eBay have said they will compensate the victims of a scammer who sold non-existant holiday packages to visitors to Australia’s Gold Coast.
Over the last year, seller “beachesaustralia” sold more than 4000 holidays via eBay Australia. Buyers purchased holiday certificates for Queensland resorts, paying by bank transfer, only to arrive at their resorts to discover that the promised accomodation bookings did not exist.
Yesterday, police raided a unit in Victoria and seized computer equipment and paperwork. A 56 year old man is said to be helping them with their enquiries. The seller has now been suspended from eBay.
An eBay spokesperson said that eBay were establishing a fund to recompense victims of the scam, whose total take is estimated to be around AU$1million. eBay will communicate with known victims to let them know what steps they need to take to receive compensation. They are also working with the police to try to identify further victims. Anyone who believes they may be affected is asked to contact Victoria police.
This is an interesting, and welcome, development for eBay. Normally buyer protection is available only with PayPal: bank transfers offer no protection at all for buyers, from either eBay or the banks. So to see eBay step in like this and resolve a horrible situation for all involved has to be applauded.