How to Detect & Prevent Fraud on eBay

You can take a few simple steps to protect yourself against fraudulent buyers.

1. Beware of Emails

Beware of email requests asking for personal information or account logins for eBay or PayPal that are made to appear that they were sent from eBay. These requests often include links to Web pages that will ask you to sign in and submit information. You should never click on these links.

Neither eBay nor PayPal will ever ask you for sensitive personal information (such as your password, credit card and bank account numbers, Social Security numbers, etc.) in an email. Instead, please go directly to and sign into your account. If eBay has sent you an email, it will be copied to the "My Messages" portion of your "My eBay" portal. You can forward suspicious emails to

If PayPal has sent you an email, go directly to and sign into your account. Also, if PayPal has sent you a notification regarding a recent transaction event, a record of the transaction event will appear on the 'Overview' screen of your 'My Account' tab. You can forward suspicious emails to

2. Choose Good Passwords

Taking simple preventive measures, such as creating a good passwordS, can significantly decrease the threat of identity theft. If you have a relatively simple password, other individuals might be able to access your accounts through a series of guesses.

When choosing a password, use a combination of at least 6 to 8 letters, numbers, and special characters (Ex: make4me$). In order to assure that your passwords are secure, you should change your eBay and PayPal passwords every 30-60 days.

3. Make Your Terms Clear

Make sure you consider these factors when selling any item on eBay.

  • Respond promptly to buyer questions.
  • Review your buyer's feedback.
  • Your listing template should clearly state all buyer policies like shipping times, feedback, etc.
  • Ship with a tracking number and insure the item.
  • Maintain a record of shipping receipts as proof the item was shipped.
  • Keep copies of any proof of your item's authenticity.
  • Only ship items to the verified billing address on the buyer's credit card account.


  • In any valid correspondence, PayPal will always address you by your first and last. name.
  • Use extra caution with unknown or new buyers, buyers with unusual bidding activity or buyers who ask you to ship “rush” or “overnight”.

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