Fraud takes on many shapes and forms, appearing as something legitimate when it is quite the opposite. And as people have become painfully aware of, fraud is no stranger to eBay. At the moment eBay has about 1.5 billion listings, which allows for a very large pool of opportunity when it comes to fraud and online financial predators.

At Kay and Associates we get a lot of clients who have been defrauded in online transactions, and a large number of those clients are encountering these issues on eBay. The thing is, unless you are very savvy about online banking and buying/selling/auction behaviors, it is quite easy to be the victim of fraud.

I remember one specific client who almost lost a very large gold nugget to a professional scammer on eBay.

 I was contacted by a concerned man who was living in Australia and was selling some things on eBay.


He did not have a business account with PayPal and was unfamiliar the eBay landscape. This gentleman became my client after discussing his case over the phone. He did not have much experience as an online seller (especially in auctions) and was in Australia but needed the package he sent intercepted before the criminals picked it up from the shipment center in the United States.

 How the Crime Happened


Our client had put his gold nugget for sale on eBay. It sold to a party in California. At a point after he had shipped the package, he realized the money was not transferred to his account. The details in this are convoluted, but the point is our client did not receive the money in his account for the chunk of solid gold. 

We contacted the shipping warehouse (it wasn’t a well-known shipping center like UPS or FedEx), which we were able to find by using the tracking information. Luckily, he took photos of everything such as the transaction from eBay, the tracking number from the shipping company he used, and photos from PayPal showing the transactions. 


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We went to warehouse and informed the shipping supervisor that there was an incoming package from someone living outside of the country. Our client believed the recipient to be defrauding him. So the supervisor agreed to hold the package for us, not releasing it to the recipient, and block the account of the recipient so that they could no longer receive mail there anymore. No one ever showed up for the package. 

We did surveillance on the warehouse to see if anyone came for the package. After the package arrived no one had come to pick it up, as we assume the criminal realized he had been found out and didn’t want to get caught. We were able to get our client’s beautiful gold nugget shipped back to him safe and sound. Another strange case goes down in the books of Kay and Associates Investigations that we happily solved.

Have a case involving a fraud, scam, or con? We would love to help you. Just give us a call.