How to Report Fraud on eBay

by Shea Laverty

If you're the victim of fraud on eBay, you need to contact eBay right away. In cases of verifiable fraud, contacting law enforcement agencies is also a must. There are a few tools on eBay for reporting fraudulent listings or sellers, as well as tools to resolve disputes with sellers.

Before Contacting eBay or Police

Before you contact eBay and/or the police, collect your evidence to prove the fraud, including transaction records, related emails and, in the case of products not being as advertised, photos displaying the differences. In almost all cases, without evidence of fraud, there isn't a lot that eBay or the police can do.

eBay Resolution Center

Before you report a seller for fraud, make sure that this is actually the case. In some cases, it may be that an item is out-of-stock or the seller is very slow about shipping but not intending to commit outright fraud. The eBay Resolution Center is a tool that is designed so you can deal with the issue within eBay first and potentially find a solution that doesn't involve the police.

Report the Item

Every eBay listing has the option to report fraudulent or suspicious listings for review. Click the Report item link in on the item's eBay page to go to the listing report tool. Before you report the item, however, double-check the eBay listing rules to make sure that the item doesn't, in fact, comport with eBay listing policies.

Local Law Enforcement

After you've exhausted all conflict resolution methods within eBay, it's time to get the police involved. Contact your local police with all the pertinent information and any evidence you have of the fraud. If eBay provided you with any case reference numbers, they may also be worth including. Retain the police report reference number so you can check on the progress of your case. If the police determine that your case isn't a crime, you need to pursue civil action to recover your losses.

PayPal or Credit Card Company

After you've reported the fraud to the police and eBay, contact your credit card company to report the fraud and start an investigation. If you're using PayPal, go to their Resolution Center to dispute the transaction and report the fraud. In most cases, you should be able to get a refund after investigations prove that you were defrauded.

Other Agencies

There are a few other agencies you can contact, both to report the crime for further investigation and to try and prevent the fraudster from scamming anyone else. The Internet Crime Complaint Center is a government agency that handles complaints of Internet crime like online fraud. The Consumer Complaints and Protection Agency handles consumer complaints including those of fraud. The Better Business Bureau monitors and investigates businesses for unethical or fraudulent practices.