Ben Laurie blathering

eBay Scams

I want an X41 Tablet (if you really loved me, you’d give me one). I bought my wife an X40 last year and got a great price on eBay. So, naturally, I’ve been looking there again.

The prices aren’t so great this time around, but what I am finding is a rather interesting trend. Yesterday there were lots of 1-day auctions for X41s. The sellers had good feedback, but if you investigated you’d find that all of a sudden they were selling a metric fuckload of stuff, all posted at the same time, all 1-day, all relatively expensive stuff (like TVs and computers) – and all not at all like what they usually sell.

Today I’m seeing 10-day auctions, but instead of huge diversity, they’re all laptops. I can’t figure out the 10 day thing, unless they’re after direct email contact (a feature of all of these things is they say “contact me by email”, surprise, surprise).

Anyway, I’m curious – does this go on all the time and I haven’t noticed, or is this a new attack?

(In case it isn’t obvious, I’m assuming the real eBayers have been owned, and this is an attempt by the attacker to make money)


  1. > I want an X41 Tablet (if you really loved me, you’d give me one).
    I wouldn’t bother, have been using one for a couple of months and have found it to be moderately dissapointing. Plain X41 is much better, if you want to draw, buy a graphics tablet.

    Comment by Owen Cliffe — 26 Feb 2006 @ 1:14

  2. The trouble with graphics tablets is rewiring your brain so that you are looking at one thing (your display) and manipulating using another (your pen). Of course we already do this with mice, but for some reason I find it harder with a graphics tablet and pen. It might be related to the fact I’m left-handed, use a right-handed mouse, but cannot use the tablet right-handed (as it’s too close to a pen).

    Comment by Jon Dowland — 27 Feb 2006 @ 13:49

  3. also interested in this. i’m thinking of bidding on one just to see what happens.

    Comment by kyle — 14 Mar 2006 @ 1:44

  4. hmm i did a little more reading and i think what happens is that a normal user’s account is stolen and then a computer program lists all the auctions in rapid succession and the hope is that at least 5% are bid on. enough stolen accounts can result in some decent money?

    Comment by kyle — 14 Mar 2006 @ 1:53

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