The Scale of The Scam

A detailed look at how large a net the scammers are casting.

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UPDATE

On the 5th April 2017, 275 scam got shutdown thanks to a journalist at a tech website, there is more info in the link below. The scammers are in no way done however as you will read.

{UPDATE LINK}

The text below may be outdated but it’s being kept to preserve how bad it was and WILL get again without ebay implementing safeguards.

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When the scam is broken down it looks like a hell of a lot of effort for the sake of a £1,000 to £2000 payday 4 months down the line.

While that would be true if someone tried this with a couple of accounts, these scammers have an effectively endless supply line of backup Stage 1 accounts.

As of writing this they have.

200+ Stage 1 Accounts

An average of 80 are actively selling and posting out phone cases on any given day, they tend to leave a few weeks gap between selling the next legit batch per account. This means they can spread their stock over more accounts to keep them all looking legit while also evenly pumping up the feedback scores.

25 Stage 2 Accounts

These have either only just started putting up the scam listings or are a few days away from the refund requests coming in.

25 Stage 3 Accounts

These accounts are effectively now useless to them due to the mountains of negative feedback pouring in and dwindling feedback score

134 Stage 4 Accounts (Since September 2016)

74 of these were shutdown weeks or even months after the scam had finished

60 were shutdown before they could scam anyone and were still in their “legit” stage 1 phase. I’ve no idea why they got shut down because for all intents and purposes the weren’t actually breaking any site rules.

Perhaps they did something suspicious like using a fake address they’d used previously, logged in with the wrong details which were for a Stage 3 or 4 account or even the person who actually lives at the house, saw the listing by random chance, along with their address and reported it.

If the person reporting had a verified PayPal account linked to said address Ebay would know something was up with the scam account and act.

Heres 5 pics of the Google Earth pins for all the scammers I’ve placed over 5 months, these are to keep track of the fake addresses they use.

 

The Costs

I managed to find a hell of a lot of the scammer’s accounts over the October to December 2016 period but I may have missed quite a few. These figures for Xmas should be seen as an “at least” total rather than exact.

You’re a Git Mr Grinch

October 1st 2016 to December 21st 2016

The grand total of cash made from every account I found through this period comes to..

£49,713

This was scammed from a total of..

3268 People

A lot of those 3268 people were buying Xmas gifts that never arrived.

The average account during this period made..

£1184

by ripping off an average of …

77 People

I’m sure the scammers had a very merry Christmas as well.

Dry January?

December 21st 2016 to January 27th 2017

During this period of time they didn’t pull a single scam, phone cases were sold and new stage 1 accounts were made but no scams at all.

They didn’t however rest on their laurels during January as you will see below. I believe they must have gone through all of their scam sales and worked out which items sell quick, which ones don’t and optimal times to sell certain items.

The St Valentines Day Massacre

Unlike the Xmas period I was ready for them this time, I’d used the January lull to find any stage 1’s I might have missed and set up my catalogues, scripts and programs to be more efficient.

This means, bar the odd account that slipped through my nets, that this is as near an exact total as I’m going to get of this ongoing Valentine’s period.

January 28th 2017 to [NOW]

From Jan 28 – [NOW] they have made ..

£57,804

The total amount of people who’ve been mucked about by both the scammers and Ebay over this period is …

3,970 People

More people got ripped off in this 5-6 week period than the entire population of St Asaph in Wales,  UK.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/St_Asaph

On an average day they are making

£1,732

from

116 People

Their overall average per account has improved significantly also, for this Feb/March period the average account makes …

£1,447

from

99 People

Performance Enhancement

Comparing the Xmas scam total with the St Valentine’s you can see there’s been quite the uptick in both cash made and by extension people ripped off.

The average account makes £263 more a (22%) increase while a further 22 people are ripped off (28%)

They’ve also dabbled with single auction listings on a few accounts, which while im guessing, are easier to maintain due to them just needing to be automatically added every 30 minutes for 12 hours at a time. The cash made is often a few hundred quid under what they get for the bulk buy it now listings.

Grim Forecast

While it would be impossible to get an exact amount, if I take the average cash amount and people who have been ripped off by each account, adjusted for their improved February amounts it comes down to.

£1445 per account
99 people per account

If I multiply that by the amount of Stage 1 legit accounts which will, in the next 4-5 months, all do the scam that’s a ball park figure of …

£289,000

in potential stolen cash from …

20,000 People

I gave these figures to ebay weeks ago, explaining the scam in detail for the upteenth time and nothing, they’d rather throw money at the problem than take the 10 minutes max to cut these scammers off at the knees while saving themselves almost £300,000 and not having 2o,000 customers demanding refunds from them.

Outgoings

While every scam item they sell is pure profit they do actually have to dip into their haul regularly.

Since they are posting out crazy amounts of phone cases and cables daily, the scammers get through easily 2000 stamps and 1000 parcels a week to keep it going.

These stamps are purchased from Ebay stamp wholesalers via the scam accounts as a way to both clean out the funds before Ebay step in and also keep the stage 1’s going.

They also have to pay for the Iphone cases and cables, but with the shear amount they buy from China, they are probably paying under £1 each for the cases and less than that for the cables thanks to the bulk discount.

They are making a good profit while legit selling the cases alone and said funds are usually spent prior to the account selling the second batch of scam items.

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