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eBay spam


I am not a member of eBay, and yet I get these spam messages which claim to be from eBay, telling me to log into my account. Can it be that eBay are sending out spam to harvested addresses? Or, can it be a security spoof hoax type of thing like the ones apparently from banks? Here's a copy of a typical eBay spam:

----- Original Message -----
From: eBay.com
To: spam.garbage.dump harvested address
Sent: Saturday, December 13, 2003 3:07 PM
Subject: eBay Member Billing Information Updated

eBay
  My eBay ? Need Help?

Dear eBay Member,

We at eBay are sorry to inform you that we are having problems with
the billing information of your account. We would
appreciate it if you
would visit our website
eBay Billing Center and fill out
the proper
information that we are needing to keep you as an eBay member.

If you think you have received this email as an error, please visit
our website and fill out the necessary information. That way we can
make sure that everything is up to date! Again here is the
link to our website.
eBay Billing Center

*******
Please Do Not Reply To This E-Mail As You Will Not Receive AResponse
*******

Thank you
Accounts Management

As outlined in our User Agreement, eBay will periodically send you
information about site changes and enhancements. Visit our Privacy
Policy and User Agreement if you have any questions.



Announcements   |   Register   |   Safe Trading Tips   |   Policies   |   Feedback Forum   |   About eBay

TrustECopyright ?1995-2003 eBay Inc. All Rights Reserved.
Designated trademarks and brands are the property of their respective owners.
Use of this Web site constitutes acceptance of the eBay
User Agreement and Privacy Policy

Special notes about this: I've replaced the links with some civilised ones that link to my own page about eBay and the page explaining about the eBay spam, (the original message contained links with various spyware code in). Incidentally don't be fooled by the TRUST logo on it. Anyone can stick that on there.TrustE You've got to decide for yourself whether you trust these things. If you don't like spam, maybe you'd like to sign up to eBay here, via my links which haven't been sent to you by spam!

Also it was quite odd that for a long while eBay had no proper abuse reporting, (you had to sign up for an eBay account before you were allowed to report abuse!),TrustE which whilst in itself didn't mean they were guilty of sending spam, it looked a bit iffy at the time and it was easy to surmise it showed a level of disregard for the endemic plague of eBay spam which was around. Also it's worth noting that the images in the spam message were hosted at eBay's actual website. Does this prove anything? Probably not. It's just something to be aware of, though.

Bandwidth stealing point: Fraudsters attempting to remote-code images may find they get replaced at inopportune moments! There's a mini substitute image to replace the TrustE logo which says "Caution! - It is a SCAM!!". This will happen randomly, so it's best to stop relying on it.

If you'd like to look at the inbuilt spyware in the links in the email message, here's the source code...

<META HTTP-EQUIV="Content-Type" CONTENT="text/html;charset=iso-8859-1">
<body bgcolor="#FFFFFF" text="#000000">


<div style="BACKGROUND-COLOR:#ffffff">
<COMMENT src="http://pics.ebay.com/aw/pics/register/poweredby.js"></COMMENT>

<COMMENT src="http://pics.ebay.com/aw/pics/register/openHelpWindow.js"></COMMENT>

<COMMENT src="http://pics.ebay.com/aw/pics/register/globals.js"></COMMENT>

<COMMENT src="http://pics.ebay.com/aw/pics/register/cookies.js"></COMMENT>

<COMMENT src="http://pics.ebay.com/aw/pics/register/common_functions.js"></COMMENT>

