Friday, 4 July 2014


Today I was still geo-coding my holiday photos.

On eBay I noticed there was a listing for a Nikon 500mm VR lens, which had a very cheap buy it now price (£2,200). The picture appears to be the same one as has been used in some previous fraudulent listings, though it seems I've deleted them from my watch list, so I couldn't find them, and Google Image search was no help.

I thought I would let eBay know of my suspicions, but the 'Report item' link didn't work. I tried it in both Chrome and IE, but it didn't work in either browser. However, there was a 'eBay Live help' chat box (not seen that before) that popped up on the page, so I thought I should report the item through that.

However, I received no reply to my message, and then after a bit just got the message 'Chat closed'. I guess that goes to show how seriously eBay takes fraudulent listings. Really they should be policing these high ticket items themselves. I would guess that around 50% (or maybe more) of listings for Canon / Nikon prime super telephoto lenses are fraudulent ones. (And normally obviously fraudulent, with the description stating a buy it now price and saying to email a gmail address).

Edit: Actually I just realised why they didn't reply - the auction wasn't on eBay at all, but a fake site. Weird thing is, the My eBay link goes to the real eBay, not a fake eBay page asking you to sign in (so they can collect your account details). Also, the auction counted down and ended when it should have, so they must have put some work into this fake site.

However, it is still concerning, since I got to this site through clicking a link in an eBay watched search email:

Trying the link again today it appears it does go through to the real eBay, where I see a brief flash of a page with 'the seller ended this auction early because there was an error in the listing', then the fake page loads up. Maybe eBay allow you to include javascript in your auction listings? Rather dodgy however they've managed to hack it.

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