Tag: scams

Back in April of 2008 I put a 20GB iPod on eBay and learned a few things about PayPal scams and phishing (attempting to get personal information by making a page look legitimate when it is not). Someone tried getting me to ship iPod before I had payment, and I refused.

Fast forward to November and Macworld published an article about avoiding these phishing scams by using OpenDNS to double check websites you visit. I liked what the article had to say, and wanted to get my name in the magazine, so I wrote a letter suggesting that users check that emails use your actual name rather than a public screen name. In the February 2009 issue, which I just opened today, I read through the letters and there I was!

The letter is shown at the right, and reprinted below.

Using OpenDNS to avoid phishing scams is a great start, and the commonsense practices you listed certainly help. Here’s another trick: all email correspondence with sites like eBay and Paypal includes your real name in the body of the message. If you see a message purporting to be from one of these sites that instead uses your user name on the site, chances are the sender just wants your personal information.

Wow, I compared that with what I had written originally and either I didn’t say exactly what they wanted or me don’t speak good Engrish.

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Recently I’ve started to use eBay more often, mostly for getting rid of older electronics while they are still in their shelf life, and have never had a problem. That includes 3 sales and about 9 other purchases to and from the UK, US and Canada. My most recent sale was/is a 20 GB iPod Photo. Originally it sold to a buyer in North Carolina. Soon after the auction ended, things started getting a little interesting.
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