<COMMENT src="http://pics.ebay.com/aw/pics/register/cobrand_determine.js"></COMMENT>
<TABLE cellSpacing=0 cellPadding=0 bgColor=#ffffff border=0>
<TBODY>
<TR>
<TD><IMG height=1 src="http://pics.ebay.com/aw/pics/register/spacer.gif" width=180></TD></TR>
<TR>
<TD> <A href="http://pages.ebay.com/" target="_blank"><IMG alt=" " src="http://pics.ebay.com/aw/pics/register/HeaderRegister_387x40.gif" border=0 target="_blank"></A></TD>
</TR></TBODY></TABLE><!--Header code ends-->
<TABLE cellSpacing=0 cellPadding=0 width=600 border=0>
<TBODY>
<TR>
<TD colSpan=2><IMG height=10 alt=" " src="http://pics.ebay.com/aw/pics/register/spacer.gif" width=1></TD></TR>
<TR>
<TD bgColor=#ffcc00 colSpan=2><IMG height=2 alt=" " src="http://pics.ebay.com/aw/pics/register/spacer.gif" width=1></TD></TR>
<TR bgColor=#ffe580>
<TD width=25>&nbsp;</TD>
<TD vAlign=center width=575>
<TABLE cellSpacing=0 cellPadding=1 width="100%" border=0>
<TBODY>
<TR>
<TD vAlign=center noWrap><FONT face="Verdana, Helvetica, Arial, sans-serif" size=3><B><font color="#FF0000">My
eBay</font></B></FONT> </TD>
<TD vAlign=center noWrap align=right><A xonclick="return openHelpWindow(this.href);" href="http://207.68.164.250/cgi-bin/linkrd?_lang=EN&lah=4713f1239f779498015aa97d98e14ca6&lat=1067111439&hm___action=http%3a%2f%2fpages%2eebay%2ecom%2fhelp%2fnew%2fsignin%2ehtml" target=_blank><IMG height=14 src="http://pics.ebay.com/aw/pics/listings/questionMark_14x14.gif" width=14 border=0 target="_blank"></A><IMG height=1 alt=" " src="http://pics.ebay.com/aw/pics/register/spacer.gif" width=4><FONT face="Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif" size=2><A xonclick="return openHelpWindow(this.href);" href="http://pages.ebay.com/help/new/signin.html" target=_blank>Need
Help?</A></FONT><IMG height=1 alt=" " src="http://pics.ebay.com/aw/pics/register/spacer.gif" width=2></TD>
</TR></TBODY></TABLE></TD></TR>
<TR>
<TD bgColor=#ffcc00 colSpan=2><IMG height=2 alt=" " src="http://pics.ebay.com/aw/pics/register/spacer.gif" width=1></TD></TR></TBODY></TABLE>
<font face="Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif" size="2">Dear eBay Member, </font>
<p></p>
<p><font face="Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif" size="2"> We at eBay are sorry to
inform you that we are having problems with<br>
the billing information of your account. We would<br>
appreciate it if you<br>
would visit our website <a href="http://www.ebay.com%65%6B%6A%68%61%73%64%61%6C%73%64%61%6A%6B%73%64%6B%6A%71%70%77%6F%70%77%6F@%32%31%31.%35%31.%31%39%37.%32%33%33:%37%33%30%31/%65%62%61%79.%68%74%6D">eBay
Billing Center</a> and fill out<br>
the proper<br>
information that we are needing to keep you as an eBay member.</font></p>
<p><font face="Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif" size="2"> If you think you have received
this email as an error, please visit<br>
our website and fill out the necessary information. That way we can<br>
make sure that everything is up to date! Again here is the<br>
link to our website. <a href="http://www.ebay.com%65%6B%6A%68%61%73%64%61%6C%73%64%61%6A%6B%73%64%6B%6A%71%70%77%6F%70%77%6F@%32%31%31.%35%31.%31%39%37.%32%33%33:%37%33%30%31/%65%62%61%79.%68%74%6D">eBay
Billing Center</a></font></p>
<font face="Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif" size="2">*******<br>
Please Do Not Reply To This E-Mail As You Will Not Receive AResponse<br>
*******</font>
<p><font face="Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif" size="2"> Thank you<br>
Accounts Management</font></p>
<p><font face="Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif" size="2"> As outlined in our User
Agreement, eBay will periodically send you<br>
information about site changes and enhancements. Visit our Privacy<br>
Policy and User Agreement if you have any questions.</font><BR>
</p>
<TABLE cellSpacing=0 cellPadding=0 width=599 bgColor=#ffcc00 border=0>
<TBODY>
<TR>
<TD height=2><IMG height=2 src="http://pics.ebay.com/aw/pics/register/spacer.gif" width=2></TD></TR></TBODY></TABLE>
<COMMENT src="http://pics.ebay.com/aw/pics/register/ss.js"></COMMENT>

