eBay "Lays Down the Law" at 4th Annual Training Event

Richard Brewer-Hay

Hello Everyone, I wanted to give you a quick look into a very interesting event that I attended this past Tuesday, November 18: eBay’s fourth annual, one-day training event for law enforcement officials. Over 100 federal, state and local U.S. law enforcement officers from the FBI, Department of Homeland Security, U.S Postal Service, the U.S. Secret Service and others were on hand to learn how eBay can help assist them in their investigations with both tools and resources.

eBay Security Center_ Law EnforcementIn my many years of experience in both law enforcement and the private sector, I’ve experienced first-hand the payoffs from good training and outreach programs with law enforcement; eBay and PayPal also understand the importance of working together to keeping crooks off eBay (the former eBay fraudster who was sentenced earlier this week in Chicago to 27 years in jail is a good example).

Aside from the ever-evolving threat of phishing and malware (stay tuned for more on that), attendees of the event heard about the latest trends, tools and techniques developed by the eBay team to assist the investigators in cases involving online fraud, stolen property and counterfeit goods. Check out real cases in the eBay police blotter.

The day started with an overview of eBay and PayPal’s Global Law Enforcement Operations. Of special note was eBay’s successful detection, monitoring and takedown strategy which consistently removes potentially fraudulent listings. eBay’s cooperation with intellectual property rights owners through the Verified Rights Owners (VERO) program has resulted in significant decreases in the listings of counterfeit items on eBay. As an intellectual property rights and online safety consultant, I strongly recommend working with eBay through programs like this to fight counterfeiting head-on. The day ended with a superb panel of eBay’s top experts who talked about international investigations. Having worked internationally for many years, I really identified with the thrust of this panel as they explained good cross-border cooperation and liaison, and having trusted partnerships with global enforcement agencies— a proven formula for success. Coincidentally, I gave a similar message to a class of agents at the FBI Academy just the day before.

Overall it was a great day for information sharing and networking to strengthen those very important ties between eBay/PayPal and the enforcement community.

While the majority of transactions occur without a problem, if you suspect fraud or other criminal activity on eBay or any e-commerce site, by all means report it to law enforcement first—here are some good sites: www.ic3.gov, and www.ftc.gov. You should also report suspicious listings and others problems directly to eBay.

Law enforcement officers can contact eBay’s Fraud Investigations Team (FIT) here for assistance and can click here to arrange a training session.

Rich LaMagna
eBay Online Safety Advisor