Alert: eBay and SquareTrade scam, Part 4

Dennis Faas's picture

Are you being scammed? Need to know the definitive answer right now?

Rest assured, the answer lies on this page.

Please read the below article carefully. Please also note that I will NOT answer personal questions pertaining to scams because I have yet to encounter a question which has not already been answered on this page. Thank you for your understanding. You are, however, more than welcome to email me if you found this page helpful. ;-)


Infopackets Reader John Doe writes:

" Dear Dennis,

I found your web site through Google when searching for eBay and SquareTrade.

Question: we are considering buying [HIGHLY DESIRABLE / RIDICULOUSLY LOW-PRICED PRODUCT X] from [COUNTRY Y] through eBay.

The deal sounds to good to be true.

eBay lists the seller with high ratings and there's plenty of good feedback. Plus he uses SquareTrade (is that safe?). I have researched and researched this deal and it doesn't look like a scam, but I'm still not sure.

Can you check out an email address and see if it is legitimate? Also, if I send you a link to the posting of [PRODUCT X], can you tell me if you think if it's a scam? "

My response:

I sincerely would like to help you by answering your question on a personal level.

Unfortunately, I'm much too busy and I've answered this question (and variations of the same question) in a 3-part article series already. And for some strange reason, I'm still being asked the same question.

It's really frustrating!

So in an attempt to absolutely clarify whether you (or anyone else reading this) is being / has been scammed and whether or not you can do anything about it, please allow me to re-iterate what I've said previously (in point form, noted further down). Having said that: Please don't email me details about a scam in progress because I will simply refer you back to this page.

With that would of the way... let's move on. ;-)

How to Know if You're Being Scammed / Have Been a Victim of eBay Fraud / What You Can Do About It

1. If you have any doubt about a deal (I.E.: it's "too good to be true") -- it probably is!

2. High ratings and positive feedback of eBay sellers can be forged. Therefore, don't rely on positive feedback for any type of legitimacy. See:

eBay Feedback Scams: How they Work

3. Scammers and Fraudsters often speak of using SquareTrade, Escrow, and similar services to "secure a safe transaction" and act as an intermediary between you and the seller. This provides a false sense of security with promises of a "money back guarantee" incase the deal somehow sours. The fact is that nothing could be further from the truth and that no such company exists on the Internet (and probably never will). This is part of the scam! For more detail of how this type of scam works, see:

Alert: eBay and SquareTrade scam, Part 1

4. If you've been in contact with an eBay seller and he's emailed you "on the side" during an auction and wants you to wire money to him through Western Union (with a promise of using SquareTrade / etc. to secure the transaction) -- it's a scam!

5. Fraudsters often use fake websites like to phish for your money. Do you see the scam? It's in the website name [hint: is the main domain name and is where the web site is physically hosted -- the "transaction-squaretrade" is merely a prefix of the domain]. This technicality that is almost ALWAYS overlooked by many people -- so don't fall for the scam!

6. The *only* possible recourse you have on a "deal gone bad" is by resolving it through paypal's resolution center (which may take months to resolve, and requires solid evidence to reverse a transaction). And with that being said: the only way to use paypal's resolution center is to make the purchase through paypal -- not Western Union, and certainly not Only!

7. If you've been in contact with a fraudster who uses a phishing site (as referenced in the example above), it is possible to temporarily put him out of business by having his web site shut down. In that case, refer to this previous article:

Alert: eBay and SquareTrade scam, Part 2

What is Phishing?

8. And last, but not least: if you've already been scammed (I.E.: the money has been wired), you have little or no recourse. Live with it. Please don't email me asking, "what can I do?" because you really can't do anything. If the money is gone, it's gone. Sorry. You were scammed. Move on.

Western Security FAQ

More about: Western Union and Fraud

Side note: If you've found this page informative and you *really* want to do some damage to the fraudster / want vengeance / need to inform the world of your hardship, refer as many people as possible to this page by linking to it on every web forum and blog you know of on the Internet. Thanks. ;-)


This article is part 4 of a 4 part series. Click to read the remaining series:

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