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Reporting Spoof (Fake) Emails

Spoof emails are deceptive emails claiming to be sent by well-known companies. They are called "spoof emails" (also known as "hoax" or "phisher" emails) because they fake the appearance of a popular Web site or company in an attempt to commit identity theft. The people who send these emails hope that unsuspecting recipients will reply or click a link contained in the email and then provide sensitive personal information (for example, eBay passwords, identity card/passport numbers, or credit card numbers).

To help eBay protect your eBay account and your identity:

An email message from eBay:

  • Never asks you to provide financial account numbers, passwords, or other sensitive information through email. If eBay requests information from you, a copy of that email will be in the My Messages box in My eBay. For more information, see Using My Messages.

  • Does not require you to enter information on a page that cannot be accessed from the eBay site. When possible, you should avoid clicking links. Instead of clicking the link, you should copy the address and paste it into the Address/Location area of your Web browser. While eBay may send email that contains links, the links are provided for convenience only. You will not be required to submit sensitive information if a direct link is provided to an eBay page.

  • Will not include attachments. If you receive a message that appears to have been sent from eBay that includes an attachment, do not open it.

  • May be a misdirected "Forgot your password" message. These messages are sent when a member enters a User ID using the "Forgot your password" feature. After the User ID is entered, a notice is sent to the email address registered to that account. If you received this email unexpectedly, it is probably because someone else mistyped his or her own User ID when attempting to use this feature.

Typical characteristics of spoof email

The following characteristics are warning signs that the email you received may not be legitimate.

  • Uses eBay terms, department names and often includes the eBay logo to resemble common eBay email.

  • Has a generic greeting like “Attention eBay Member”.

  • Often includes a forged eBay address in the "From" line of the email. For example, "From: support@ebay.com", "From: billing@ebay.com", "From: eBay Account Maintenance". Just because the sender line includes “ebay.com”, does not guarantee that the email is from eBay.

  • Contains threats of account suspension or urges quick action. Subjects can include problems with your account, Ask the Seller a Question, or offers to become an eBay PowerSeller.

  • Includes a request to provide personal information, to verify your password, or to confirm account information.

  • Contains links to Web pages that look exactly like eBay sign-in pages.

What to do when you receive suspicious email

  • Do not send sensitive personal information using email.
    eBay will never ask you to send your account password or other sensitive personal information, such as credit card numbers, in an email.

  • Never click on a link in an email if you are unsure of its origins, especially if the email asks for personal financial information. The purpose of spoof email is to lead you to a Web site and attempt to collect personal information and commit identity theft or other crimes.

  • When in doubt, go directly to the eBay Web site. Open a new browser window, type www.ebay.com, sign-in, and use the "site map" link to navigate the site. For more information, see Recognising Fake eBay Web sites. Make sure you sign out when you are finished, especially if you are using a public computer.

  • Report the email by forwarding the email to spoof@ebay.com.

  • Monitor your account for suspicious activities. Your account may have been compromised. eBay also monitors suspicious account activity and will contact you about changing your password.

Important: If you have already replied to a fraudulent email with sensitive personal information or entered data through a fake Web page, you need to take immediate steps to protect your eBay account and your identity (see Protecting Your Identity).

Reporting spoof email

If you have any doubt whether an email is from eBay, help eBay keep our community safe by reporting it immediately.

To report suspicious email:
  1. Use your email program to forward the message to spoof@ebay.com.
    Important: In order for eBay investigate your report, you must forward the email without adding attachments, adding text or altering text.

  2. Once you have forwarded the email, you can delete it from your email account.

Protecting yourself against spoof email and Web sites

  • Learn how to spot spoof emails. Take the Spoof Email Tutorial and review Safety Tips listed on eBay’s Security Centre.

Contact Customer Service

If you have an additional question about this subject, email us at Customer Service.
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