Fraud an 'internet problem, not an eBay problem,' spokeswoman says

EBay is not responsible for criminals who abuse its online auction service, said a company spokeswoman after a Calgary man lost $20,000 trying to buy a car on eBay.

Comment comes after Calgary man lost $20K on eBay transaction

EBay is not responsible for criminals who abuse its online auction service, said a company spokeswoman after CBC News reported on a Calgary man who lost $20,000 on an eBay transaction.

"That's an internet problem, not an eBay problem," Erin Sufrin said Monday about criminals engineering scams through the service.

Shaqir Duraj, a Calgary bakery owner,bid ona car through eBay in October from what he thought was a reputable seller. But someone had actually taken over the seller's page in a scam known as hijacking.

Duraj wired $20,000 from his bank account's line of credit, thinking he was using PayPal, eBay's protected payment service. But the thief actually sent Duraj a fake duplicate PayPal site.

There is no sign of the car or the money.

Sufrin said there's nothingeBay can do. She said Duraj would have been able to claim up to $25,000 if he had used a credit card or protected payment plan.

Sufrin said they warn customers to avoid using money transfer services and eBay can only try to educate people about internet fraud.

"Spoofing and phishing is something that we're all a victim of and that we try very hard to combat — trying again to get that education out. Never click on — if you think it's a fake eBay, or a fake PayPal or a fake anything site, report it."

She said she doesn't know how often hijacking happens, but said eBay has 2,000 security people working on the problem.

Sufrin added eBay is working with the RCMP to get help for customers scammed out of large amounts of money, contradicting an RCMP fraud investigator who told CBC News no one from eBay has returned his calls.

Meanwhile, a regulatory body in France is taking eBay to court to force the online auctioneer to meet the same standards required of all auction houses in the country, including a guarantee of consumer protection.

The Council of Sales said it has a long list of complaints dating back to 2003. In one case, a buyer who won an auction for an 18th-century painting received a piece of wood with a photocopy glued onto it, said the council.

With files from the Associated Press