eBay has recorded a significant reduction in the number of people having a bad experience on its site, following a year-long training programme with 2,245 police and trading standards officers.
Police officers from 34 constabularies and three major law enforcement agencies, including the Serious Organised Crime Agency (SOCA), British Transport Police and Europol took part in the programme, which showed how the eBay site can be used as an investigative tool, generating valuable evidence to build cases against online criminals.
eBay’s Fraud Investigations Team held over 20 training sessions with police officers from across the country. The team trained officers on how best to use the site to assist in their investigations and how to ensure that anyone attempting to use the site for illegal purposes was caught and prosecuted.
The training involved a detailed look at eBay’s fraud prevention initiatives, including fighting counterfeits and professional fraud. Officers were also trained in how to analyse user profiles and trading history to support their investigations.
Richard Ambrose, Head of Trust and Safety for eBay UK, said: “Trust is the engine of eBay, and with 15 million people in the UK visiting our site each month we have a duty to make it as safe and secure as possible.
“We do this by working closely with law enforcement agencies like the police and trading standards, and so far this year we have assisted them in over 7,500 investigations and with the arrest or conviction of nearly 200 criminals.
“We can offer a wealth of evidence to assist police investigations and even provide a forensic financial ‘footprint’ of a suspected fraudsters’ online activities. This can prove very useful when it comes to law enforcement agency efforts to seize the proceeds of crime.
“Our collaborative approach with law enforcement agencies has contributed to a significant reduction in the number of people having a bad experience or being defrauded on eBay in 2008, sending a clear signal to criminals that they won’t get away with illegal activity on our site.”
Breakdown of police officers trained per constabulary: Devon and Cornwall Police: 301 Metropolitan Police: 286 SOCA, APCO HTCU: 271 Greater Manchester Police: 207 Europol: 150 West Midlands Police: 100 Essex Police: 96 Durham Police: 80 Bedfordshire Police: 49 British Transport Police: 39 Surrey Police: 32 Thames Valley Police: 26 Kent Police: 25 Cambridgeshire Police: 22 Hertfordshire Police: 20 Other: 90+