Monday, March 12, 2007

eBay and childbirth

Most of the following will be of interest only if you use eBay. This happened to my husband, but on the day that it did, I read a blog which detailed the same sort of event.

A few days ago, my husband, an occasional eBay user, got an email from them reminding him of his password, because he’d apparently requested this. Only he hadn’t, so he just deleted the email. Then on Saturday evening he checked his emails to find three from irate people asking why he hadn’t paid for the items he’d bid for and threatening to give him negative feedback on his record. Only he hadn’t bid for anything for months.

He tried to go into his eBay account to see what was what, but was told that his password was invalid.

Clearly someone had somehow requested the password and then intercepted the email reply; and put in some bids purporting to be him, using the password. He reported all this to eBay.

He then spent a sleepless night worrying that, if a hacker could do this, maybe he could gain access to my husband’s PayPal account and withdraw money from his bank account.

And the next day he signed into PayPal, to be told that access was restricted because of a potential problem with two transactions. These were two payments, of £500 and 60 Euros, which had been requested (but, of course, not by him) and not paid – he doesn’t quite know how PayPal knew there was something fishy about them. He then changed his password and security details and reported the whole thing to PayPal.

So do beware if you get the email reminding you of your password.

It’s rather unsettling, isn’t it?

However, there’s always something to cheer one up, such as daffodils and this, from a student’s essay. Again, she’s in my adult Access to University class.

“Up till then, my only experience of childbirth was when my mother gave birth to my teenage brother when I was seven.”


  1. Thanks for the ebay warning. That was a new one for me.

    Quite a trick giving birth to a teenager. Does that mean you get to skip the diapers and the terrible two's?

  2. After having a break from the blogs, I've been catching up and was thrilled to see that you've posted several times since I've been gone. I do so love your blog, especially the howlers. (It's probably my guilty conscience!) Do you have a trick to backing up your old posts? I've been thinking maybe I should do some archiving, but can't quite decide what would be the best method.

  3. The eBay/PayPal experience sounds chilling. I am sorry it happened.

    The "giving birth to teenage brother" story is amusing. Is there a technical name for that sort of mangling of language?

  4. This did indeed make me howl. Not, I hasten to add, at your husband's e-bay misadventures, but at the quote from your student. Ouch!

  5. Oh the e-bay deal sounds horrible. Thanks for the heads up. But the giving birth to a teenager -- oh that's too funny. The poor mum - I hope he wasn't too big.

  6. I plan to have my children when they have finished college and have good jobs. Hopefully they will then be able to support me.

  7. Ow ow ow to giving birth to a teenage boy. Must have been a bit of a shock expecting cute baby feet and instead out come stomping huge smelly teenage ones!

    I hgope your husband got his Ebay/Paypal stuff sorted out. I'll warn MrV about this

  8. I'm sorry for you and your husband!!!!
    Thanks for the warning. ciao ciao

  9. Yikes -- scary! (both your husband's experience and your student's sentence construction)

  10. I have just been catching up with your posts! My computer seems so slow, but I am changing to faster service, so hopefully more time.
    Scary stuff about Ebay. I dont use it, but have friends who do, so I will pass on the warning.
    Thank you for posting the gorgeous daffodils! Love them.

  11. What a clever woman, giving birth to a teenager! I wonder how many stitches she had to have? :)

    As for ebay, you have to be sooo careful! I use ebay regularly, and answering any emails from "ebay" or "paypal" regarding verifying your information is a trap. If you ever get emails like that, go to the actual website from your links (not the link in the email) and do it that way. This is how they get your password.

    Hopefully your husband will be able to sort all this out without his feedback rating being affected by disgruntled people.

  12. I tended to want to give our kids away in their teens rather than starting with teenagers and missing all those cute years. You do have to laugh though. It sounds as if you get quite a few of these. Makes you keep smiling:)

  13. I love eBay, and so far I've not had any bad experiences, but I had had some odd emails from people claiming to be from eBay or Paypal. Fortunately, I heeded the warnings on the actual eBay and Paypal websites, and just forwarded the sus. emails to them for checking out. I always got a response, telling me the emails were hackers or spam, and thanking me for sending them on to be dealt with.