Ebay Computers

More Fraud Protection Needed on eBay

More Fraud Protection Needed on eBay

(PRWEB) February 27, 2006

Strictly embargoed until Saturday 25 February 2006 at 00:01 hrs

Martin Chapman 020 7770 7373

eBay: buyer beware

eBay should be more proactive in the fight against fraud, says Computing Which?

eBay-related fraud is occurring at an alarming rate. About 130 crimes* citing eBay are reported in London every month to the Metropolitan Police. This level of crime is thought to be mirrored across the UK.

eBay does take measures to protect its customers. For example, all auction pages contain a Safety Centre link. But finding the tiny text link at the foot of the page is “like looking for a needle in a haystack”, according to one researcher.

Police welcome eBay’s anti-fraud measures, such as secure payment service PayPal.** But these measures can only go so far and educating people on the dangers of eBay is equally important. Winning an auction might feel like a victory, but the prize is a chance to buy unseen goods from a total stranger.

And the risk of fraud is increasing; according to the police, criminals are turning away from activities such as drugs and robbery in favour of high-volume, low-risk crime such as that found on eBay.

Detective Chief Inspector Stuart Dark of the Met is working with eBay in the fight against fraud and encouraging them to be proactive, rather than just reacting to illegal or fraudulent transactions after the event.

Jessica Ross, editor, Computing Which?, says:

“Many people see eBay as a bit of fun, like Friends Reunited, and no one’s denying that it’s quick and easy to use. But there’s plenty of opportunity for criminals to cash in too.

“eBay needs to educate people about the dangers of using the site. This 21st century car boot sale attracts more than a few dodgy characters and gangs can ‘earn’ huge amounts defrauding everyday eBayers.”

Computing Which? calls on eBay to:

Be proactive in identifying illegal or counterfeit items for sale on its site

Warn customers about the dangers of fraud

Stop the unlicensed selling of medical products such as contact lenses

Make the Safety Centre prominent on auction pages

There is more information about this story at Which? News http://www.which.co.uk/news/computersandinternet/06/feb/ebay-fraudreport.html

Ends –

Notes to editors

*129 crimes specifically mentioning eBay were reported in London to the Metropolitan Police’s economic crime unit Sterling every month in the 18 months til October 2005.

**PayPal is much safer than money transfers. The service, owned by eBay, allows customers to send and receive money online without giving bank account or credit card details to strangers.

The full article contains advice on how to stay safe on eBay. For a copy of the article, contact Martin Chapman.

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