Wednesday, May 2, 2007

eBay death threats

One of the ways that I make some alternative income is by selling stuff on eBay. I prefer selling digital download items, like ebooks, because it doesn't require me having to schlep back and forth to the post office. Financially speaking, it's done quite well for me. I use e-junkie for my delivery and don't have to worry about emailing out files. I can sell things while I am sleeping, which is great.

However, when I checked my email this morning I had a nasty, obscenity ladden email from someone that had purchased one of my items around 2am this morning. Seems his PayPal address is not his current email address, so when he paid for the file, PayPal sent the link to the PayPal address - which means he did not get the link to download the file and he was mad. His nasty email included the death threat "i will hunt you down and kill you" among other colorful sentences. Who knew $4.99 could make a college kid so violent? The email address he emailed me from was from Syracuse University - many states away from me. In the wake of the recent events at Virginia Tech, I shot an email to the campus police this morning with his email attached and I asked them if they could handle this threat or if I should contact the city police.

Within about 15 minutes I had a reply to give them a call. I talked the head of campus police, who took my contact info to give to the city police. And about an hour ago I got a call from them. They asked me a lot of questions (do I know the person, have I had any other contact with them, etc.) and told me they "take sitauations like this very seriously" and at a minimum the kid will be made to undergo some counseling and if he has a file of similar incidents with the university he can be suspended and made to do community service, etc. They told me I could press criminal charges, but I don't plan on it, unless he does show up at my doorstep.

The lesson here - use a PO box or a UPS store box like I do for your ebay transactions. EBay freely gives out your contact info to any winning bidder with just a few clicks on their part. No need to give the crazy people your home address.

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