How to Report a Scam on eBay in 4 Steps, With Photos

eBay app tablet

How to Report a Scam on eBay in 4 Steps, With Photos

Have you ever fallen victim to a scam on eBay? You’re not alone. Scams can leave you feeling frustrated, and it’s important to report them quickly to protect yourself and prevent others from having a similar experience. That’s why staying proactive and learning how to report a scam on eBay is so important.

eBay is one of the largest online auction sites in the world. But, even with its popularity and success, there are some dangers you’ll want to be aware of when using the platform. Just like buying anything online, you’ll want to take extra steps to protect yourself and your finances. In this step-by-step guide, we’ll help you identify warning signs of fraudulent sellers, walk you through the process of reporting a scam, and share tips for securing your account moving forward.

Important Tips for Identifying Suspicious eBay Sellers

It’s crucial to be aware of the common warning signs that indicate suspicious eBay sellers to protect yourself from scams, both now and into the future. One red flag to watch out for is unrealistic prices. If you’re seeing items offered at an unusually low price, then this may be a scam. Be sure to research other listings and see if the price is comparable. Also, be cautious of high shipping costs, as some fraudulent sellers charge exorbitant amounts for shipping to inflate the overall cost. 

Another indication the seller might not be legitimate is having poor communication. This is especially true if they are unresponsive or evasive when you ask questions about the item. Always check the seller’s feedback score and read through their reviews to see if other buyers have had issues with them.

Additionally, if a seller asks for payment through a different platform or method outside of eBay, it could be a sign that they are trying to scam you. Be cautious of listings that have vague or incomplete descriptions, photos that appear to be taken from other sources, or stock photos instead of actual pictures of the item.

Lastly, if a seller pressures you to make a quick purchase or use a “buy it now” option, they may be attempting to rush you into a scam. By staying vigilant and keeping these warning signs in mind, you can minimize your risk of falling victim to fraudulent sellers on eBay.

A Step-by-Step Guide to Reporting Scams on eBay

If you suspect that someone has scammed you on eBay, then take action on the following steps as soon as possible.

Step 1: Contact the eBay Seller

Reach out to the seller if you’ve received an item that doesn’t match its description or if you haven’t received the item at all. Visit the item listing and click “Contact seller”. Provide as many details as possible, including the item number, transaction ID, and any messages exchanged between you and the seller. Sometimes, it could be a simple miscommunication instead of an outright scam.

eBay Item listing
The “Contact seller” link is under the seller’s name in the item listing.


Step 2: Contact eBay Directly

If the issue remains unresolved after contacting the seller, turn to eBay for assistance. Go to the eBay Security Center and create a request by clicking the “Go to Purchase History” button. Then, select the fraudulent item. Following that, provide all transaction details, including the item number, transaction ID, and any messages exchanged between you and the seller.

eBay Security Center
Click on the “Go to Purchase History” button to see your recent purchases.


If you suspect that the seller is engaging in fraudulent activities, such as selling counterfeit items or misrepresenting the item’s condition, report them by clicking “Report this item” on the item listing. This is located at the bottom of the listing page, near the listing item specifics.

eBay listing details
Scroll through the suspicious listing until you find the “Report this item” link.


Step 3: Report a Buyer (for Sellers)

Sellers can also report fraudulent buyers who engage in activities like using stolen credit cards or requesting payment by check or money order. To do this, you need to go to the Report a Buyer section within your eBay Seller Hub. Here, you can locate the transaction and choose the reason you’re reporting the buyer, then click “Submit”. The eBay team will then investigate the transaction.

eBay Seller Hub
Scroll through your transactions until you find the entry you’re looking for.


Step 4: Protect Access to Your eBay Account

Once you’ve taken the actions above, it’ll be in the hands of eBay’s team. They’ll notify you of any actions they’ve taken and will help you resolve the dispute. However, you’ll also want to take additional steps to ensure that your account stays protected.

The best way to do this is to update your account password regularly and ensure you always use a strong password. This will act as the first line of defense against anyone trying to obtain unauthorized access to your account. If you suspect unauthorized access to your account, make sure you report the suspicious activity to eBay immediately.

Another way to protect yourself is by using a secure payment method like PayPal. This offers another layer of protection, since PayPal also has a scam resolution team. Most credit card companies also offer protection from fraudulent charges.

Keep Your Account Safe: Tips for Preventing Future eBay Scams

Maintaining the security of your eBay account is essential in preventing future scams. One of the big things you can do to protect yourself is to familiarize yourself with eBay’s policies and guidelines on scams and fraud to stay informed about the latest trends and best practices. You also want to be extra cautious of phishing emails or suspicious websites that may impersonate eBay in an attempt to steal your personal information.

You can further add an extra layer of security to your account by using two-factor authentication (2FA) for enhanced protection. By actively implementing these strategies and remaining vigilant, you can minimize the risk of encountering scams and enjoy a safer, more secure eBay experience.

Closing Thoughts: How to Report a Scam on eBay

Remember, the first step in addressing a potential scam is to contact the seller. If that doesn’t yield a resolution, turn to eBay for assistance. Don’t hesitate to report any fraudulent activity involving buyers or sellers, as it helps protect the entire eBay community. Finally, make sure you take proactive measures to safeguard your eBay account and personal information by staying vigilant against future scams. By following this comprehensive guide, you can shop with confidence and enjoy a safer eBay experience.

How to Report a Scam on eBay in 4 Steps, With Photos FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions) 

Will eBay refund me if I get scammed?

Yes, eBay has a money-back guarantee that covers most eBay transactions. This means that buyers can get their money back if the item doesn’t show up, is damaged, or it doesn’t match the listing.

Can you report scam buyers on eBay?

Yes, you can report buyers from your Sold Items list as a buyer. Simply select the buyer and make a claim, then eBay will evaluate the claim.

Can you report a scammer on eBay to the police?

If you’ve been defrauded by the seller, or believe the listed goods are stolen, then you should report the scammer to the police. This will give you a crime reference number and you can start to create a paper trail.

What happens if an eBay seller doesn’t issue a refund?

If the buyer has already paid for the item, the seller has 10 business to issue a refund. If the seller doesn’t issue the refund, then the buyer can file a claim through the eBay Money Back Guarantee. After which, eBay will take the appropriate action to help the seller get their money back.

What happens when you report a seller on eBay?

After a buyer reports a seller, eBay will review the report and take the appropriate action. This can include removing the listing, suspending their account, and warning the seller.

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