eBay MFA - Lost phone number = lost account.

drsquirrel Posts: 283
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Recently got pushed into MFA (Multi Factor Authentication), wasn't a big deal, first few times got a code via email.

Then it said it sent one via SMS, no more Email option.

This number turns out is an old work number that is no longer valid.

Countless hours with eBay saying "cant change policy" etc (well they could... its their policy), and no luck, It is literally suggested I start a new account.

Sadly for some buyers I have items pending dispatch, and many items still listed for sale.

Any suggestions? Feels like a lost cause now. They even started the chat with "I see you opened this account 10 years ago, thank you for your loyalty." thanks...

NB. eBay calls this "2-factor authentication".


  • Rantband
    Rantband Posts: 243
    First Anniversary First Post Name Dropper
    What is MFA ?
    Master of Fine Arts ?
  • 400ixl
    400ixl Posts: 2,614
    First Anniversary First Post Name Dropper
    Multi Factor Authentication
  • Rantband
    Rantband Posts: 243
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    Thank you,now makes sense to everyone reading the post.
    Please remember not everyone knows what all the initials stand for.
  • You could try signing in on another computer or device, maybe something you haven't used in a while. If you haven't tried eBay over the phone yet definitely call them rather than relying on the chat - if you have talked over the phone, try the chat instead. Make sure you tell them you're trying to update your phone number so you can sign in, not just bypass or turn off authentication.
    I've just been reading a recent thread on the eBay community forums about this very issue, no idea if any of the posts are yours but some people on there had luck with trying to sign in several times a day for several days until it suddenly allowed email authentication again and others managed to get eBay to sort it out.

    If you're having trouble getting through to the right people over the phone, go via this page: https://www.ebay.co.uk/help/account/protecting-account/get-help-hacked-account?id=4196
    If eBay's phone robot asks if you're calling about a hacked account or unauthorised access to your account, say yes. When you get a human being to talk to, tell them what's wrong. You should get through to the right people that way.

  • diystarter7
    diystarter7 Posts: 5,202
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    I got that message last night so not bothered logging in.  I thought it was the fact my cookies clear once a web page is closed.

    I'm registered with my old mobile number - I will have to investigate. Thanks.
  • drsquirrel
    drsquirrel Posts: 283
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    They make up so many stories on the phone, saying don't worry you won't be locked out. But saying its impossible due to policy. Another said its a known problem and its being worked on (others havent said this, could be true, but less likely).

    If I can ask them to change an invalid number to a valid one, for them to send a code to an entirely new number negates what its about.

    I won't be using a phone any further now which is an additional problem.

    Also I am daily user on ebay, buy and sell so not so much an issue of idleness. No VPNs or anything. I use it in 2 places (work and home) and currently can only get in at work now... which is okay until it expires.

    I've seen many other complaints, loads of "edge" cases to these policies they never think about or care about. Namely signal issues etc.
  • Olinda99
    Olinda99 Posts: 1,164
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    If you can get in at work, just go to your account and turn off 2FA
  • soolin
    soolin Posts: 71,852
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    This same thing happened when paypal went over the the 2 step authorisation, I often work in my study and forget my mobile- and have to go and get it to log in (not every time though). Thinking back about paypal, I don't think there was a solution as it is done to prevent fraud and I don't think you can opt out of the new security measures.

    I suspect that it won't be much longer before you will need a mobile (or at least a smart home phone as you can get a phone call) to sell on ebay and even to access banks etc. I can't even use one of my debit cards anymore unless I verify myself by text!

    The only thing I can think of is to phone again and see if you can provide full information about everything on your account and see if they will change your telephone number. However, i suspect this will be difficult as of course anyone trying to fraudulently gain access would give the same story about not having the mobile number any more - so you can see why they would be suspicious .

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  • drsquirrel
    drsquirrel Posts: 283
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    People have and will lose access so they do need to have some kind of process to verify this, its common for other services to do so.

    They even suggested I sign up with a new account and contact the buyers who had pending parcels.... yea right.
    Olinda99 said:
    If you can get in at work, just go to your account and turn off 2FA

    This was a a suggestion too (but they couldn't tell me where), but does't seem to be any way to do so. They are rolling out or "opting" everyone onto this process.

    If you can find where it is in your and let me know to be sure?

  • forgotmyname
    forgotmyname Posts: 32,478
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    Strange how things change, my paypal password is stupidly simple and really short, it's also a word.  Keep meaning to change it but
    have had several logins push towards 2factor and wanting apps installed. Utterly stupid for a device that can get lost, stolen, damaged
    or can just fail without warning.

    Often the reviews for the apps are less than glowing.

    Censorship Reigns Supreme in Troll City...

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