A timely message from John Canfield
By: Richard Brewer-Hay
In the announcement, John talked about a common fraud practice in which individuals access another user’s account and set up listings in that person’s name. He said, “they gain this access often through a phishing email that convinces an unsuspecting member to click a link and enter their User ID and password.”
We all know that the threat of identity fraud is with us all the time (I’ve received 9 such attempts in the first week of eBay Ink going live). However, I’m glad I read the message from John before clicking on all of my email earlier this morning because the latest attempt sent my way was yesterday, and I almost clicked on the link this time around.
He went on to say that “to protect the Community against this type of fraud, beginning today, eBay will start noting which computers members typically use to conduct their buying and selling activity. After our data collection phase, sometime in June eBay will begin verifying our sellers when they list an item to ensure they are logging in from the same machines they have successfully used previously – usually a home or business computer.”
This new level of security / identity confirmation process is only going to be applied to the seller side of the transaction to begin with. If you are a seller, and you attempt to list an item from a different computer, eBay will make an automated call to the phone number you have registered to confirm it is really you. They may also prompt you to verify your identity in other ways.
I think its obviously beneficial that we continue to improve secure and safe transactions but what if my account is registered with my home phone number but I’m trying to list an item from a library or hotel PC (as is the example given in John’s message)? Do I need to be able to answer the phone directly in order to proceed?
From what I can tell, the answer is yes. John recommended that all sellers should register their cell phone or mobile device as a secondary phone number so that you can be reached wherever you may be attempting to complete a listing. I realize nearly everyone has a cell phone these days, but I’m pretty sure this means that those without a cell phone will only be to able to make a listing from a) one location and/or b) the same PC. Is this where Skype comes into play?
Are there sellers out there that fall into this category? How would this change the way you list items? Would it?
If you check out the message from John, you’ll see some quick recommended steps to help with this new security initiative. There will also be a workshop about Trusted Selling with Identity Confirmation on May 6 in which the security team will be taking member questions.
For now, I’ll continue to view and open any emails from unknown sources with a due sense of scrutiny.