Aardvark Daily aardvark (ard'-vark) a controversial animal with a long probing nose used for sniffing out the facts and stimulating thought and discussion.

NZ's leading source of Net-Industry news and commentary since 1995
PAYBACK TIME! | WebStats | XML feed | Contact | New Sites | Archives | Forums | About
Note: This column represents the opinions of the writer and as such, is not purported as fact
Vigilantism or Public Service? 31 May 2004 Edition
Previous Edition | Archives

Please support the sponsor
Sponsor's Message
One of the very first online business models to show a profit was the internet auction.

Even back in the late 1990s when most sites were surviving on promises, hope and venture capital, a number of online auction services were already spinning a nice little profit.

These days, eBay has become one of the economic powerhouses of the Net, conducting many millions of individual transactions each week and producing huge revenues.

Here in New Zealand we've seen several auction sites appear, the most well-known and popular of which is TradeMe.

Unfortunately, like so many things in life, online auctions have their good sides and their bad sides. While it's possible to snap up some real bargains -- it's also possible to find yourself out of pocket and feeling stupid when you become the victim of a fraud.

Most auction sites are concerned about the effects that fraudulent transactions have on their business and, as a result, have introduced a number of mechanisms designed to reduce to protect customers against such rip-offs.

Unfortunately, given the large numbers of individual auctions in effect at any given time, it becomes virtually impossible for large auction sites to vet each individual offer.

Now have your say
Got something to say about today's column, or want to see what others think?  Visit The Forums

While you're here, why not visit the Aardvark Hall of Shame and perhaps make your own nomination.

According to a group of TradeMe regulars however, the management of NZ's leading auction site are not being proactive enough and are concerned that some basic protections are not being applied. They claim that they've spotted over 50 fraudulent auctions in a single day on the TradeMe website.

In order to highlight this situation, the group have set up a website designed to highlight the problems of fraudulent auctions and their dissatisfaction with TradeMe's response to the problem.

Scambusters believe that many of the problems are created by scammers operating from Romanian net addresses and say that blocking such IP numbers would be a simple and effective way of reducing the level of fraud.

However, the Scambusters have found themselves at odds with the auction site's management. In the first three days of May, TradeMe banned four of the five core members of the group from posting on the site's message boards and a further two new recruits a few days after.

In a press release issued this weekend, one of the Scambusters group, Alf West, said "We understand that TradeMe would prefer their site to be seen as a happy place where the sky is always blue. A safe venue for online trading. However kiwis are being ripped off by scams on TradeMe regularly and we would like the company to take responsibility for the problem."

West says of the Scambusters website: "it's a direct reaction to TradeMe's silly attitude. Silencing the messengers has done nothing to reduce the problem. The Romanians are still posting scams and attracting victims. We believe that by sanitising their site of the 'S-word' TradeMe management is doing its members a grave disservice. We sincerely hope that they'll use some common sense and rethink their position."

The Scambusters website already catalogs several groups of spammers and their activities on the TradeMe website and this case in particular makes interesting reading.

Certainly the fraud problem is nothing new to TradeMe and at least one prominent case was featured recently on Fair Go.

Are TradeMe's management putting the fraud issue into the too-hard basket and neglecting their responsibilities here -- or are online auctions simply another case of caveat emptor?

What level of responsibility does an online auctioneer have to monitor for and respond to fraudulent traders?

Is the ScamBusters website a good use of the Internet and a valuable tool for those who might wish to participate in online auctions?

Should TradeMe link to this site as an additional way of educating its users to the risks associated with buying a sight-unseen product from someone you do not know?

Yes, You Can Gift Money
I've published this website for the past nine years as a service to the local internet and IT industry and during all that time it has been 100% free to access. It is my intention to ensure that it remains completely free and free of charge and contains only the most sparse levels of advertising. Aardvark is not a business, it is a free resource.

If you feel that this is a good thing and/or you hold a "geniune affection" for yours truly -- then you are welcome to gift me some money using the buttons provided. In gifting this money you accept that no goods, service or other consideration is offered, provided, accepted or anticipated in return. Just click on the button to gift whatever you can afford. NOTE: PayPal bills in US dollars so don't accidentally gift more than what you were intending :-)

Contacting Aardvark
The Best of Aardvark Daily I'm always happy to hear from readers, whether they're delivering brickbats, bouquets or news tip-offs. If you'd like to contact me directly, please this form. If you're happy for me to republish your comments then please be sure and select For Publication.

Other media organisations seeking more information or republication rights are also invited to contact me.


Add Aardvark To Your Own Website!
Got a moment? Want a little extra fresh content for your own website or page?

Just add a couple of lines of JavaScript to your pages and you can get a free summary of Aardvark's daily commentary -- automatically updated each and every week-day.

