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Alembic Club » Miscellaneous » Archive: 2009 » Archive through October 27, 2009 » Paypal Scam « Previous Next »

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Senior Member
Username: glocke

Post Number: 643
Registered: 9-2002
Posted on Monday, September 21, 2009 - 7:55 am:   Edit Post

Just wanted to warn people about a paypal scam that I and a few others were taken by.

In July I sold my old iphone for $315.00 on ebay to someone in india who was new to ebay, but the person called me and emailed several times so I figured he was legit.

They sent the money via paypal, and I shipped the phone via express mail with a tracking number.

A week ago I got an email from paypal saying the buyer claims to not recognize the charge, and that the buyers CC company was doing a chargeback.

I dont even have buyers protection because the thing I did not catch is that he submitted the payment as a "personal payment", not as a payment for an item that was purchased. This resulted in me not having paypals buyer protection.

I did have email correspondence and a tracking number I was able to supply to paypal, and the are contesting the chargeback, but in all likelihood I will not get my money back.

That same week the person who bought my phone, bought iphones from two other people, and they are going through the same thing.

Apparently chargebacks on paypal are a rather big scam lately. Be careful.
Username: davehouck

Post Number: 8761
Registered: 5-2002
Posted on Monday, September 21, 2009 - 8:13 am:   Edit Post

Thanks for the report.

Let us know how the resolution process goes.
Senior Member
Username: bsee

Post Number: 2428
Registered: 3-2004
Posted on Monday, September 21, 2009 - 8:48 am:   Edit Post

We got screwed in a different way, and for a much smaller amount. Apparently PayPal REQUIRES you to have proof of delivery, no matter what. We sold a guy 3-4 old CDs for about $6-8. We offered him some shipping options and he wanted the cheapest possible and wouldn't pay for any kind of tracking, confirmation, or insurance. We told him he would bear the responsibility if it wasn't delivered and he agreed. We charged him accordingly and two weeks later he claimed it wasn't delivered and filed with PayPal, demanding a full refund which they supported in spite of the clear communication between us.

The hard rule is delivery confirmation for all packages and a signature is required if it is over $250. Apparently, there are no extenuating circumstances that would support you if you fail to comply.
Advanced Member
Username: sonicus

Post Number: 380
Registered: 5-2009
Posted on Monday, September 21, 2009 - 9:02 am:   Edit Post

I bought a Trumpet from a guy in Alaska several years ago who had neglected to watch his paypal payable bank account adequately. His Account had also had some one do a charge back on him and it left his account in negative integers of over - $1.000, ( how that is possible I do not know )so then when I made my payment of $ 600.00 he was still -$400.00. As a result he claimed that Paypal stole the money from him and refused to ship the Trumpet to me until Paypal funded my payment to him. What a mess it was! I had to call and hassle with him daily to urge him to ship my horn . I made a complaint with Paypal and It turned out unlucky for me in that they said this happened from his negligence but he had closed out his account and there was nothing that they could do to reimburse me for my monetary loss. I had funded my Paypal account with a credit card and not with a" SO CALLED" VERIFIED PAYPAL ACCOUNT. I called the credit company and filed a credit card fraud report against the seller and sent it to them with various pieces of evidence to show my loss and phone records of my daily conversations with the seller trying to get my merchandise. About 30 days later they contacted me with a notice that they were going after the seller and that my money would be reimbursed to me shortly; and it was! The lesson here for me was BE CAREFUL IF YOUR PAYPAL ACCOUNT IS FUNDED FROM A BANK ACCOUNT! " SO CALLED ; VERIFIED. This whole experience was AWFULL! I also felt bad for the seller but he had no right to make me suffer for his own negligence . I got my money back in the end.I think if I had not had my Paypal account funded from a credit card with protection I would never seen that money again! And that is my "BAD" Paypal story . I have had better experiences since then.
Intermediate Member
Username: xlrogue6

Post Number: 156
Registered: 8-2002
Posted on Monday, September 21, 2009 - 9:06 am:   Edit Post

I gave up Paypal last year when my account got hijacked--had to pay stop payment fees to keep my bank account from getting cleaned out by fraudulent charges. But hey--it only took 2 weeks for Paypal to figure out that their oh-so-secure system had been compromised. As far as I'm concerned, the biggest Ebay/Paypal scams are the organization itself.
Senior Member
Username: hydrargyrum

Post Number: 668
Registered: 3-2004
Posted on Monday, September 21, 2009 - 9:20 am:   Edit Post

Put me down for another paypal hater. I agree with Kent. The way that ebay and paypal collude seems disgusting, even if it isn't illegal. I also think their fees are exorbitant for the service they provide.
Senior Member
Username: glocke

Post Number: 644
Registered: 9-2002
Posted on Monday, September 21, 2009 - 9:21 am:   Edit Post

Yep..I was warned recently about using paypal, but I basically told myself "it cant happen to me", it did, and I am done with paypal.

