eBay Spoof

Lately I’ve been getting a ton of those eBay spoof mails. You know the ones – some spammer sends you an email seemingly from eBay saying that you need to update your credit card info. Going to the link in the email isn’t taking you to eBay, but a spammer’s site that looks just like eBay so they can nab your info.

So I’ve done my duty as a good Web community citizen, and forwarded these spoof mails onto eBay (spoof@ebay.com). eBay has an auto-response that says:


Thank you for writing to eBay regarding the email you received.

Emails such as this, commonly referred to as “spoof” or “phished” messages, are sent in an attempt to collect sensitive personal or financial information from the recipients.

The email you reported was not sent by eBay. We have reported this email to the appropriate authorities.

In the future, be very cautious of any email that asks you to submit information such as your credit card number or your email password. If you are ever concerned about an email you receive from eBay, open a new Web browser, type www.ebay.com into your browser address field, and click on the “site map” link located at the top the page to access the eBay page you need.


First, yes, I know what a spoofed email is, which is why I sent the mail in the first place… and to spoof@ebay.com for Christ’s sake.

Secondly, thanks for the heads up that that eBay didn’t send this. The lawyers will be happy that you’ve covered that.

Third, thanks for the helpful hints. But where’s my “Thank you for doing your part to keep the Web a bit safer”??

eBay complete drops the ball with this message. In a few short (and poorly conceived) sentences, they blow an incredible opportunity to point out that eBay is a great community made up of helpful people just like me. Here’s the version I think they should be sending:


Thank you very much for forwarding us the “spoof” email spam that you received. eBay is absolutely committed to ensuring your safety and security online. As such, we will immediately investigate the spoof claim that you have sent us.

If our investigation turns verifies that this mail is fraudulent, we will immediately work with appropriate law enforcement to shut down the Web site.

eBay has a [insert correct number] strong eBay community that strives to work together to create a wonderful experience for everyone. Spoof email like the one you pointed out hurts this effort, and thus hurts our community. You may not be a member of the eBay community, but your willingness to be a good digital citizen makes us think you’d be a good fit. Head over to eBay.com and introduce yourself!

OK, so clearly I’m no copywriter, but you get the point.


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