Ebay - Odd user names - Scam or security procedure?

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by patmort02, Aug 4, 2008.

  1. patmort02 macrumors member

    Mar 2, 2006
    I was just browsing ebay for a variety of things, but mostly looking at what macbook pros were going for. I noticed many of the auctions showed winning bidders with strange user names. They all seem to begin and end with a letter but they have three asterisks in the middle. For example bidders will
    have names such as a***f or r***b.

    Is this a sure sign of a scam, or a security procedure by ebay to protect users from scammers?

    I haven't been on ebay for a while, so I may have missed an announcement when they started doing this.
  2. Ntombi macrumors 68040


    Jul 1, 2008
    Bostonian exiled in SoCal
    You guessed right: it's a security measure to protect bidders' privacy. eBay started doing it maybe a year or two ago.
  3. patmort02 thread starter macrumors member

    Mar 2, 2006
    Oh good, that makes me feel better. I was worried that ebay had become overrun with scammers.

    Thanks a lot
  4. FuuFuu macrumors regular


    Jul 8, 2008
    oh boy i hope that never happens. but in any case, for a better way to have a secure transaction.

    look at their feedbacks, and number of items solds. if they have negative feedbacks and they seem to have the same complain, it is a possibly it will happen to you. people with hundreds of selling items are very trustworthy, since they are making it into a business esque thing, i doubt they'll rip you off.
  5. Apple Ink macrumors 68000

    Apple Ink

    Mar 7, 2008
  6. gnasher729 macrumors P6


    Nov 25, 2005
    These trustworthy people sometimes have their accounts hijacked (taken over by a scammer). When that happens, all the positive feedback means nothing. Compare what they are selling now with what they have been selling six months ago. If the same account has been selling garden plants to thousands of happy customers and now sells brand new boxed MacBook Pros at half price then you can be sure it is a scam using a hijacked account, and the trustworthy person selling excellent garden plants knows nothing about these laptops.

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