Protect yourself online
Sellers attempting fraud
Unfortunately commerce can attract fraudsters, and online commerce is no different. The most common attempt of fraud may occur when a seller lists an item they don’t intend to send but accepts money for it.
To reduce the likelihood of seller fraud:
- Only use safe payment methods like PayPal, Paymate and Merchant credit card. With PayPal and Paymate:
- Your money is traceable
- Your account information is hidden from sellers
- Never use Western Union, MoneyGram or other instant wire transfer services which are prohibited on eBay
- Be wary of fake Second Chance Offers. Always check your messages in My eBay for genuine Second Chance Offers
- Get to know your seller. Check their feedback profile before making a bid or confirming a purchase
- Carefully read item descriptions and the seller’s terms
- Don’t believe a seller who says that eBay is holding goods at its warehouse. We never take possession of items from sellers or hold money from buyers
Remember: If an offer sounds too good to be true – it probably is.
Buyers attempting fraud
Although rare, a buyer may attempt fraud, usually by overpaying for an item with a fake cheque and asking sellers to send the goods with a credit for the amount overpaid.
Even though buyer fraud is rare, to reduce the likelihood:
- Sellers must offer at least one safer payment method (PayPal, Paymate and/or Merchant credit card) on listings
- PayPal Seller Protection is available to protect you in the unlikely event of a claim or chargeback or an unauthorised payment (eg from a stolen credit card). Other payment providers may offer a payment protection program. You should check with the relevant provider for details
- Wait for funds to clear before sending the item
- Be suspicious of buyers offering you much more than the item is worth
- When a buyer chooses to pay on pick up don’t accept international cheques or money orders. eBay recommends cash or bank cheque
- Never send an item based on a buyer emailing you a receipt or "money transfer number (MTN)"
What eBay Does NOT do:
- Provide any escrow services in Australia
- Send emails from an "eBay Agent" or "eBay representative". All legitimate correspondence from eBay will be duplicated in your My eBay on eBay.com.au
- Own, buy or sell inventory listed on eBay and eBay Motors
- Have any involvement in the actual transaction
- Send links to chat services through email messages
- Endorse use of Western Union, Money Gram or any instant cash wire transfer services
- Inspect any vehicles (although eBay does link to partners who will perform this service)
- Offer the Vehicle Protection Program anymore – this program ended on 23 November 2009
Worried your account has been taken over? Get in touch with customer support or phone 1800 093 577 (open 24/7)
A message from eBay's lawyers
The PayPal service is provided by PayPal Australia Pty Limited (ABN 93 111 195 389) which holds an Australian Financial Services Licence, number 304962. eBay International AG is an authorised representative number 308318 of PayPal for the purpose of providing information about PayPal. eBay and PayPal are not acting as your agents, are not providing personal financial advice to you and do not take your individual circumstances into account in providing information about PayPal. You should consider the Product Disclosure Statement and Financial Services Guide before deciding to sign-up for or use the PayPal online payment service at https://www.paypal.com.au/.
PayPal Buyer Protection and PayPal Seller Protection are also subject to the terms and conditions in PayPal's User Agreement, incorporating the Buyer Protection policy and Seller Protection policy which include details on eligibility criteria and the discretionary nature of the policies.