griffin Bean
Santa Rosa, CA USA

Sam n Joe Note: Thank you for sharing your story. Anything added from your personal experience can only lend itself to help educate others -- and hopefully prevent at least one repeat. We can't change the world, but saving the few is worth it.

Hi there
Very interested to read your story. I, too, class myself as a bit of a techno-geek etc and don't believe it could ever happen to me. But after reading your website I'm off to change the passwords on all my accounts Cheers for your service to the wider web - and remember, in addition to the scammers there are some decent people out here!

Michael Robinson
Edinburgh, Scotland

Sam n Joe Note: Thank you for your very kind words. I'm very pleased that my mistakes can help someone else more easily recognize them and avoid making them on their own. I do still eBay (as a verb!), but I am enormously careful. Sometimes you just have to go on gut instinct ... and I've not lost my ability to trust, but I am rabid about protecting myself and others.

Well, it is July 2, 7:43 my time, 10:43am Indiana time.....I always remember today, like a birthday to be remembered every year. I also shed a tear during Jim Nabor's "Back Home Again in Indiana". I was only 11 years old, but I continued my vigil/rememberance for Swede many years after 1973, with reminders on my closet doors.

Pam Edwards
Citrus Heights, CA USA

Great site. I love your pets, give them a hug. ill definetely come back to your site.

Search Engine Optimizer
ch, il USA -

Sam n Joe Note: Advertising legitimately is a recommended idea. Through my website is NOT a legitmate nor unique idea. (Link removed.)


I have spent all afternoon reading your horrible experience with the thief/spammer on your eBay account. I am new to eBay and just learning. A friend of mine sent your URL concerning this situation to me so. She wanted me to be aware of what is out there. I knew things were bad but did not know how bad. I would have had to wait the 30 hours to have eBay do something and then it would have been too late.

I had gotten emails about PayPal that I thought was a thief but did not reply to it. You have given me ideas of things I must do before I start doing anything on eBay.

It is also a pleasure for me that you did something in life in doing what people say you cannot do. You truly have helped the little person out there like me. Thank You very much sharing this experience with ME and all the others out there that will not let you know how much they too appreciate what you have done.

In Christ Love,

Gramma C
Florida USA -

Sam n Joe Note: Wow! Incredibly kind words -- thank you so much! I am very glad that this information helped you. That was my goal when preparing the information -- to help others avoid the frustration of being caught in the web of deceit. Best wishes!

Nice work, good and new ideas. If you have the time, I would appreciate visiting my work.

Geo Ionesco
ious, ious France -

This is a great place.

seymour, indiana usa -

Good job on your endeavors with your ebay account being compromised. not many like you would have taken that kind of action. not many are as computer savvy as you. thanks for the lessons you gave . if anything ever happens to me . I will definately refer back to your site.

Largo, Florida USA -

Came across your webpage while checking on a "spoof" eBay e-mail. It's the second one I've recieved and forwarded to eBay. It would seem they would be able to track down the culprits with ease and put a stop to it. I also have been scammed on eBay a couple of times, but I've been lucky enough to have not taken any large financial losses over them. It's really spooky to know that there are so many people out there willing to take you for everything they can. But, it's also nice to know that for every one of them, there's thousands that won't.

Dana Shelton
Kailua, Hawaii USA -

I have posted a link to your story on the main page of my site as a warning to all e-bayers.E-Bay is too big for their own britches. Good Luck!

Greentown, Indiana USA -

Just came in and found your site very interesting. Thanks!

Rent a car
Ohio, OPhio USA -

Great Site!

Bellevue, WA United States -

i like this site

adigo, lome togo -

Thanks for this web site. I found what I was looking for.

Fraser Island, Qld Australia -

Great site !!!

