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FBI seeks hacker who stole credit card numbers from eBay users

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) _ A hacker used a University of North Carolina computer system to steal personal financial information from eBay users, federal officials say.

Users of the Internet auction site complained to the FBI they received fraudulent e-mails during the past week that appeared to come from eBay, said Chris Swecker, who heads the FBI in North Carolina.

The e-mails told recipients their accounts were suspended until they verified some personal information _ including their credit card number and mother's maiden name. A link in the e-mail took users to a Web page appearing to belong to the University of North Carolina at Charlotte.

A hacker used a university computer server for at least two hours Sunday to post the page before technicians shut it down, said spokeswoman Karin Steinbrenner.

The hacker does not appear to be a UNCC student or employee, Steinbrenner and Swecker said.

Officials at eBay said they've noticed an increase in these fraudulent e-mails since early 2002, spokesman Kevin Pursglove said.

``As fast as we can find them they disappear,'' he said.

By Monday, the page linked to the fake eBay e-mail had disappeared, and was replaced by a Web site registered to a Pennsylvania woman, who said she also had been the victim of identity theft and that thieves also stole an undisclosed amount of money from her bank account.
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