Wednesday, May 09, 2007

eBay, spoofs and spam

For the first time in probably over five years I decided to make some purchases off of eBay. I am in the process of building my "Fortress of Nerditude" in the basement and wanted a small wide screen LCD to serve as secondary PC display, TV, DVD screen, etc. A while ago I was looking at Dell LCD displays and since Dell no longer sells them I found some reasonably priced on eBay. So I make a bid for one but I'm outbid. Then came the flood of spoof mail and SPAM. On that single item alone I have received 17 (and counting) bogus mail messages from people claiming to the be the "seller" offering a second chance to buy the item or mail addresses to use to buy the product directly from them. This was the first time I had encountered this phenomenon but it infuriated me. Most were designed to look like authentic messages from eBay and all seem to be generated by the same program (all contain similar spelling errors). Some attempts were pathetic, in broken English. What is sad about all this is this was only one bid from a user ID that has never bid on anything else. What kind of message is eBay sending by allowing people who use the eBay system to send this crap? (I read they were changing the bidding system to hopefully eliminate this). I have a thick skin and a little tolerance for this crap but how could I recommend the eBay experience to family if getting assaulted by spoofs and spam is the result?

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