Geeks With Blogs

Colin Bowern ... more of the usual bool

Recently I endeavoured to purchase a laptop on eBay.  Being a relatively sophisticated user I figured I could find and discern the validity of a decent deal.  I did succeed (well, waiting on the arrival at the moment is more accurate) in finding a good deal.  Throughout the process, however, I received numerous unsolicited emails offering up similar items.  The people who sent the emails purported to be the seller of the item which the referenced:

Message from eBay Member rocobar431  

I am the seller of the  SONY-VAIO-BX570B-2.26GHz-1GB RAM-17"- Item number: 6884582148 and i have subscribed to the ebay second chance program . Second Chance offers can be sent to any of the non-winning bidders if the high bidder does not buy the item, if a seller has duplicate items, or the reserve price is not met in a Reserve Price Auction. eBay Second Chance Offer is made to give a another opportunity to non-winning bidders to purchase the wanted items.   Ebay asked me to email all my trustable bidders that expressed the interest of buying my product and ask them if they want to purchase it. If you are stil interested in my item please reply or mail me at   


This request is related to item # 6884582148.

Marketplace Safety Tips 

Never respond to an unsolicited email that includes incentives to buy or sell an item off the eBay Marketplace. If you get such an email, please report it to eBay at Never pay for your eBay item through instant cash transfer services such as Western Union or MoneyGram - such services offer Internet shoppers no protection against fraud. 

Note: Immediately contact Rules & Safety if one of eBay's rules were violated, such as: 
- Your contact information was used for purposes unrelated to eBay business, published online or offline, or was used for the purposes of harassment.
- You received contact information that you believe to be erroneous.

Thank you for using eBay!

A little background check on the item and the member and I can see that there is no link.  On top of that the member has zero activity on their account and is less than a month old.  I would think it would be an easy win to enable an option for those who are not currently selling to disable unsolicited communication from members who  you have not interacted with. I emailed eBay to ask how this person could have sent this and I get the following:

We have reviewed your report and have found that the message you received was made to appear as if it had been sent by an eBay user, however, it was not. 

Is eBay running the scam?  Because when I look at the message headers it seems very obvious it was routed through an eBay mail server:

Received: from ([]) by with Microsoft SMTPSVC(6.0.3790.1830); Sun, 4 Jun 2006 07:17:59 -0700
Received: from ( []) by (8.13.5/8.13.5) with ESMTP id k54EHxE9003235 for <email-address-removed>; Sun, 4 Jun 2006 07:17:59 -0700
Received: from localhost.localdomain (localhost.localdomain []) by (8.11.6/8.11.6) with ESMTP id k54EHwb22880 for <email-address-removed>; Sun, 4 Jun 2006 07:17:58 -0700

Do they need to have an open relay server closed up?  Windows Live Mail reports this email as coming from a “Known Sender”.  I think this example highlights a key problem with the language used because I don’t know this person, I don’t like the smell of this email, and I would easily consider it junk.  I bet hitting Report & Delete will do nothing as well since eBay has paid to have their domain cleared through the Bonded Sender program.  Thanks for not protecting my security guys. Then I read:

All email sent to you from other members through eBay's Email Forwarding System are also in your My Messages portion of My eBay. If you get a questions from another eBay member, or from eBay, check My Messages first. If it's not there, then it is a fake email. 

Email forwarding system!?!?? That seems totally counter-productive when it comes to stopping fraudulent use of your system.

So I’m left wondering if I’m missing something there.  I think eBay needs to review their privacy policies and help protect those who don’t know how (or think) to look behind the covers of the messages they receive.

Posted on Sunday, June 4, 2006 10:16 AM | Back to top

Comments on this post: Why aren't the privacy watchers going after eBay?

# re: Why aren't the privacy watchers going after eBay?
Requesting Gravatar...
I got the same thing, I'll do a piddly little bid on some large ticket item, and once it ends below reserve I get the scammer email saying I can 2nd chance buy it for my tiny tiny bid. It's insane nothing on the internet has fought this.

You expressed your interest in an item titled (Buick : Reatta (revised) Item number: 4642865548) by bidding,however the auction has ended with another eBay member as the high bidder.In compliance with eBay's Policy,the seller of that item is making this Offer to you at your last bid price.The seller has issued this Offer because either the winning bidder was unable to complete the transaction or the seller has duplicate items for sale.If you accept this offer,you will be able to exchange Feedback with the seller and you will be eligible for eBay Services associated with a transaction,such as Fraud Protection.To purchase this item or if you have more questions,
contact the seller at: or reply this mail. When contacting the seller include the Item Number in your e-mail and your eBay User id.

Thank you,

eBay Inc."
Left by so true on Jun 07, 2006 9:06 PM

Your comment:
 (will show your gravatar)

Copyright © Colin Bowern | Powered by: