Eight people were arrested in Hong Kong yesterday for eBay fraud estimated at UHK$5million. Police believe that 10,000 buyers may have been cheated out of money for goods that were never delivered, though they are still trying to ascertain the exact number of victims, many of whom were from the UK and the US, with some from Hong Kong itself. It’s estimated that the scammers made more than HK$600,000 in the first six months of this year alone.
The gang listed mainly electronic items, including MP3 players and computer memory cards, took payment for them but never delivered the goods. Senior Superintendent Man Chi-hung of the Commercial Crime Bureau’s technology crime division said that the gang used a variety of sales techniques: some products were listed very cheaply to attract bidders, whereas others were listed at normal market prices, to avoid raising suspicion. None of the items allegedly sold has been recovered.
The investigation began after eBay made a complaint to police. Jenny Yip, communications manager of eBay Hong Kong, said “our team detected some irregular activities at eBay and we reported to police. We’ve also received complaints from buyers claiming they did not receive any goods after payments had been made.” eBay cooperated with the police throughout the investigation.