eBay-related scams and spam are nothing new. But the recent changes to eBay's Store format and fees makes for a special opportunity for the spammers.
Spoof emails can be very official-looking. One reader of my newsletter who considers herself very savvy about spam fell for one urging her to upgrade to the new Store subscription format. She was on an iPhone, so she didn't scrutinize it as carefully as she might have on a larger screen. After clicking the link to upgrade she noticed a funny-looking non-eBay url come up, but by that time it was too late.
What can you do to avoid these emails? One rule of thumb is to always go to "My Messages" to answer any official emails from eBay. Do not click on links in emails purporting to be from eBay.
And even in "My Messages," if you get a message from a user you don't recognize, with whom you are not doing a transaction, do not click on any links within their message.
As one eBay safety rep put it:
"Please be informed that all legitimate eBay emails, alerts or notices should have a duplicate copy on your My eBay Messages. Please be cautious also of links received via email, including those received in My Messages. Many experienced members are being tricked by member-to-member spoofs that appear to be real communications from other users.
"Please never respond to a member that you don't recall dealing with, or regarding an item you are not selling. Always report these emails by forwarding them to firstname.lastname@example.org. This will allow us to take a detailed look at the message and let you know if it was sent by eBay or not."
"All emails that can be seen on your My eBay Messages are all legitimate, but there are some members who [are] trying to defraud other eBay member by sending an email with a link that will lead you to a spoof site. Please be cautious of this."
Happy safe eBaying!