Teenager detained for eBay fraud

Teenager detained for eBay fraud

Summary: An 18-year-old defrauded eBay users of £45,000 to fuel an extravagant lifestyle of high-tech kit and limousines

TOPICS: Government UK

A teenager who used Internet auction site eBay to defraud over one hundred people was sentenced to twelve months detention and training on Wednesday.

Phillip Shortman, 18, of Pontypool, South Wales, obtained over £45,000 by selling goods that didn't actually exist on eBay. He had previously admitted 21 counts of obtaining property by deception over a 13 month period.

Cardiff Crown Court heard that Shortman had spent the money on expensive electronics kit — including computer equipment, hi-fis and flat-screen televisions — designer clothes and hiring stretch limousines.

Police have warned that criminals are increasingly targeting Internet auction sites such as eBay. A technique typically used by fraudsters is to get a victim to pay by cash or a cheque before they receive the item they've paid for.

eBay itself recommends that customers pay by credit card or by PayPal — which it owns — or use an escrow service that will hold the buyer's money in trust until the item has been handed over. It also runs a Buyer Protection Programme, but the maximum rebate possible is just £105 — rising to £250 if the customer paid by PayPal.

Topic: Government UK

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  • I think that i have just been "had" by one of these ebay fraudsters. Exactly as described in your article, the seller talked us into paying an amount direct into their account and have now disappeared off the face of the earth. Ebay have been informed and so have the police but nobody seems to be doing anything about it!
    These people can easily be traced via the bank account we have even spoken to their bank ourselves, but of course they will not give any info about the account holders to anyone but the police. I cannot stress how frustrating this all is!