I’ve been selling on eBay for a really long time. 15 years to be exact; long before they were ever even called eBay. I was 17 years old and I sold a couple Tweety Bird sticker sheets for like 6 bucks…and I was hooked. Postage back then was like a quarter, eBay was a lot simpler and it was really easy to make quick money. I dabbled here and there since then, not a lot of selling, just a few things, until I started a full time business a few years back when my ex-husband abandoned our family. It was an easy transition for me. One in which I could be a stay at home mom (SAHM) with the kids and still provide for my family.
This past year or so, I am seeing a lot more fraud on eBay. At least once a month, I get a fraudulent case opened up and there is a bunch of red tape and holes you have to climb through with customer service to keep everything legal and binding and so forth.
But, it’s not the fraud that causes an alarm. We know that when we’re on a public computer, we log out of our accounts for protection. We know fraud is rampant and so we take steps to protect ourselves.
That’s not what I’m seeing.
Nope. The fraud is actually coming from WITHIN YOUR OWN HOME. Who? Your kids are the buyers. Those sweet little innocent, never do anything wrong angels are clearing their parents accounts left and right. Now, I know eBay is user friendly, but this last case I got was a parent saying her 8 year old spend a good $300 on her Paypal account. The mom was hysterical, and rightly so.
You see, eBay doesn’t automatically log you out of your account, so it’s simple for a child to get in there. But, what worries me most is that Paypal DOES log you out…automatically in fact. But somehow, month after month, little girls are ordering my toys and paying with their parents Paypal account.
My advice is this…
If we are going to teach our children how to use a computer and get online, something I didn’t even learn until junior high – and trust me, even schools are teaching our kids how to work iPads at 5 years old! My son can work an iPad better than I can!!!! – then we also need to make sure we are teaching them responsibility. How getting into someone else’s account is stealing, not only that, but it is a crime. If they were older, it would be punishable by law should you wish to press charges, family or not.
Technology is a wonderful thing, but it can also be used for evil and to get scammed, just like everything else. If you have an eBay account, please sit down with your kids ages 5 and older and explain these things to them. It sure does make a huge mess not only for the parents this affects, but the sellers who have to go through this so very often.
Have you ever had your children access your accounts? Do you have a password on your computer at start-up? What preventative measures do you take to protect your bank account from being defrauded or is this the first you’ve ever contemplated the possibility? Any tips and tricks on practical ways a parent can safeguard their information? Perhaps even taking the keyboard with you to work? There wouldn’t be much a child could do without a keyboard.