Dear eBay Queen: Is this a PayPal Phishing Scam?

Dear eBay Queen:

I’ve only been selling on eBay for a couple of months.  Today I received the following email from PayPal.  I have no idea what they are talking about, and I’m a little afraid to click on the link in the message.  What should I do?

Dear Member,

It has come to our attention that your PayPaI Billing Information records are out of date. That requires you to update the Billing Information If you could please take 5-10 minutes out of your online experience and update your billing records, you will not run into any future problems with PayPaI's online service. However, failure to update your records will result in soon account termination. Once you have updated your account records, your PayPaI session will not be interrupted and will continue as normal. Failure to update will result in cancellation of service, Terms of Service (TOS) violations or future billing problems.

To update and login to your account, click on the link below:

I am a little concerned by the wording in the message too!  I realize I’m a retired English teacher, but I would think a big company like PayPal would know how to send a proper message.  The wording: “However, failure to update your records will result in soon account termination.”  This made me think that it might not be a real message from PayPal.  If you can’t be certain on the authenticity of this message, do you know how to contact PayPal so I can talk to a real person?


Dear Patty:

Don’t click on that link!  It’s a phishing scam!  PayPal will always address you by your name instead of “Dear Member”.  PayPal recommends sending emails like this to .  If you’d like to speak to someone you can call: 888-215-5506.

Your retired English teacher senses pointed you in the right direction!


Dear eBay Queen:

I’m so upset, I could just scream!  I had a buyer send me a message a week or so ago asking if I would lower the price on a really nice, but used Vera Bradley purse.  I haven’t been doing very well sales wise, so I took her up on her offer. She paid for the item and I sent it off.  She has received her item, and sent me this message:

 “I received my item yesterday and I am not happy.  The purse is used!  There is a chip on the underside of the toggle button.  That is a hazard! I could cut myself! The quality of this purse is not what I would expect for the money I paid.  I think I’m going to have no other recourse than to give you a blazin’ negative so every other dimwit like me will know what kind of seller you are!  I would suggest you get a good pair of readin’ glasses, or if you have glasses, clean them for petes sake! You stated this was in good condition, I thought that meant new!  So, you’ve got 24 hours to tell me how you are going to make me happy. Please don’t say to send this back.. because THAT’S NOT HAPPEN’.

I went back and reviewed my listing.  It says pre-owned under the item specifics and in the condition box.  I also said it was pre-owned the description.  I took a photo of the chip in the toggle button.  What should I do?  Should I send her the money back for the purse so that she won’t give me a negative?

No More Vera’s

Dear Vera:

Your buyer is using feedback extortion to get you to do what she wants. I would call eBay immediately and ask them for help.  I am pretty sure based upon her wording that they will side with you and say that she is using feedback extortion.  The customer service person should put in your notes that it is extortion and once the buyer leaves negative feedback, you will need to call in again to get it removed.

You clearly put that the item is pre-owned and took a photo of the chip in the button.  eBay should side with you.  Have you reviewed the feedback this buyer leaves for other people?  You may not be the first person she has done this too.


Strange eBay Item of the Week: Item #390994539061. I hadn’t looked up advertising collectibles for quite some time. Tonight, I decided to look at the Pillsbury Doughboy. Apparently, he’s still got it! Vintage Plush Pillsbury Doughboy Pillsbury Makes it Fun Giggles 1998 Dough Boy. SOLD: $929.00.


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