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 Victim of a scam as a seller? Start here.... 
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Post Victim of a scam as a seller? Start here....

The scammer lives in Nigeria but because they've registered (or hi-jacked an account) in another country they ask for the item to be sent to a relative or friend in Nigeria (really themselves). They target new sellers of relatively expensive items, especially mobile phones and other electronic goods.

They persuade the seller to send the goods on receipt of a fake payment confirmation email, usually from Paypal but also from other payment services. The seller sends the item to Nigeria but the promised payment never materialises.

Some of them will have newly registered IDs with fake addresses in various countries. Some are using hi-jacked accounts. These can be identified by the ID having been dormant for some time and/or a sudden change in items being bought.

Check the rest of their purchases using Advanced Search (top of any page) > Items by Bidder (include completed items). If they have bought a large number of similar expensive items over one or two days then the odds are they're scammers.


1. The idea is to get the scammer suspended first to make it quicker for you to do the Unpaid Item process in order to get your final value fee back. So first report to eBay using this link: ... er/ask.php

Select: (Choose at topic) Selling - after I've sold > Problems with my buyer

and tell eBay that a Nigerian scammer has won your item (using a hi-jacked account - if they have) and ask eBay to suspend their account as soon as possible.

Also report their fake contact details - they will be - using the report link is at the bottom of this: ... false.html

2. After that they should be suspended within a couple of days. Do not bother to reply to their emails. Keep an eye on their ID and when it says "No longer registered with eBay" beside it you will be able to do the Unpaid Item process immediately to get your final value fees back, here's that link: ... ateDispute

3. Once you have your final value fee refund you can relist and if it sells the second time your relisting fee will be refunded too. If you relist before completing the Unpaid Item process you will not be eligible for a relisting fee refund. If for some reason the scammer is not suspended quickly you will have to wait seven days to start the Unpaid Item process in the usual way.

4. You can make a Second Chance Offer before they're suspended and before doing the Unpaid Item process if that's what you prefer to do as long the underbidder isn't a scammer too.

5. If the scammer has used a hi-jacked account eBay will temporarily suspend the account and the transaction will often be removed from their database. If so your final value fee may automatically be refunded to your seller account and there will be no need to do the Unpaid Item process. Check for your fee refund at My eBay > Seller Account > View Account Status. If it has not been refunded contact eBay's live help and ask them to do it manually. Here's their link:

Under "Subject" select the option "eBay Seller Account Fees".

If the transaction has not been removed you will need to do the Unpaid Item process to get your final value fee back.


If you posted it within the last 24 hours go your local police with evidence of the transaction printed out. Ask them to complete a Regulatory Investigation Powers Act form and fax it to Royal Mail security. This gives Royal Mail the authority to return the item to you if it is still in the UK.


1. The only effective way against hi-jacked IDs as well as newly registered ones is to use Immediate (Paypal) Payment on your listing, then the listing cannot end without payment being made. To do that during the listing process select to sell Fixed Price Only (or Buy It Now and auction but then you must use a reserve - minimum £50 - to keep the BIN and Immediate Payment if a bid is placed.) and you'll see the link to use Immediate Payment just below the Paypal logo. To use Fixed Price/Buy It Now you must have a feedback rating of 10, or if you have a Paypal account and accept it as an option on your listing a feedback rating of 5 or more.

2. Other options may also work if the scammer has registered a new ID for themselves, eg. block zero or low feedback bidders with no credit card on file, buyers in countries where you don't ship and those without Paypal accounts, all on here: ... references

3. If you are not using Immediate Payment do not use Buy It Now. Then at least you might have the chance to cancel unwanted bids.

Please also be aware of credit card scams, usually (but not only) from Singapore, Indonesia and Malaysia, where they pay using Paypal but use stolen or fake credit cards so the money is withdrawn by Paypal later. Do not accept Paypal payment for expensive items from these and other scam areas. If necessary issue a refund and report fake funds to eBay as above.


Wed Mar 19, 2008 8:50 pm
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thanx to steve and **peaseblossom** for that,

its very usefull info,

what i do if selling exencive items is NEVER ship over seas, but its good infor to know abut, and a good idea to check all high value items before posting.


Wed Mar 19, 2008 11:48 pm

Joined: Tue Apr 01, 2008 3:00 am
Posts: 5
Post ive been targeted by the mark smith scam !!!
i listed a camcorder on ebay buy it now or best offer on the 30th 3 2008
and at 11 am the next day the item sold to a mark smith in germany.

i later discovered this email in my spam folder..

Hello ,
Greetings to you.I am Mark Smith from London,UK.I'm contacting you concerning your item on Ebay which i eventually became the winning bidder for your item.Morever i'm presently serving our beloved nation in Germany with the United Nation and i intend sending this item to my son who works with the United Kingdom Embassy in Nigeria as a visa Officer.So i will like you Ship the package via First Class Royal Mail Shipping to Nigeria and I will like you to go know the Shipping cost and calculate the shipping cost and the item for Payment get back with the amount i will be paying immediately..I will be sending you my payment via PayPal,So kindly send me your (PayPal EMAIL ADDRESS) So as to immediately make out my payment.Make sure you get the package ready for immediate or next day shipment okay?.Expecting your reply so as to immediately make out my payment.
Mark Smith
This is the shipping information...
ZIP CODE...100001
I will be expecting your replies soonest...God Bless our Great Country

Ithought this isnt right , when i checked it out i was shocked
to find out im not the only one , this is a big problem on ebay!!!

I have learned the best way to list buy it now items is to select
the immediate payment required option the listing wont end till the item is paid for so im informed...

Tue Apr 01, 2008 3:18 am
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Joined: Mon Sep 04, 2006 12:32 am
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Post Re: Victim of a scam as a seller? Start here....
God Bless our Great Country

how many people in the uk have ever used that phrase, its more an amereican phrase if anything,

you where right to dig, and by listing as imediate payment your right that the item does not end till they pay,

but still its always best t be carfull :-)


Mon Jan 05, 2009 2:05 pm
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Joined: Tue Dec 14, 2010 5:39 pm
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Post Re: Victim of a scam as a seller? Start here....
You dont need any feedback to list a buy it now :D

Tue Dec 14, 2010 5:42 pm
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Joined: Fri Jan 12, 2007 7:25 pm
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Location: Near Peterborough
Post Re: Victim of a scam as a seller? Start here....
red*bay wrote:
You dont need any feedback to list a buy it now :D

Not any more then. You used to have to?

Gamucci Electronic Cigarettes

Wed Dec 15, 2010 12:02 am
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Post Re: Victim of a scam as a seller? Start here....
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