Aardvark also makes a summary of this daily column available via XML using the RSS format. More details can be found here.

Contact me if you decide to use either of these feeds and have any problems.

Linking Policy
Want to link to this site? Check out Aardvark's Linking Policy.

Did you tell someone else about Aardvark today? If not then do it now!


Latest
Security Alerts
Critical flaw discovered in RealPlayer (ZDNet - 19/05/2004)

'Critical' Buffer Overflow Found in Eudora (CNet - 10/05/2004)

Apple issues QuickTime security patch (ZDNet - 4/05/2004)

New vulnerabilities in Microsoft software
(ZDNet - 10/04/2004)

Latest
Virus Alerts
Korgo Worm Targets LSASS Flaw (iNetNews - 26/5/2004)

Kibuv Worm, Bobax Trojan Try Many Methods (eWeek - 19/05/2004)

Wallon virus wrecks Windows Media Player (CNet - 12/05/2004)

New password stealing Trojan discovered (ZDNet - 11/05/2004)

Bookmark This Page Now!

 

OTHER GREAT TECH SITES
GeekZone (NZL)
SlashDot (USA)

 

MORE NEWS
NZL Sites
IDG.Net.nz
NZ Netguide
NZ Herald Tech
PC World NZ
Scoop
NZOOM Technology WordWorx

AUS Sites
ZDNet
The Age
Australian IT
AUS Netguide
NineMSN Tech
IT News

USA Sites
Wired.com
CNet
CNNfn Tech
TechWeb
Yahoo Tech
ZDNet Tech
USA Today Tech
7am.com SciTech

UK Sites
The Register
BBC SciTech

 

My Jet Engines
Check Out Me And My Jet Engines

Today's Top News Stories


Open in New Window = open in new window
New Zealand

Open in New Window Hackers costing banks millions
New Zealand banks and financial organisations are spending millions of dollars to bolster security systems and stave off potentially expensive cyber attacks...
NZ Herald

Open in New Window Local loop under attack
Second-tier telcos Worldxchange and Ihug will launch voice and internet services in the next two months which will let customers in some parts of Auckland city disconnect entirely from the incumbent...
Stuff

Other

Open in New Window Private spaceships caught in political fog
Almost three months ago, amid great fanfare, the U.S. House of Representatives overwhelmingly approved a historic measure to open the door to private-sector spaceflight a measure that would allow entrepreneurs to take passengers on suborbital space trips...
MSNBC

Open in New Window Google faces Gmail advert limits
Californian politicians are close to putting shackles on what Google can do with Gmail messages...
BBC

Open in New Window Instant messaging grows up
The hugely popular practice of instant messaging is evolving beyond just text...
BBC

Open in New Window Sun to upgrade Linux desktop software
Sun Microsystems plans to release on Tuesday the second version of its Java Desktop System, the server maker's version of Linux for desktop computers, augmenting the software with new management and programming tools...
CNet

Open in New Window Mo' Beta Testing Blues
More and more companies are releasing software and online services that seem to be mired in a perpetual beta-testing state, leaving users to wonder what it takes to get to a version 1.0...
Wired

Australia

Open in New Window Phishing hooks a victim
FOR most people, a broadband connection simply means faster internet access, but for Brisbane private investigator Paul Duggan it meant his computer became an unwitting "mule" for phishers...
Australian IT

Open in New Window Broadband users top 2m mark
More than 2 million people now have broadband internet access from home, with the number of new subscribers trebling since Telstra kicked off a price war three months ago...
ZDNet

Open in New Window Memo to CEOs - eyes off the porn
Chief executives can lose their jobs for many reasons - falling share prices, bad acquisitions or a plain old personality clash with the chairman - but now accessing adult websites can be added to the ever-growing list of corporate misdemeanours...
SMH

Other

Open in New Window Doctor Who fans applaud new assistant
Doctor Who fans are apparently beside themselves with excitement at the news that former popstress Billie Piper will become Doctor Who's new assistant for the scheduled return of the roving Time Lord...
The Register

Open in New Window Microsoft campus going up in heart of high-tech India
In a sign of Microsoft's ambitious plans for India, the company is building a huge campus complete with a cricket field on the outskirts of this high-tech boomtown...
Seattle Times

Open in New Window 'Smart bullet' reports back wirelessly
The projectile can be fired at a target and then transmit information collected by a tiny inbuilt sensor...
New Scientist

Open in New Window Wireless web gets a set of wheels
A New York artist has come up with the idea of turning his bicycle into a wireless net connection...
BBC


Looking For More News or Information?

Google
Search WWW Search Aardvark

Privacy Policy | Copyright © 2003, Bruce Simpson, republication rights available on request

jet engine page