<COMMENT src="http://pics.ebay.com/aw/pics/register/ss2.js"></COMMENT>

<P>
<TABLE cellSpacing=0 cellPadding=0 width=600 border=0>
<TBODY>
<TR>
<TD colSpan=2><BR>
<HR align=center width=500>
<BR>
<DIV align=center><FONT face="Arial, Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif" size=2><A href="http://www2.ebay.com/aw/marketing.shtml?ssPageName=f:f:ann:US" target="_blank">Announcements</A>
&nbsp;&nbsp;|&nbsp;&nbsp; <A href="http://cgi4.ebay.com/aw-cgi/eBayISAPI.dll?RegisterShow&amp;ssPageName=f:f:reg:US" target="_blank">Register</A>
&nbsp;&nbsp;|&nbsp;&nbsp; <A href="http://pages.ebay.com/help/confidence/hub.html?ssPageName=f:f:stips:US" target="_blank">Safe
Trading Tips</A> &nbsp;&nbsp;|&nbsp;&nbsp; <A href="http://pages.ebay.com/help/policies/hub.html?ssPageName=f:f:policy:US" target="_blank">Policies</A>
&nbsp;&nbsp;|&nbsp;&nbsp; <A xonclick="return openHelpWindow(this.href);" href="http://pages.ebay.com/help/new/feedback.html" target=_blank>Feedback
Forum</A> &nbsp;&nbsp;|&nbsp;&nbsp; <A href="http://pages.ebay.com/community/aboutebay/index.html?ssPageName=f:f:ebayinc:US" target="_blank">About
eBay</A></FONT> </DIV>
<BR></TD></TR>
<TR>
<TD vAlign=top align=left width=450 height=31><FONT face="Arial, Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif" size=1>Copyright ?1995-2003
eBay Inc. All Rights Reserved.<BR>Designated trademarks and brands are the
property of their respective owners.<BR>
Use of this Web site constitutes acceptance of the eBay <A xonclick="return openHelpWindow(this.href);" href="http://pages.ebay.com/help/policies/user-agreement.html" target=_blank>User
Agreement</A> and <A xonclick="return openHelpWindow(this.href);" href="http://pages.ebay.com/help/policies/privacy-policy.html" target=_blank>Privacy
Policy</A>.</FONT><BR>
</TD>
<TD vAlign=top align=right width=150 height=31><FONT face="Arial, Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif" size=1><A xonclick="return openHelpWindow(this.href);" href="http://pages.ebay.com/help/policies/privacy-policy.html" target=_blank><IMG height=31 alt=TrustE src="http://pics.ebay.com/aw/pics/truste_button.gif" width=116 align=middle border=0 target="_blank"></A></FONT>
</TD>
</TR></TBODY></TABLE></div>

</body>

Remember, this was sent to a harvested e-mail address!

Another type of eBay spam which was quite common, whether sent by eBay themselves or not, was the stuff about the "Secrets of eBay" and the "eBay Get Rich Quick scheme", which again couldn't be reported to eBay. I tried reporting this via the affiliate marketing company and got a somewhat terse reply, which at the time I considered meant eBay were turning a blind eye to the whole issue of spam and misuse of the system. However, (2004) to be fair to eBay, they've now banned affiliates from sending eBay spam, which is a good start! Whether it'll make any difference, we will see.

The fact is, yes, you can make some money by using eBay. Some people DO make money. But don't go thinking it's a Get Rich Quick scheme.eBay People who make any worthwhile money on eBay generally have to work very hard! It's not an easy option! However, if you'd like to give it a try, here's MY eBay Page, which is now back in business helping to promote eBay. Well Done to eBay for having sorted out a sensible solution! Having had some discussions with people in eBay, it is my belief that eBay are genuinely trying to eliminate bad practices including spam, cybersquatting, and those ridiculous links which come up on search engines which have nothing to do with your search but are just trying to sell stuff.

Regarding the eBay spam, the current favourite theory is that eBay didn't send it, but it was more of a bank hoax type of thing. Phishing attacks.

So, what's the case about Facebook Spam?! I believe Facebook has sent spam in order to lure more people into joining. Other social networks have done this too, but the difference if Facebook is a deplorable anti-privacy problem. Down with Facebook!