UPDATED: More information on this Fiverr bidding service. Does this suggest shill bidding, or not, as we previously thought? You be the judge.
A few months back we exposed a number of penny auction sites that were publishing fake review video testimonials of people falsely claiming to have won items on a number of penny auctions. See our articles exposing MixBids, Biduh and BidNuke, we found that all of these penny auctions had obtained their fake testimonials on Fiverr.
Fiverr, “The place for people to share things they’re willing to do for $5,” is a website that offers a place for anyone to both request and offer various tasks and services that they want or will do for $5.
While Fiverr is a unique site that provides a great service, unfortunately there are many gigs that are freely allowed that are clearly unethical and some even illegal.
Take for instance the number of fake testimonial actors that are free to advertise their fake video testimonial services, to our most recent find under programming entitled “I will bid on Penny Auction Site for $5.”
A shill bidding penny auction service is now being offered on Fiverr:
This gig geared towards site e owners was posted by a user in India “eyashwant,” who advertises his service as:
“Bid on Penny Auction Site. User accounts must be provided in advance or order another gig to create email/facebook account and register on to your site and confirm the email account.”
Estimated job delivery is within 1 day. The gig has not yet been rated and no one has ordered this service yet, but we will keep an eye on it to see if anyone does indeed request this user to shill bid for them.
Penny Auction Scams: What exactly is shill bidding?
Shill bidding is when a penny auction site bids against their paying users, they can do this by a number of different ways:
- Penny auctions shill by paying a third party to bid on their items
- They also do this by providing other users with free bid incentives to target specific bidders or auctions
- Some sites use an automated bid robot script that many script/software sellers and developers sell
- Some will even manually hit the bid button multiple times to bid against their paying customers
Penny Auction Watch has exposed a number of penny auction sites in the past that we have found to be shill bidding. Many of these penny auction sites have gone out of business, but there are still a few online that are actively practicing shill bidding in an effort to rip off consumers. While there are some sites that shill bid there are still many penny auction sites that do not shill bid. There are legit sites out there that ship items to bidders and offer a good user experience. Join our forum and find out which online penny auction sites are favorites of other bidders.
In fact, penny auction scams is the reason that I launched this penny auction blog and forum in 2009.
Have you bid on a penny auction that scammed you? Take action, spread the word and you can help other penny auction bidders be informed consumers.
If you have been scammed by a penny auction site be sure to file a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), the Better Business Bureau (BBB) and contact the Attorney General in your state. You may also want to contact your financial institution and file a claim on PayPal (if you used PayPal to purchase bids and items).
We offer a free directory of nationwide scam reporting agencies that can be found here on our website under Scam Reporting Directory.
Be sure to visit and join our penny auction discussion board and post your experiences bidding.
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