Friday, July 14, 2006

More on eBay and "Fake"

Regina Hackett had a story in yesterday's Seattle Post-Intelligencer about the famous eBay art fraud scam from a couple years back, which I wrote about here and which is the subject of a recent book by one of the scammers entitled "Fake: Forgery, Lies, & eBay (How One Man's Con Game Created an International Scandal & Triggered a Nationwide FBI Manhunt)." The book's author claims "online art fraud is worse than ever, caused by the delusion of buyers." eBay counters that it's much better at detecting fraud now, partly because it employs "thousands of people who check bidding patterns for irregularities." They also say their "best resource to uncover fraud ... is the customers themselves": "People form communities and are fast to detect problems." But presumably that was the case five years ago too, and it didn't stop the fraud then.