Don't Trash-Talk eBay; They Might Threaten You Mafia-Style

When you run a global corporation, it's important to develop a thick skin, because you are the worst thing in the world. You would think eBay would become long accustomed to its pitiful reputation as a haven for selling your trash collectibles, but maybe they were going through a breakup or something last year that caused them to finally snap. Whatever traumatic event they were displacing their feelings about, they were apparently determined to show the world that you do not fuck with eBay.

Their target: A middle-aged Massachusetts couple who writes an online commerce blog. In other words, the most boring people imaginable. They were probably the last to suspect they'd ever be involved in a corporate espionage campaign, but that all changed when they allegedly started receiving threatening messages after they wrote some not-so-nice things about the auction site. Warnings about "taking down" and "crushing" the couple were sent by an anonymous group that reportedly included top executives of the company's global intelligence center because eBay turned into the CIA when we weren't looking? That's barely a joke: The company soon allegedly dispatched agents on a cross-country road trip to spy on the couple, apparently unaware that any sufficiently connected corporation can just spy on people through their webcams and microphones now. They truly are a relic of the '90s.

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It wasn't hard to put two and two together when the couple subsequently started receiving ... unusual packages. Specifically, whole lot o' animals in various stages of life. Maggots, live cockroaches, even a dead pig fetus that was thankfully intercepted by the supplier because even the guy who sells dead pig fetuses suspected this operation wasn't entirely on the up-and-up. The pig theme continued with a disturbing and confusing Halloween mask ...

Don't Trash-Talk eBay; They Might Threaten You Mafia-StyleFBI Boston

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... because eBay may be good at lots of things, but metaphors aren't one of them. They also allegedly sent the couple a funeral wreath and a book about surviving the loss of one's spouse. That's some mafia shit.

There's a lot of "allegedly" here because the investigation is ongoing, but there was enough evidence to fire and arrest everyone involved for whatever crime "FedExing dead pigs" is, so just forget all the times we made fun of eBay just now, okay? We officially recognize them as the one true online auction platform, and we have families.

Top image: FBI Boston

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