Last Update on the Recent Scam Situation
Just one final update on the scamming situation that has been occurring over the past few days. We've received a few messages casting doubt on the methods we used to determine the scammer's identity.
Firstly, we'd like to clarify that IP location tracking was not our primary method of determining the scammer's identity. IP tracking, when it comes to locations, is extremely difficult to verify and often different trackers will provide conflicting information as to an IP's origin. In the end, we ran the IPs through an IP tracking program and their location did match the scammer's known addresses; however, this only strengthened the case that we had already built.
We determined the scammer's identity through use of IP comparisons. Both the "legitimate" skybee8910 account and the baby_booboo account used the same IPs at the same period in time. This post was particularly damning, as both accounts posted mere hours apart with identical IP addresses. Here's a "mod's eye view" of the same post, with IPs of relevant parties intact.
This was not the only case in which this IP matching occurred, only the most egregious. Both main and sock account used matching IPs with too great a frequency for us to overlook it as mere coincidence, which led to the eventual ban.
Thanks again to all members of the community who helped us resolve this case!
With a recent crop of Facebook-based sales groups popping up, we've noticed an increase in incidents of scamming and we'd like to take this opportunity to issue a few reminders to help keep members safe in the wake of this scam :)
1. Always ask for feedback!
While it's not a foolproof method, asking for feedback (whether it's on LJ, eBay, or some other site) is a way to check up on someone's history of purchases. You should steer clear of buyers who can only point to feedback on a personal journal, though- such feedback entries are easy to falsify and manipulate, and additionally, the user might have a reason to hide their feedback on eBay, Etsy, or eglfeedback.
2. Ask for proof of identity!
If someone is linking you to an outside account for feedback, ask for proof of identity- request that they alter their LJ profile to include their FB name or an agreed-upon code, for instance. If they can't or won't do this, you may want to think twice before buying from them.
3. Never pay via the "gift" option!
This goes for any online sales venue- the sales community included! Unless you are buying with absolute confidence that the transaction will go perfectly, you should never pay via the "gift" option on PayPal- it will cause you to lose all buyer protection, which could be a huge problem if you are scammed or otherwise cheated.
4. If it seems too good to be true... it probably is.
If you see a Puppet Circus JSK on sale for $100, think twice. It could be a replica, or it could be a stolen photo used by someone looking to make a quick buck. It's always better to be safe rather than sorry, so ask for additional proof photos, detail shots, whatever it takes to cement the sale in your mind before you commit to a purchase.
5. Go with your gut.
If something feels wrong, stay away. Again, better safe than sorry!
Sales Community Update: Posts without Cuts
Posts without LJ-cuts will now be immediately rejected from the queue or deleted from the community. You can read more about this update here :)
Looking for New Mods!
And finally, we're looking to add a few new faces to the moderation team, since a few of our fellow mods have departed over the past few months :c At this time, we're looking to add 1-2 sales moderators and 2-3 feedback moderators. We are not looking for EGL moderators at this time. If you are interested in applying for a moderator position, please see this post for the requirements and information on applying. If you have applied in the past, please be aware that you must submit your application again to be considered for this round of moderator additions. If you're worried about your eligibility for a moderator position or have any additional questions, please don't hesitate to contact colortheory, dandelion_cloud, or me (wonderfinch).
And that's all from us today~
Please feel free to comment with any questions or concerns, and as always, thanks for continuing to use EGL and its sister communities :)