Ebay classifieds: Mandatory SMS verification to protect against harassment

As soon as Ebay classifieds users want to place an advertisement or contact sellers, Ebay will ask them to provide their telephone number within the next few weeks. You will then receive a six-digit SMS code for verification via the specified number. The aim is to protect users from harassment and criminals.

The first five categories that require SMS verification include “babysitting & children”, “mini & part-time jobs”, “animal care & training”, “tutoring” and “internships”. According to the portal’s managing director, Paul Heimann, children, adolescents and young women in particular are sexually harassed on the platform due to supposed anonymity. He hopes the security measure will have “positive effects on the problem of sexual harassment”.

Ebay settings (Image: Ebay)

In the first few weeks, around 250,000 users made use of SMS verification. In the medium term, Ebay classifieds wants to convert all user accounts – including those of existing customers – to SMS verification. Only numbers from EU member states are permitted for verification.

At the end of 2020, the Cartel Office approved the multi-billion dollar sale of eBay classifieds to Adevinta, the world’s largest operator of online classifieds portals. Adevinta had already initiated some modernization measures in the past, for example the “Pay safely” function. In addition, Ebay classifieds now wants to free itself from its former parent company Ebay.


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