Alleged Bidders without E-mail Addresses

RED FLAG ALERT! Thanks to feedback from one of our forum members, we’ve found that the penny auction site appears to have users bidding that do not have e-mail addresses.

To bid on, as is with most penny auctions,  users must first activate their accounts via a confirmation e-mail sent to the user’s e-mail address that they provided just after registering. In the past we’ve found many sites that are open for business that have bot/shill/(insider) bidders bidding against real customers. Yes, there are multiple shameful script providers that do allow a computerized bidding system to bid against users who are paying per-bid to unethically and possibly unlawfully, raise revenue and “protect the site operator’s investment.” As unfortunate as this is, we’ve been finding penny auction sites over the past year + who appear to be using bot bidders, we’ve even found some to be manually shill bidding, and not much has been done yet to put an end to programmers and operators who are doing this, this is why we warn about penny auction sites that have been found to be questionable here.

Notice that after the usernames of previous winners it shows e-mail ” ” (blank field) we believe that this indicates that the bidders are bots since they have no e-mail address showing, (it’s a flaw of some sort in the script that transmits e-mail addresses publicly).

Then, in a currently active auction there are users bidding who also do not have e-mail addresses: 

Just to be sure that the e-mail addresses were just not showing or encrypted (which they should be anyway- for i.e. privacy policies?) we tried bidding and guess what? Our e-mail address shows when we place a bid:

Based on our experience with watching penny auctions, and knowing that a lot of these sites running on this particular script could be using the built in bot function, we would have to say that is unfortunately questionable and could be running shill bidders.

What do you think?

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