"I'd always been suspicious because it seems like an easy thing to do, to just keep bidding up. But I was still just completely shocked and very surprised." - Brad Clarke, eBay customer.

New York Attorney General Eliot Spitzer has said that more than 120 people should be receiving restitution after eight eBay sellers were ordered to pay almost $90,000 after admitting that they had made phoney bids to inflate prices.

However, these cases are in response to specific complaints - eBay has no way of know how widespread this problem is, or for how long it has potentially been going on.