U.K. teen detained for eBay fraud

An 18-year-old admits to defrauding eBay users to fuel extravagant lifestyle of high-tech gadgets and limousines.

Graeme Wearden Special to CNET News.com
A U.K. teenager who was accused of using Internet auction site eBay to defraud more than 100 people on Wednesday was sentenced to 12 months detention and training. Phillip Shortman, 18, of Pontypool, England, obtained more $85,000 (45,000 pounds) by selling goods that didn't actually exist on eBay. He had previously admitted to 21 counts of obtaining property by deception over a 13-month period. Shortman said he spent the money on expensive electronics including computer equipment and flat-screen televisions, designer clothes and hiring stretch limousines.

Police have warned that criminals are increasingly targeting Internet auction sites such as eBay. A technique typically used by fraudsters is to get a victim to pay by cash or a check before they receive the item they've paid for. eBay recommends that customers pay by credit card or by PayPal. It also offers a buyer protection program.

Graeme Wearden of ZDNet UK reported from London.