John- Bali Hotels Travel Holidays
Kuta, Bali Indonesia

Great article on the eBay fraud... I just stumbled onto the deal of a lifetime on a laptop computer. Odd that they wanted me to wire transfer funds to Germany, etc etc.. Of course there are no published email addresses for eBay where you can get any information - they insist that you enter your problem through CGI scripts on their website. However, they *DO* still get emails. I had sent my email of suspicion to and - within 30 minutes or so, eBay's robot sent me the email I have copied here below.

Thank you for taking the time to document this ever growing problem.

Best Regards - Randy

eBay email below:

Thank you for writing to the eBay SafeHarbor Team.

The address you wrote to ( is no longer in service. Please re-send your email to us through the Contact Us page listed below.

Using this service will help us direct your email to the right department and quickly respond to your inquiry. Choosing the most appropriate topic from this page will help us answer your question faster.

We appreciate your assistance in this matter and apologize for any inconvenience this may have caused you.


eBay SafeHarbor Team

Randy V
Minneapolis, MN

Nice site! You should check out They have, car covers, classic car covers, car bras, classic car bras dash mats, tonneau covers , seat covers, tire covers, floor mats and many other auto accessories and products at excellent prices. I think it would be good to add this link to your site. Butch M. Waingro

Butch Waingro
New York, NY USA

Nice doggy site, I was just browsing around I love dogs and found your page :-)

nyc, ny usa

Great Website! I really like it. Keep it up.

Greetings salvia.
salvia divinorum

Great Site!

Fish Oil
Scottsdale, AZ United States

Great Site! Lots of useful information. A must read for everyone!

Tim Bienie
Corpus Christi, TX USA

re: eBay fraud.

I found your story interesting and helpful.

Instead of trawling through the German site to cancel the auction, it is usually simpler to use another User ID to take it out with Buy It Now.

Here is my online auction fraud info page:



Outstanding description of online fraud pertaining to Ebay. Congratulations on being able to figure it all out.


Your eBay scam article was wonderful! Lots of great tips! I recently had my identity stolen (still not sure how, but I think there may be a trojan on my machine that somehow my McAfee isn't picking up because my browser goes all slow and jerky when I'm on eBay, and only then) and spent the last month trying to get it straightened out. I'm sure I could have done it in less time if I'd been as vigilent as you. Wow! My hat's off to you! Great work!

If you hear of any eBay identity stealing trojans out there and would like to pass them on, that would be great. Thanks again for the info!

Carol Rice

WOW!!!! This is a great website.


Your site is very good.

government grants

Thank you for such good info.

I have not been hacked/hijacked personly as I alwayse practice "safe keyboarding" but have "whois" on our corprate computers and found name add phone etc. put them in a page with the following to the hacker " i know who you are" then name add. phone# company name of the computer etc. then let them hack one more time. ( this page was all he/she could access at this point on our system) Hope this stoped them from doing this to others. any way had a good LOL

thanks and keep up the GOOD WORK

Daytona Beach, FL USA -

Hi Sam,

Thank you for posting I was doing a search for a different scam when I found your page. I had just received (4/13/03) an email titled Security Alert from "Ebay" with a link to a form that requested my ebay login and password. It looked funny to me and the link took me to a page with a URL that started with an IP address and not with

So, it felt wrong and I did not fill it out. I went to Ebay and tried to find any reference to the email and I could not. Then I tried to find a place to report this fake ebay email, but I could not find one. Maybe I was just not looking in the right place, I don't know.

When I read about your ordeal, wow. I am very happy that I did not fill out the form with my Ebay info. I do not believe that I would have been as quick as you to catch everything to prevent damage. I also have 100% positive feedback on my ebay account.

Anyway, in your Ebay Scam page, you list Ebay's email address to report scams. So, I just forwarded the fake email to them.

Thanks for talking the time to write it all out. Wow.

Best wishes for safe and pleasant ebaying :)

Loyda Olson
N Las Vegas, NV 89031

I am absolutely stunned at the info. & corrections you provided in the article about fraud. I will be ever grateful!!

Best Regards,
Indianapolis, Indiana USA -

Just reading this makes me dizzy! Never mind trying to straighten it out...God Bless you for your patience and being able to figure this out! But, I guess He did, as you did handle it quite well...

I will return to see where this goes...Interesting to say the least!


Hi Sam:

I was just reading the newest AuctionBytes e-mail [AuctionBytes-Update #91 - March 23, 2003], and was curious about how the scam on you had been perpetrated, as it is something I have heard and worried about with eBay. Although, I agree that 99% of eBay sellers and buyers are honest, there is that 1% that scares me to death. Your "story" was truly as frightening as any Stephen King book I've read.

Thank you for the many suggestions and hints that you offered as protection from potentional scams. I am not a novice to computers either, but only recently learned about tracing after installing Symantec's Norton Internet Security. I have been astounded at the number of Trojan Horse attempts there have been on my computer since the installation. And the traces have led to addresses in Spain, Peru, Australia, and several in the USA. The thought of how many of these Trojan Horses were perpetrated prior to my firewall being installed has cost me a few sleepless nights.

I think the biggest lesson I've learned from you is to not answer e-mails when I am not able to devote my attention entirely to what's at hand. It never hurts to wait a day to respond to an e-mail requesting information.

Also, although it is still hard for me, I am becoming more disciplined in the deleting of "potential" spam prior to opening it. If I don't recognize the sender, or the subject sounds a little too generic, I will delete first, ask questions later. Some members of my family think I am "over" careful regarding secruity, as I've suggested things to them, but after reading about your trials and tribulations, I know that I cannot err on the side of caution.

Thanks again. I will be forwording your "story" to my family and friends.

Best wishes,

Marjorie Koenig
Marjorie Koenig
Lomita, CA USA

What a drag about your accounts being compromised. You are a brave person to have investigated all of that and stopped the @!##@&$^!

Thank you for telling your story so that the rest of us who are smart enough to follow the link can learn from it. You Rule!

Anyway, I hope you keep us posted on any further developments in your case. I would love to see if the Thief ever gets what he deserves.

Personally, I believe in Karma. One day, in some way, they will get theirs.

Take Care!:-))))


I commend you for your diligence in preventing the attempted fraud concerning your eBay account! Just a few weeks ago I received the same email as you did and immediately forwarded it to eBay. It's not that I'm any more intelligent or more savy than you, oh contraire! My knowledge cannot hold a candle to yours! It was because of caring people like you sharing their experiences and taking the time to let others know that this might occur that put me in a state of high alert. I, too, was in the midst of a family crisis (my mother was dying) and was exhausted both physically and mentally; had it not been for the heads-up I probably would have fell for it just as you did.

Thank you, thank you, and thank you again for posting your experience! You handled this horrific experience with humor and a wonderful wit; your writing skills are to be admired. I learned a lot today and appreciate all the great links you took the trouble to provide. I hope your loved one has made a full recovery and that you are now well-rested. Please know that you have both entertained and enlightened the online community by sharing this most frustrating and sickening practice of some of the most sleazy creatures on this planet. May you have continued success with your auctions...God bless you and yours!

Salinas, CA USA

Thanks a bunch! This information was very helpful! I"ve learned a lot.

Maria Thompson

Real Nice Detailed Work!

It is aways good to see people helping people, which your EBAY warning page does a good job of.

Keep the good stuff coming --- you have a talent for writing!

Michael Paris
LockDown Corp.
Michael Paris
Dover, NH USA

Dear Gary - Great site! We met at Daytona 24 hours this year. I had mentioned I know I have photos of your dad and Dan Gurney at Limerock and Bridgehampton.I have not forgotten about digging them out. I will attempt to locate them in the next few weeks and get copies to you. Keep me posted on your progress with the Trans Am team this year.

I would like to see you race this year.

edbracer sunset beach nc
ed brunner
sunset beach, n.c. brunswick

Sam n Joe Note: Be sure to visit Gary Savage and Jimmy Gurney''s site at! We're proud to tell you that Savage-Gurney Racing's web site was also designed by us (!

