Help my friend get un-harassed by this crazy Ebay user...
April 4, 2007 7:03 PM   Subscribe

Ebay scam / threat question...

(Asking for a friend)

Recently a friend of mine made a purchase on ebay with a user that insisted on payment via money order or personal check. Friend made payment via personal check and the transaction took place with no further ado. Friend made neutral feedback on the seller that pointed out the transaction took longer than normal due to payment methods.

Seller went bonkers.

Started harassing and threatening friend via email - frequently with personal info about friend (and friend's family), as well as specific things about where the live, etc.. Seller then changed his/her account to "Jane X" where X represents my friend's actual last name, and is now also using friend's old address (that was listed on the personal check). FWIW, seller's account used to be listed in another state but is now listed in friend's state thanks to this nefarious move. The personal check was originally made out to "Jane Y" (before craziness ensued) and when friend requested a copy of the check from the bank, she noticed that the signature on the back was a different last name, "Jane Z," from the name the check had been made out to in the first place - so it looks like this name-grabbing thing is a habit for this nutcase.

Friend has submitted all the info to both Ebay and the local authorities.

- Should friend take any further action to protect self and family from further harassment?

- Are local authorities generally qualified to handle this kind of thing typically or should friend contact state / federal sources?

- Is there any potential scamming this thug may be doing to friend by using friend's name and personal information that friend needs to be aware of?
posted by allkindsoftime to Computers & Internet (11 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
For one thing, I would definitely close that checking account and open a new one. The routing and account numbers are all that is needed to do all sorts of mischief.

Jeez, there sure are nuts out there.
posted by maxwelton at 7:16 PM on April 4, 2007

Your friend probably should put a fraud alert to the credit bureaus also.
posted by lee at 7:21 PM on April 4, 2007

Best answer: The Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3) is a partnership between the FBI and the National White Collar Crime Center (NW3C).

IC3's mission is to serve as a vehicle to receive, develop, and refer criminal complaints regarding the rapidly expanding arena of cyber crime. The IC3 gives the victims of cyber crime a convenient and easy-to-use reporting mechanism that alerts authorities of suspected criminal or civil violations. For law enforcement and regulatory agencies at the federal, state, local and international level, IC3 provides a central referral mechanism for complaints involving Internet related crimes.
posted by ND¢ at 7:46 PM on April 4, 2007 [1 favorite]

If your friend is being threatened across state lines, I would think it appropriate to contact the Feds. That's what they're for.
posted by alms at 8:08 PM on April 4, 2007

It won't hurt to have your friend contact the local police department and at least file a report.
posted by drstein at 10:13 PM on April 4, 2007

There are some real fruitcakes on ebay - has anyone ever gotten an unwarranted retaliatory negative review removed?
posted by specialk420 at 11:26 PM on April 4, 2007

No. Because according to eBay unwarranted retaliatory negative reviews are not considered feedback fraud. Some nutcase did something similar to me when I left neutral feedback for an item that was in fact not as described and deserved negative. He went ballistic.
posted by Gungho at 7:29 AM on April 5, 2007

Hmm... I am so disappointed with the ebay system that I plan to take my insane correspondence with the individual to small claims court and get a judgement to have the crazy review pulled - there is actually legal precedence for it. I can see how ebay doesn't want to get in the middle of every squabble - but it for all intents and purposes ruins the feedback system.
posted by specialk420 at 7:33 AM on April 5, 2007

specialk420, I have gotten unwarranted negative feedback removed by eBay staff, surprisingly.
posted by look busy at 7:46 AM on April 5, 2007

hmm - ok what was your process?... i actually have done work for ebay which i think will help my case. Lord knows I have the documentation on this particular individual ...
posted by specialk420 at 8:17 AM on April 5, 2007

Best answer: Having just gone through an Internet fraud investigation this week, I can tell you that you need to do the following, as soon as possible:

1) Contact your local police. They'll take your information, and give you a case number.

2) Use this case number when filling out your report with the FTC.

3) Go to FreeCreditReport or similar service, and get your latest credit report. You can get Experian for free there, and then pay to get all three. I paid because of their service for alerting me when there's activity on the accounts.

4) Call all three credit bureaus and put a "fraud hold" on your credit. This will be maintained for a year. This protects you.

5) Contact eBay and try and speak to a human being. It can be tough with this particular organization. EBay takes a very dim view of things like this, and with both a police case number in hand as well as the report number from the FTC, you'll be able to facilitate an organized investigation with each these entities.

All of this shouldn't stop you from doing what you can to personally investigate this matter. In Internet-based investigations, I've found police more than happy to receive more information that you've uncovered on your own.
posted by thanotopsis at 9:37 AM on April 5, 2007

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