Scam: Cheap Fritz boxes on eBay classifieds lure victims

Fraudsters post cheap offers for Fritzboxes in hijacked accounts on eBay classifieds. They lure buyers into paying with “Paypal friends”.

Fraud schemes in second-hand goods exchanges are nothing new in themselves – however, the criminal masterminds always vary them somewhat. Currently, AVM’s Fritzboxes seem to be increasingly being placed on eBay classifieds with fraudulent intent. Cybercriminals are lured into the trap with cheap offers.

A reader fell for this scam and filed a criminal complaint. The fraudsters apparently use access data stolen by means of phishing, for example, in order to post images and offer texts copied from other offers in user accounts that have been hijacked in this way. Such ads look legitimate.

Eventually, the perpetrators invent stories to induce the lured prospective buyers to make unsecured payments. The free payment via Paypal’s “Send to friends” option, which in this specific case led to damage, can almost be regarded as a classic. Instead of roughly five percent of the purchase price for buyer protection, this payment is possible without additional costs. But even without protection: the money is gone. No matter how the rest of the purchase turns out.

eBay Classifieds appears to be aware of such hijacked accounts, tracking them down and banning them. Unfortunately, only after the payment had been made, our reader also received a message from eBay classifieds that the seller’s account had been blocked: “The user account was presumably taken over by an unauthorized third party,” explained eBay in the e-mail. In the case of two similar offers, the reader initiated contact and shortly thereafter also received warning emails from eBay classifieds that the accounts had been compromised.

The offer images could be traced back to other eBay and eBay classifieds offer using a Google image search. From there, the images and texts were apparently copied to eBay classifieds in stolen accounts. In some cases, we can still understand that. The same picture for a cheap Fritzbox 6690 Cable with Wi-Fi 6 is said to have been created in Ilmenau, which Google Lens finds out.

In Google Chrome, accessing Image Search with Lens is as easy as right-clicking. Before buying, interested parties can click with the right mouse button, especially on photos taken in a private environment, and use the item “Send a picture to Google”. With the same or similar pictures, you can now check whether there is a completely different context that could indicate dishonest intentions.

If the price also seems too good to be true, it usually is: the Fritzbox Cable 6690 in the example above costs more than 250 euros new, even from the cheapest retailers. Experience has shown that nobody offers such a device in perfect condition for only 65 euros after only six weeks of testing. In addition, the tip remains valid that the use of unsecured forms of payment without buyer protection, such as Paypal’s option to send money to friends for free, is strongly discouraged.

In classified portals, users should remain skeptical. In addition, recipients of emails or text messages should always be suspicious when they try to put pressure on them to quickly register with a service to clarify something. Phishing is often behind this, whereby cybercriminals then gain unauthorized access to their own account and can use it to play tricks.

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