Millions of people from around the world use eBay. If you have ever bought or sold anything on the popular online auction site, you probably have an account. In turn, you more than likely receive occasional emails from eBay. That being said, you should never blindly assume that those emails are legitimately coming from eBay. Thanks to its popularity – and to the fact that it collects sensitive financial information from its users – eBay is a popular target for phishing scams. A phishing attack aims to collect sensitive information from people through spoof emails and websites; learn how to protect your eBay account from phishing attempts below.
Always Verify Correspondence through Your eBay Account
There is a quick and easy way to verify the veracity of any message that purports to be from eBay: Log in to your eBay account and visit the “My Messages” section. Every time eBay sends you an important email message, a copy can also be found in this area of your account. This is the simplest way to make sure that you are getting real correspondence from eBay, and it’s a great way to steer clear of phishing attempts. If a copy can’t be found in the “My Messages” area, it was probably a spoof email.
Things to Look for in Spoof eBay Email Messages
At first glance, a spoof eBay email message may seem to be legit. A tiny bit of extra digging will quickly reveal whether or not it’s a phishing attempt. One thing to keep in mind is that the “from” field is easy to alter. It takes no effort at all for a phisher to change it to reflect something authoritative and trustworthy. Another important thing to examine is the greeting. Legitimate eBay emails will greet you by name.
Beware of Urgency
eBay phishing scams typically consist of phishing email scams and phishing website scams that include a lot of urgent language. Phishers have learned that people are less likely to be careful when they believe that they eBay accounts may be in jeopardy. If you are greeted with urgent messages in emails or on websites that are supposed to be from eBay, beware. Don’t act rashly. Instead, open a new tab, type in the eBay URL manually and log into your account. If any action is really necessary, you will be alerted about it there.
Steps that Keep You Safe
Whether you use eBay regularly or only on occasion, there are steps that you should take in order to keep your account safe from phishing attempts. For one thing, you should get into the habit of changing your eBay password regularly. Set up an email or text alert; have it remind you to do so every month or two. You should also make a point of logging into your eBay account every now and then, even if you don’t need to conduct any business there. If an issue exists, you will find out about it more quickly.
Actions that You can Take
If you receive a spoof email or experience another type of phishing attack that relates to your eBay account, you should forward it on to eBay. You can do so by sending it to email@example.com. In the case of a spoof email, simply forward it to that address; in the case of a spoof website, send the URL of the site in question. This will help eBay to put a stop to existing phishing attempts, which may help to prevent future problems. There is no way to completely eradicate phishing from the Internet, and you shouldn’t avoid using popular sites like eBay. Instead, just use a little common sense when opening emails and visiting trusted sites. Most importantly, keep all of the preceding information in the back of your head at all times.
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