Cyber thieves, horse trailer scams, etc.
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25 October 2006
Thieves have been posting fraudulent auctions under horse trailers (also ATVs, boats, computers, plasma tvs, etc.) for a year and a half that I know of. They typically offer high dollar aluminum trailers at a fraction of what the trailers are worth. When shopping for an item this expensive, it is always good to watch auctions for a while to find out what these items are selling for. If you see the same pictures coming up in auctions over and over you can be certain the auction is a fraud. Fraudulent auctions will generally keep the bidders' ID's private. They will give some reason not to use the "ask seller a question" feature through Ebay and ask that you contact them through a separate email address listed in the item description. Some of the auctions state bidders must be pre-approved or that bidders must contact the seller before bidding or the seller will cancel the bid. Most will list a buy it now offer in the body of the auction, but not use the "buy it now" feature through Ebay. If you contact the email listed in the auction (not the "ask seller a question"), they will ask for payment via wire transfer. NEVER DO THIS FOR ANY ITEM. They will sometimes tell you the item has been inspected by Ebay and/or is housed in the Ebay warehouse. Ebay never inspects anything and doesn't have any warehouses. Always look at the seller's feedback. If the items you see under the seller's feedback are not similar to the item in the auction, contact the seller using the Ebay "ask seller a question" feature and ask the seller about the item. VERY IMPORTANT - some of the cyber thieves have figured out how to load a dialog box in their auctions that makes it look like you have lost your internet connection. When you open their auction listing the box pops up and asks you to sign in again using your Ebay ID and password. NEVER sign in from an auction. Another trick they use is to send a fake email stating you won their auction and they are looking for payment. They will have a link with an item number. When you open this link, it asks for your Ebay ID & password. Don't fall for this. If you're not sure about the auction, check the "Items Won" on your "My Ebay" page. Don't respond to any auctions you didn't win and forward the email to firstname.lastname@example.org. Ask questions - its to your benefit and a true seller will not mind answering. Remember - if it looks too good to be true, it probably is. Rely on your common sense.
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