ebaY_Phishing1(Updated, see below)

ebaY members are reporting to have received a very curious promotional email, allegedly from ebaY: “Get $10 for every friend who starts selling on eBay” Specifically from the sell-it-now.ebay.com domain, however they are not receiving it in their ebaY messages. There is no announcement, no pink (or blue) replies on any forums, nothing on their front page animated banner etc thus far.

How to tell if an email is really from eBay  The easiest way to make sure an email is from us is to check your messages in My eBay. Go to My eBay, and then click the Messages tab. If you don't see the same message there, the email is fake.As with any emails, offers, promotions etc purportedly from ebaY you should send that to spoof@ebay.com, considering that it does not show up on ebaY messages, one of the main key signs of it being some sort of phishing, scam etc.

The others would include contradictory, or mutually cancelling terms (a and b), see below and at least one grammatical error (the last sentence of the first paragraph ends rather abruptly and seemingly incorrectly.)

They also of course ask you for confidential information, your friends’ familys’ etc email addresses.   What do you think would happen if you actually did that?

The terms and conditions call for you to submit names and email addresses of your friends/family acquaintances etc, and among the terms, curiously, only those who opt in to receive more spam… erm, I mean communications from ebaY.  Those term/request alone seems very dubious, if not outright shady.

There is also no personalized promo code, an element which would seem essential to any such promo.  Hence more reasons why one may wish to disregard the promo or send it to spoof@ebay. Not one recipient thus far states whether it is/was addressed to ‘member’ or some other generic greeting, other signs of it being phishing etc.

Although we have every reason to believe ebaY may well be that desperate, (they have had a recent spate of TV commercials begging people to use their smartphones to sell/list, have their funds held etc), the purported email shows too many indications of being fraudulent. Be careful.

Beyond that: Friends don’t let friends use ebaY!

Any questions?

Here’s the full text of the message reportedly received:

Terms and conditions:  

No Purchase Necessary. Void where prohibited, taxed or restricted. The eBay seller referral promotion (“Promotion”) begins at 12:00:00 AM Pacific Time (PT) on June 22, 2013 and ends 11:59:59 PM PT on July 22, 2013 (“Promotion Period”). Open to legal residents of the fifty (50) United States and the District of Columbia, who are 18 years of age or older, who are registered members of http://www.ebay.com and who recipients of an email invitation by eBay are.

To participate in the Promotion, submit the names and email addresses of friends you would like to invite to make a listing on the eBay website. You may only refer those friends who: (a) are first-time Sellers on eBay; (b) have not made a listing on eBay in the past twelve months; and (c) have opted in to receive communications from eBay. Any referral you make which does not meet this criteria will not be eligible for this Promotion. The eligibility of all referrals are subject to the sole and absolute discretion of the eBay. You will receive a $10 deposit to your PayPal Account for each eligible referred friend who makes a first time listing on eBay during the Promotion Period. There is a limit of up to twenty (20) friends for which you will receive $10 if they make a first time listing. The maximum dollar amount that you may receive from participating in this Promotion is $200.

Referral funds earned will be deposited to your PayPal account. You must create or must have a United States PayPal Account in good standing (the “PayPal account”) in order to receive, access, and use the funds. If you are an existing PayPal customer, your funds will be deposited in the PayPal account associated with the email address from which you received the eBay email invitation. If that email address is not associated with your PayPal account, you must associate it with your PayPal account within 7 days from time of participation in the Promotion. If you do not currently have a PayPal.com account, you must create a PayPal account within 7 days from the time of participation to qualify. Follow directions at http://www.PayPal.com to sign up for an account. Funds will be deposited in your PayPal account on or about August 2, 2013. You must have a U.S. PayPal account in good standing at time of deposit. Funds will not be deposited to a person with a locked, closed or restricted account.

Sponsor is not responsible for technical, hardware or software malfunctions or lost or unavailable network connections, or for any technical or human error which may occur in the processing of submissions which may damage a user’s system or limit an Eligible Participant’s ability to participate in the Promotion Sponsor: eBay, Inc., 2145 Hamilton Avenue, San Jose, CA 95125.

I suppose we shall find out whether this is genuine, but my best guess is that is is fake/phishing.


It seems this may be genuine according to post at ecommercebytes.com, “eBay Opens Wallet to Attract New Sellers” (with screencap of the email/offer) despite no mention of whether members received personalized (addressed to proper name etc)  invitations or were also received via eBay “my messages”. Again, see above regarding the lack of such characteristics)