Proof Web Fraud Doesn't Pay

Dennis Faas's picture

Great news for eBay users who've ever been ripped off (and heaven knows there's a lot of you): At least one sketchy character is paying for failing to deliver on auction promises.

For some, eBay is a land of frustration. Let's face it, nothing's guaranteed; although some products, such as wholesale movies and video games can be lucrative money-savers, there's always the chance that used or new copy of Halo 2 will never reach your door. It can be much more frustrating for those gambling on computer hardware parts and accessories, although it seems the American justice system is finally taking notice of a website long considered the wild west of online sales.

Our journey takes us to Seattle, where a man has recently been sentenced to two years' jail time for selling cameras, computers, and other expensive goods without ever shipping buyers their much-deserved product. It's a satisfying end to a case that is just one of 207,000 complaints of auction fraud filed in 2006.

Since the United States Federal Bureau of Investigation Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3) hears from just under 450,000 angry customers each year, auction-related fraud makes up nearly half of their "business". (Source:

Fortunately, the justice system worked against 40-year-old Jordan Dias, who reaped nearly $100,000 from buyers believing him to be a legitimate eBay merchant. Most surprising may be the length of Dias' scam, which lasted an astounding four years. He now faces the 24 month sentence, three years parole, and having to pay back more than $73,000 in restitution. (Source:

While that should make the 100-plus people Dias ripped off happy, it's hard not to wonder one final question: what about the other $20,000?

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