I was naive enough to believe that a site as popular and prominent as eBay could not possibly let something like this happen. I was wrong. I was naive enough to believe that eBay had some liability when something like this happens. I was wrong. I was naive enough to believe that eBay cared about its members and their personal security. I was most definitely wrong.
Now, Philly.com has news about another huge problem on the site, dishonest sellers getting away with murder (not that this is unusual at all other than maybe in the amount of money stolen):
For more than six years, Forrest R. Smith III forged the signatures of many famous authors in books and then sold those books at inflated prices on eBay.[...]
Smith's scam victimized hundreds of book collectors who thought that they were buying works signed by such literary luminaries as Truman Capote, Norman Mailer, Kurt Vonnegut and Toni Morrison.
In reality, the books had only been stamped with forged signatures created by Smith.
Smith, 48, of Reading, was sentenced yesterday to 33 months behind bars and ordered to make restitution of $120,000 to his victims.
Authorities said that Smith carried out his scheme from March 2002 until at least September 2008.I do hope that eBay is more cooperative in helping this group of victims than it was with me when I needed someone to help me out of a fix. Good luck, folks. I hope you get your money back.
The feds said that Smith used two accounts on eBay - one registered in his name with the screen name "bigdaddy_books" and one registered in his wife's name.
Smith used the "bigdaddy_books" account to purchase unsigned books, then forged authors' signatures in them and resold them as "signed" from his wife's account.
Authorities said that by representing that the books with the forged signatures had been signed by their authors, Smith could sell them at a much higher price than he would have been able to sell unsigned copies.
Smith and the government stipulated that there had been more than 250 victims and that he had netted $120,000 to $200,000 in the scam.