Great site. I love your pets, give them a hug for me. I have three yorkies of my own, and they are the best!

Indianapolis, IN USA

It took me four days to get my ebay account back. I just simply answered a security update that looked so authentic on my way out of town. When I got to my destination, my email address and password had changed.

Unlike you, I did not have the savy to do all the work as quickly , but finally after screaming loudly enough, my account has resurfaced from the celtic region. I am buyer only with a 100% positive rating, at one point thinking of becoming a seller.

Now my entire attitude has changed. I am not sure that I will not just go back to retail totally, I can afford it. I feel Ebay should help and protect their buyers and sellers so much more.

This was just too much. Your site helped so much. My most humble appreciation.

jeb43 ebay
Janet B. Lydick
Friendswood, Tx -


Thank you for your web site!! Ebay was of liitle help to me in confirming these fraudulent e-mails. Thanks to your comments on Ebay I was directed to your web site and learned about this scam. Your information alerted me to drop my e-mail address from my user ID and simply delete any fraudulent e-mails that I receive. I am sorry that you were a victim of this scam but rest assured that honest people like me truly appreciate the information you have provided. In fact, I have passed your information on to 6 other people who are Ebay users that have received these fraudulent e-mails.


Please stop the rain at Daytona! Great site - Boomer Sooner!

Thanks Butch


When I was about seven years old, we used to watch Swede race motorcycles at Ascot. He was my absolute favorite, and my first crush. I followed his career to the end. When I was eighteen years old and pregnant with my son, Swede had been dead for a couple of years, and I announced that I planned to name the baby Swede Savage. My mother tearfully begged me not to saddle a baby with the name. "You'll regret it later," she said. Well, that baby is now nearly thirty years old, and I can tell you--I wouldn't have regretted it, and neither would he.

Lexington, KY

Hi -

Very interesting writeup. I got over here from eBay from the Safe Harbor discussion board because just about the same thing has just happened to me! I am very grateful that you took the time to capture and write this all down because it kind of bears out what I have just learned in the past few hours. I mistakenly responded a week ago to a 'Security Confirmation' message that had all appearances of having come from eBay - and as soon as I clicked send to return it I knew I had made a mistake! So here a week later I wake up to find 2 new auctions for 7 laptop computers under my account. I went in to cancel the auctions and found myself immersed in a German page. The 1 thing that I can add to your writeup is that eBay sent me a link to allow me to go right in and cancel the auctions without having to deal with trying to cut through the German language.

Although I am a software developer I have never spent much effort in dealing the multi faceted world of email - so I am not sure how you go about looking through the headers to find out and try to trace where everything came from. Do you know a good source where I can look all this stuff up and deal with it, because this tells me that I better understand the email world as well as I do the world of Microsoft .NET software?

Once again, your effort to document all this is something that should be read by all. Thanks.

Frank Best
Cotuit, MA USA

I have to thank my sister Laurie who helped steer me into racing, and for the link to this precious site. I will never forget the day Earnhardt died and the awfull grief I experienced at 40 years old and from my couch. I cannot imagine a child seeing that happening right in front of his eyes. Yet, when I see young kids at the races my heart smiles as they may be our future race car drivers. If not for the sacrifices and losses of the past, the sport of auto racing would not have the safety advances or achieved the feats we have come to appreciate. I was moved to tears by this site and appreciate all that I have learned from it. Thank you. I pray nightly for the safety of all involved in racing. May God Bless you!

Sandra L. Bohannan
Covina, CA USA

Great site and I love the work you've done at!! You are quite a friend and there are no words that can adequately state how much your efforts have meant to me and so many others. I'm always impressed with the new ideas that you come up with and I'll always appreciate your unselfish and unconditional help and support you have given toward the dreams and goals. Keep it up! Thanks!!!!!!!

Gary Savage
Eugene, Oregon USA

A wonderful website, thank you also for your kind words on my photography.

Love & Light

Stefanie Herzer
San Francisco, CA 94115 USA

Add to the Memory Lane!!

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