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Different ways to steal this laptop off me – or what to watch for when selling stuff on eBay


This faux eBay auction is funny but kind of worrying too. It’s basically a description of some of the many ways you can get ripped off if you’re selling stuff on eBay. A friend of mine got done selling his Mac laptop on eBay. They gave him a fake Paypal account and asked for a fast physical handover. The money was transferred, he met them and handed over the laptop and the next day the Paypal transfer was cancelled as being ‘fraudulent’ or something. Nothing he could do.

I doubt that the list will stay there for long, so I’ve copied the relevant bits here as a longer term warning. File Attachment: ebaywarnings.txt (3 KB)

 1: A Fake “Item Not Received” (I.N.R) Claim – All you simply have to do here is purchase my item using an unverified paypal account. Then when you receive the laptop, simply claim that you didn’t receive it at your registered (credit card) and paypal will give you all your money back !


  • funny list, and yeah ebay already took it down, glad you saved it (maybe just copy/paste it into the post here for easier reading for everyone?).

  • hmmm for some reason that comment didn’t work, i’ll try again: this is a funny/scary list, it is kind of sad how scammy ebay has become. they already removed it, so thank you for grabbing it! also, might want to just copy/paste it into this post to make it easier to read…

  • Good idea Andy. Here it is, hope it formats OK.


    PAYPAL: Paypal is currently ebays preferred method of stealing high value electrical items off sellers. There are a number of various ways you can use to steal this laptop using paypal.
    1: A Fake “Item Not Received” (I.N.R) Claim – All you simply have to do here is purchase my item using an unverified paypal account. Then when you receive the laptop, simply claim that you didn’t receive it at your registered (credit card) and paypal will give you all your money back !
    2: A Fake “Item Significantly Not As Described” (S.N.A.D) This is a great way to steal items off sellers. Simply start a dispute after you get the laptop making up some lie about the item being damaged etc – You could use Photoshop to make up fake pictures of damage. Paypal will ask you to send the item back to me, but don’t bother – they never enforce that on buyers and after a short wait you will get all your money back and you will still have the laptop.
    3: A fake “Unauthorised Use” Claim – This is a super way of stealing items on ebay and is widely used. Simply claim that someone hijacked your account (paypal & ebay) and that you didn’t order the laptop. Then in conjunction with a fake I.N.R claim you can simply steal the laptop and of course, get your money back.
    4: A Stolen Credit card – Of course, ebay make no real attempt to vet any of its buyers, so hey, just register a new ebay account using fake ID information and link it to a paypal account set up with a stolen credit card – and hey presto – A free laptop.

    Although officially banned on ebay, fake western union payments are the preferred way for Nigerian Scammers to steal high value electrical items. Simply email me (using pigeon English) telling me that you would like to buy this item using Western Union – Tell me that you would be happy to pay over the odds for the laptop and that it is a present for your mother in law. Then send me a fake western union payment notification and I send you the laptop – Perfect. This method of stealing items off sellers is very widely used on ebay and of course, as ebay do not properly verify buyers its easy to do. Make sure you use Pigeon English as I am really really stupid and it’s bound to fool me.

    If you are a traditionalist like me you may prefer a good old mugging. Simply offer to meet me on some dodgy housing estate somewhere and have a load of you mates hiding behind a hedge with a few iron bars. Again, offer to pay me over the odds as there is nothing better than using a sellers greed to bait them into a scam. I would be grateful if you could avoid killing me as this will cause bad publicity for ebay which would be terrible.

    In the unlikely event that you are actually a genuine buyer then you really should be shopping in a real shop and not this scammers paradise. However this laptop does really exist and is really for sale. You can email me or skype me with suggestions on how we may actually transact this item to both our satisfaction – with both our safety in mind. Don’t even think of buying it using paypal. I’ve only listed it as accepted because ebay run a protection racket that means I have to accept it. If you do pay by paypal I will simply refund your payment and give you a nice new shiny NEG.

    Of course you will no doubt be aware that from May onwards you will be able to blackmail sellers into giving you free P&P / discounts etc. You will be able to give them neg feedback and they will not be able to give you any.. I regret to advise you that because this rule does not come in until May this option of scamming me is not open to you yet.

  • Ebay should allow any kind of payment processor at the disposal of the seller (the real victim of most of these free-stuff-scams). If I were to sell on Ebay I would use something like where buyers wont get any change of getting their money back based on any buyer-related-lies.

    Also money order and checks sounds like a OK way of receiving money, even though according to Ebay's latest payment policy you can't even choose to get paid that way any more.

    I got two words for Ebay: NOT FAIR!

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