eBay tightens security measures against scams

Executives at eBay are touting security as their top priority in 2007 after an internal survey showed that online scammers may be denting the company's reputation, an Associated Press report said.

The Associated Press report said eBay began a program last year to safeguard members' identities by concealing their user names on expensive listings.
That measure could make it harder for con artists to contact losing bidders and goad them into 'second chance offers,' where customers wire cash to the scammers' accounts, the report said.

Engineers also want to reduce counterfeit items and clamp down on scams between buyers and sellers from different countries, said William C. Cobb, president of eBay North America.

'It's no secret that online criminals who target sites like eBay and PayPal have grown in number and sophistication over time,' the executive was quote4d as saying.
'Where we've historically put an emphasis on transparency and free choice, today the security threats are more complex, and we're more actively protecting our buyers from fraud.'

Representatives are also sending nasty emails to sellers who charge egregious shipping and handling fees. eBay reduced the average shipping cost in the 'cell phones' category by 25% since last summer, Cobb said.

The emphasis on security enhancements, billed as the most important initiative in the company's 12-year history, comes as senior eBay executives host the site's top 250 sellers at closed-door meetings this week.