Watch out for scams warns Trade Me

ANGELA CUMING
Last updated 05:00 24/01/2013

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Trade Me bosses are warning users to be vigilant about online scammers after people using New Zealand's biggest online market were targeted.

Trade Me's head of trust and safety, Jon Duffy, said the company had been targeted by two "phishing" scams doing the rounds.

Both phishing emails were sent out at the weekend and asked users to click a link to "cancel" the purchase of a barbecue the email said they had bought on Trade Me. Besides the cancel button the email contained standard information usually included in automated responses sent to buyers when a transaction is made.

This link then took them to a website not associated with Trade Me and asked for further details about the user.

"Phishers typically guess the email addresses, particularly with the large ISPs [internet service providers]."

Phishing is when a scammer sends legitimate-looking emails that appear to come from websites or companies in an effort to trick information like user names or passwords from users.

The Times was contacted by at least one Hamilton resident who was sent a bogus email. "Our policing team worked hard to bring the first site down in 10 hours and the second down in another 11 hours," Mr Duffy said.

"We then got in contact with affected members and warned them of the threat, and also posted about it on the Trade Me message boards. As result of this action we're not aware of any Trade Me members who fell into the trap and lost control of their details."

Like all large websites, Trade Me faced ongoing threats from phishers and scammers, he said, and the company had a team that worked 24 hours a day, seven days a week monitoring the site for suspicious activity.

HOW TO AVOID SCAMMERS USING TRADE ME

Check the website you arrive at when you click the link is definitely trademe.co.nz

Check for your first name.

Typically, scammers won't have this information.

Never provide your user name or passwords by email.

Upgrade your browser to include anti-phishing technology.

Never enter information into forms within email messages.

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- Waikato Times

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