I’ve always considered eBay a haven for flim-flam artists, con-men, and fools but this takes the cake. The old scam – basically a fine-print ruse where you’re actually selling a link or a box or something while making it look like you’re selling the real thing – is still alive and well on eBay but now it’s taken a decidedly more commercial turn. These new auctions purport to sell iPads 2 but instead they ask you to give up your cellphone number for a lifetime of high-priced text messages and/or identity theft in the guise of an actual sale.
I found plenty of these auctions so far but this one seems to have gathered some traction with people bidding up to $265 on what is essentially an advertisement.
While I’m all for parting fools from their money, does eBay have to make it so amazingly easy? Isn’t there a heuristic they can employ that scans the text for known spam words? It’s stuff like this that makes my vonny kroovy boil. Please, people: read your auctions before you bid.