Warning: Look Out for the eBay Scam

An e-mail identity theft ruse has hit, falsely appearing to be from eBay.

Phishing—e-mail and Web-based efforts by online scammers to hijack personal information from unsuspecting users—hit home at PC Magazine this week. A number of magazine staffers, who are a members at eBay, received highly official looking e-mails, purportedly from eBays accounts management department, asking for credit card information, a social security number, and more. The magazine staffers caught the ruse and notified eBay, but users should be warned that a fake eBay mail scam is making the rounds.

The trick message arrived with a very official looking header featuring eBays logo. It was signed "Thank you, Accounts Management." The text read: "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." The "eBay Billing Center" referenced was a link to a Web page asking for a credit card number, a social security number, and more. The message also contained an "ebay.com" suffix, just as a real message from an eBay employee might.