Should you be worried? Charge for: “eBay zero doaller auth San Jose CA” on your Credit Card for $0

man holding stacks of credit cards thinking about ebay and credit card fraud

Answered! This is one of those little things I like to write quick articles on, when I have a question and there are no other results when I try to search for an answer. Have you recently noticed a charge on your credit card for $0 with the description Merchant: eBay zero doaller auth San Jose CA. It would be a “card not present transaction.”

Where would you see this “eBay zero doaller” transaction?

You may have received an email or text with this information if you have transaction alerts enabled for your credit card. The merchant’s name is listed as eBay zero doaller auth San Jose CA

PS: Most credit cards allow you to set up transaction alerts now and I highly recommend it! You’ll want to log in to your credit card’s online account and look in the settings under security alerts or notifications. You can set an alert for any transaction over a specific dollar amount. I like to set this amount to $0 so I get notified of every transaction. A couple of times, just like this case, I have instantly noticed a suspicious transaction and was able to take appropriate action before any harm was done.

Is “eBay zero doaller charge a fraud / scam transaction?

In this specific case I can confidently say no, it is not fraudulent, though the misspelled “doaller” (dollar) is indeed very strange. This charge happens immediately when you make a “Best Offer” on eBay to your default payment method. It is a charge for $0, also called a pre-authorization or authorization check. This is just meant to check if your credit card information is real and correct; eBay is just trying to ensure that your payment method is able to be charged in case your offer is accepted.

Why is “eBay zero doaller” misspelled – typo etc?

There is definitely not a person at eBay who is typing in a description each time a transaction is sent through. It is an instant, automated thing that probably happens thousands and thousands of times a minute on eBay. So why is there a misspelling? Most likely a programmer or other similar eBay employee (or temporary contractor) just made a mistake and nobody has noticed it yet. It is a bit scary that something like this can slip through, but in the end it doesn’t actually cause any problems other than confusing customers.

Should you be concerned about this transaction?

No, not really. The simplest thing you could do is check if you or someone with an authorized credit card (family member) just tried placing an eBay offer at the same time as you received the alert.

You could also contact eBay and verify this charge was from them. At the same time you may want to file a support issue / feedback that they have a typo, but most likely that is not something that will make eBay take any action to fix this any time soon.

Why does this eBay transaction say San Jose CA?

That’s an easy answer, San Jose is the headquarters of eBay. However also its important to point out that this description text on the transaction and the entity who is processing the transaction can actually write anything they want there. There’s no verification by anyone that a location listed here is accurate or legitimate, or related to the merchant at all.

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