eBay’s Little Red Riding Hood costumes are no fairy tale

We keep on getting deliveries of capes, but I don’t think I even have an account

Can you please help solve a most bizarre problem I’m having with eBay? Every few weeks a package arrives at my house containing a Little Red Riding Hood costume and other capes. The packages are addressed to me and appear to be from people who bought them on eBay but have decided to return them as they are not suitable.

The problem is, I have no idea why they are sending them to me as I don’t think I have an eBay account, and I certainly don’t sell Little Red Riding Hood costumes. At first, I thought it must be a friend playing a joke. However, they keep coming, complete with eBay numbers and return labels.

Trying to talk to eBay if you don’t have an account is rather difficult.

AB, Bristol

Resolving this took far longer than it should have done, not least as eBay seemed initially reluctant to say too much about it – possibly because of data protection issues. After much to-ing and fro-ing, it emerged that you did, indeed, have an eBay account you had used briefly back in 2006, registered to a long-gone email address.

It seems that someone had got hold of your eBay account login and password, and started selling Red Riding Hood and bridal capes as you.

Some of the people who bought them had decided to return them, and they naturally sent them to the registered seller, which was you, at your address.

Quite why this person was doing this remains a mystery, given that it is not that hard to set up an eBay account. Perhaps they had been banned in their own name and simply used your existing account as a way to get round the prohibition.

The good news is that eBay has frozen the account. It has also done a search, at my request, to make sure your details were not registered to any other accounts on its site. It has also offered to help you close the account, and says it will refund all the buyers of the returned capes that were sent to your house.

In the meantime, it points out that you may still get the odd returned cape posted before the account was closed, meaning your retriever will have another costume to pose in.

I would be looking at my credit report to make sure no other financial applications had been made in my name by this person.

I would also consider signing up to the fraud prevention register, Cifas. It will notify you every time there is an application for credit in your name.

It is a very weird case that other readers may want to use as a spur to close a no-longer-needed eBay account.

We welcome letters but cannot answer individually. Email us at consumer.champions@theguardian.com. Please include a daytime phone number. Submission and publication of all letters is subject to our terms and conditions


Miles Brignall

The GuardianTramp

Related Content

Article image
I lost £1,165 to eBay fraudster when selling my electric guitar
The buyer of my Fender Stratocaster claimed there was no guitar in the case as soon as he received it

Miles Brignall

20, Aug, 2017 @5:59 AM

Article image
PayPal refused to listen when eBay buyer returned item in pieces
Four months after being sold, the rotovator arrived back used and muddy, but still £112 was blocked from my account

Miles Brignall

28, May, 2017 @6:00 AM

Article image
I could prove I had been scammed but eBay wasn't on my side
I sent all the evidence that a £450 pair of trainers were perfect, but it refunded the buyer who has kept my trainers

Miles Brignall

31, Aug, 2020 @6:00 AM

Article image
Seller beware! A new eBay scam using its own return label
We’ve lost the item and our money, but the auction site won’t do anything to stop it

Miles Brignall

28, Jan, 2019 @7:00 AM

Article image
Why won’t Samsung sell us a new drawer for our fridge-freezer?
One has been damaged but it is out of stock on the spares website

Miles Brignall

04, May, 2021 @6:00 AM

Article image
It’s seller beware as eBay’s buyer guarantee is exploited by scammers
We have been telling eBay that it has a serious problem for years. Now it is going to do something about it

Anna Tims

25, Apr, 2016 @8:42 AM

Article image
Time is running out for eBay/Paypal to get a grip on fraud
Sellers will soon think the site isn’t worth the risk unless action is taken

Miles Brignall

06, Sep, 2017 @6:00 AM

Article image
eBay protects its buyers – but what about sellers?
The auction site ignored photographs and evidence and a seller lost a £249 router

Miles Brignall

23, Mar, 2020 @7:00 AM

Article image
There’s no comfort in this sorry tale of Argos customer service
Every time it delivers the wrong mattress, which is a worse deal than the one we ordered

Rebecca Smithers

02, May, 2016 @6:00 AM

Article image
Ebay seller's returns policy doesn't suit me, sir

I bought a suit on eBay for my husband but it was shabby – the business seller refused to refund the item

Miles Brignall

17, Jun, 2013 @6:00 AM