IN JUST a month, a man made successful bids totalling US$6mil (RM22.8mil) with online auction site eBay for items valued at about US$2mil (RM7.6mil) but he had no intention of buying anything.
Using 10 of the 86 accounts he created with the site, Tan Hian Chye, 42, placed 1,908 false bids to disrupt the activities of more than 1,000 sellers in February and March 2002.
He ended the auctions by either making high bids or by pretending to buy the item at the price specified by the seller.
eBay, based in San Jose, California, received 1,500 e-mail from 1,073 sellers complaining about the accounts created by Tan, who was then a Singapore Armed Forces regular.
Although no damage was caused to its computer servers, the company spent about US$39,000 (RM148,200) in man-hours responding to the complaints and looking into the disruptions.
On Tuesday, a district court fined Tan S$27,000 (RM61,295) for disrupting the bidding process at the site.
Local authorities got wind of Tan’s activities after Royce Ulla, who lives in Britain, told his lawyers to make a police report on April 17, 2002, about suspected fraud.
In his defence, Tan said that he had been cheated of about US$16,000 (RM60,800) on eBay, and that Ulla had disrupted his auctions. – The Straits Times/Asia News Network
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