In an attempt to help stop users from falling victim to eBay phishing scams, the online auction company has launched a new private email feature. The way eBay's new email service will work is that messages sent via eBay's private messanging service will be delivered to members' selected contact email rather than to their "My Messages" folder on the eBay site. Numerous phishing scams have taken eBay members' login information by replicating emails sent by eBay to members. These fake emails ask members to follow a hyperlink to sign into eBay to receive either a message or update their information. Hyperlinks included in the email take eBay members to a different site designed to look like an eBay login screen. Information inputted by eBay members is then stolen causing their accounts to be hijacked and information stolen.
The new emailing system by eBay will allow messages to be sent from members' own email clients by attaching anonymous email addresses to the messages. EBay will then re-route the messages to their intended recipient. This new anonymous email system will help to simplify the question/answer process for high-volume sellers by allowing them to respond directly to buyers. A similar anonymous messanging system is used by craigslist.org, a company in which eBay owns a 25 percent stake.
Previously, eBay launched a campaign to combat phishing/scam emails by sending all messages from email account "UseTheYellowButton@ebay.com". A yellow button displayed in the email would hyperlink the recipient to a login page where they were taken to their "My Messages" in order to respond. For high-volume sellers who receive hundreds of emails a day, this process is overly time consuming. Also, if individuals were to respond to these emails via the reply function, the messages would not be forwarded on to the correct person from the UseTheYellowButton@ebay.com account.