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Additional Thoughts...

Thank you Chuck and Jeff for you reply and concern.

Not only is it not cool to see an fellow Heuer collector bounced around, but also it would not be good to see other fellow Heuer Collectors fall prey to the same predators.

If I had been on a weekender or a vacation there could have been quite a number of frauds committed. Since I was able to discover it immediately I took the necessary steps to correct the situation.

Makes me hesitant to take a brake away from the web that's for sure.

First, I went to MSN my email carrier and changed my password. Next I was able to access eBay HELP on thier website since I couldn't talk to a live person, as eBay has promised for their Power Sellers. Through the Help Section I followed the instruction for "account taken over" to change my password. It was during this portion when I was trying to complete changing my password that my computer completely locked up. It would not do anything so I manually turned it off. After waiting serveral minutes I turned it back on. Of course the computer starting checking disk for errors. The computer then informed me that it had discovered an unauthorized program and was deleting it. After the computer restarted itself I was able to change my eBay password and gain access to my account. I then cancelled the Rolex Auctions the fraudster had listed.

It seems like a fortunate thing that your machine froze when it did. If it had completed your password changes and you rebooted the computer again (or maybe didn't even reboot the computer) the perpetrators might have been able to grab your new password.

My computer has the XP Edition. Microsoft has patched this program on line many times, some taking as long as 12 hours. Anyway the computer did purge itself of this illegal program.

I had assumed that you were a windows user... Being a Macintosh user (and looking at the big end of the Market Share telescope) it is usually a safe assumption considering that Windows market share is something like 8.5 to 15 times that of the Macintosh portion. It's a double-edged sword for me, while I can't walk into a CompUSA or BestBuy and pick up any old piece of software and have a decent chance it'll run on my equipment, the good news is that there aren't many virus writers dedicated enough to write virusware, fraudware, etc.

My advise is not to answer any unsolicited emails offering items for sale.

I think I can offer some additional advise for both Windows and Macintosh users (I think they are universal enough to cut both ways)...

Make sure you check for security updates from your mothership (be it on the tarmac at Redmond or Cupertino) on at least a weekly basis (I certainly wouldn't go any longer). Read the read me, and install it. Pick a day of the week to do it and be religious about doing it.

Secondly, if you have invested in a Disk Utility program (like Norton's) run it on a regular basis, especially if you are getting unusual email traffic, like Charles outlines above. If you don't have a utility like Norton's, consider investing one, or make use of the utilities that come with your operative system of choice. Apple has a pretty decent Disk utility program and I'm certain that Windows has something comparable. Don't wait too long before running.

If in doubt change your passwords and be crafty about the passwords you choose. Don't use one password for everything.

I have also received numerous email from individual declining to purchase item from me that I have not offered to them. I always answer stating that I don't have a clue what they are talking about. I am not sure how they sent a program and infected my computer to gain passwords and try to prevent me from changing my password. This is a mystery to me. I have received numerous spoofs from fraudulent eBay and PayPal emails requesting my password. I always forward these to eBay and PayPal along with the email headers. I have even received one trying to obtain my MSN password. Of course I have always reported them and deleted these emails.

One of the best investments I've made this past year is a spam-email filter for my email program (actually it was a version upgrade that included this feature. So remember, you should also check out your Junk mail box regularly too. There may be footprints from perp's there too!

I had a very nice gentlemen from France who was approached by the crooks trying to sell him the Rolex. After my email address was restored he contacted me to see what was taking place. I informed him of my situation and that it was a fraudulent sale. I ask if he would be willing to play along with them and see if he could discover there name and address. The crooks wanted him to wire money but he refused stating he would send a Western Union Money Order. The crooks finally emailed him their name and address. The name and address were from Romania. If anyone listen to the news and reads information of thier carriers website this is where most all the attack to computers come from as well as the email frauds. I personally have received numerous emails from Romania offering to sell high priced Heuers.

Interestingly enough many if not most of the Virus programs being written for Windows (and the older Mac OS 9) originate from the former "Warsaw Pact" countries of Eastern Europe. So this doesn't surprise me any.

I have emailed this information to eBay Customer Service, but it is very doubtful that they will or can do anything. If anyone wishes the name of this crook I will gladly email it to you, or if Jeff doesn't object I will post it to the Forum. The gentlemen from France was helpful and extremely nice. There are still good guys in France.

I've done some business with a Frenchman recently... Like people anywhere there are good people out there to be found. Sometimes you have to look a little harder. But we'll never advance far if we don't get beyond the past and work on what we can change for the better.

Best to all, Charles

To you too Charles, thanks again for all of the insight.

-- Chuck

Chuck Maddox

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