I have a few friends who sell stuff on eBay for a living. Recently, one of them had been banned, because his ID had been stolen by a phisher.
George told me that he had received an email from eBay, or so he thought. The email said that they were updating their records, and all he needed to do was “click on the link below” to update his account information. He did, and these thieves stole his eBay identity. Using his good reputation, they put several items up for bid, and took customers’ money, without delivering the products. Obviously, the customers complained, and George was banned pending further investigation.
George has been in dispute with eBay over this for months. This was his main source of income.
“Phishing” is where thieves cast a large net over several thousand emails trying to get someone to give something important up. They’re playing the numbers game. Figure, if they send out 100,000 emails pretending that they need to update their customer’s accounts, and only 0.05% respond? That’s 500 people right there.
Phishing occurs not just with eBay, but you may see emails from people pretending that they’re PayPal, (also owned by eBay) your own bank, your own email host, or anything else.
I always find it funny when I get emails from Citibank trying to get me to update my account information because I don’t have a Citibank account. I know that these people are just trying to steal from me.
Remember that companies will NEVER ask you to give out personal information through contact initiated by them. There are tons of scams like these over the phone as well, when thieves posing as credit card companies call you for a lower rate balance transfer, just to get your card information.
If they contact you, don’t give out ANYTHING. Use your common sense.
Think about all the extra money you could make by being a mystery shopper, starting your own business, or working from home for a legitimate company. Take control of your income and check out our LEARN page for a list of classes, books, and more!