Scam casts doubt on eBay's anti-fraud software

Thursday, 27 March 2003, 11:51 AM EST

The speakers never arrived.

Last week, detectives confirmed to the 25-year-old engineer that the sellers, an Arizona couple, had cashed out their bank account and fled. The couple allegedly stole more than $100,000 from more than 500 bidders.

The case has cast suspicion on eBay Inc.'s anti-fraud software, which the San Jose-based company installed nearly a year ago to counter complaints about fly-by-night sellers.

Beck and other victims say the software -- which ostensibly gets better the longer it's in use -- should have alerted eBay to cancel the auction long before hundreds of people parted with their money.

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