Non-delivery of goods or failure to ship merchandise is the simplest type of auction fraud. A seller lists an item, the item is purchased, the seller collects the funds, and the seller does not send the item. Sometimes, this type of fraud is done as part of a larger phishing scam in which a shill auction is set up solely for the purposes of obtaining credit card information or other details from a buyer. In other cases, however, the goal is simply to take buyer funds without properly following through on the transaction.
In most situations, a buyer will simply make a claim with Paypal or eBay and the money will be taken from the seller’s account and returned to the buyer. However, things become more complicated if other payment methods were used, if the seller is an international seller and Paypal protections do not apply, or if a seller was involved in a large-scale fraud scam to defraud many buyers of their funds.