As for signatures upon delivery, Ive heard stories of items being recieved, positive feedback being left on ebay for those items, and weeks later the buyer files a claim saying the item arrived damaged.
Advanced Member
Username: sonicus

Post Number: 381
Registered: 5-2009
Posted on Monday, September 21, 2009 - 9:32 am:   Edit Post

In my posting #280 I would like to note that I went through major intrepidation and second thoughts regarding filing a fraud report against the seller but he had been stringing me along with false promises for almost 2 months before I filed the claim against him . I had decided to file the claim finally after my last conversation when he lost his cool and screamed and yelled at me over the phone and said " DON"T BOTHER ME ANY MORE!"
Intermediate Member
Username: john_judge

Post Number: 180
Registered: 4-2009
Posted on Monday, September 21, 2009 - 10:23 am:   Edit Post

Yeah I once bought a Rick 4001 bass from a guy he was kind of new but I took a shot at it for $900.00 not a bad deal, well weeks went by and I never got the bass, this guy kept giving me the run around so I asked for a refund and paypal gave me some lame excuse that they could but only up to $200 and was I willing to settle for that.
Well some lady said it was better than nothing and atleast I would get some of my money back, well $200 was a far cry from $900.00 or a could file a dispute, but for some reason after I hung up I went on ebay and started looking around and seen the same picture of this bass I just purchased with slightly different description and found the same guy was selling 13 more 4001 basses, Well I immediate called paypal back and entered a dispute and shortly after this guy calls me on the phone and called me every four letter word under thesun, then calls me back later and talks nicely to me and says he is sorry for the fowl language and that he would be glad to refund my money if I would just drop the dispute. To make a long story short he just had sold 7 more basses that were paid for and was fixing to snag all the money and close out his account probably, but when you file a dispute he cannot retrieve the funds for any sales what so ever while a dispute is going on, until it is resolved, paypal did help finally in the end and I did get a prompt refund,
but the system between paypal and ebay is just a way to be double charged, and if I didn't look into things myself I would of got screwed out of $900.00 and they did nothing until I told them what I found and filed the dispute.
P.S the key warning sign for me was this guy carefully listed these basses so each sale would end a few days apart and the farther away the cheaper they got like they were missing numbers or needed new strings to draw in the quick sales with buy it now, when I found the last one listed it was sold for $450.00 with buy it now, half what I paid for missing two original knobs

(Message edited by john judge on September 21, 2009)
Senior Member
Username: lbpesq

Post Number: 4101
Registered: 7-2004
Posted on Monday, September 21, 2009 - 11:17 am:   Edit Post

A friend of mine who is a lawyer in Colorado just had a problem with paypal. He does a lot of medical marijuana work. Paypal informed him that he was involved in illegal activity and seized his account! How they think they can do this legally is beyond me. After some very pointed "lawyer" communications, paypal finally released his funds. Fortunately, I've never had a problem with them, knock on wood.

Bill, tgo
Advanced Member
Username: gtrguy

Post Number: 246
Registered: 9-2004
Posted on Monday, September 21, 2009 - 11:55 pm:   Edit Post

I bought a guitar 8 months ago and they paid him after I paid out to them, but then they 'froze' the money in his account until I jumped through a bunch of goofy hoops to verify my account. We were pretty shocked that they could even put money in your account and then freeze it afterwards if they felt like doing it. Now I don't trust them at all.

I think they are a law unto themselves.

Advanced Member
Username: sonicus

Post Number: 385
Registered: 5-2009
Posted on Tuesday, September 22, 2009 - 4:01 am:   Edit Post

They can only do that if you fall in to their trap and get a so called "verified' account that is funded from a bank account . Therefore, if you are not selling and just buying through Paypal you have the option of funding the account with a credit card that is controlled under much stricter laws and protection in the USA. They can not force you to get verified if you are just buying. I have been just buying through Paypal since before eBay has merged with them and they keep trying to suggest for me to get verified and I just keep on saying NO , NO, NO !!! every time I use them ! How ever ; If you do decide to use them to collect funds from sales through Paypal you have to play that game in which case I highly suggest that you set up a designated account with a minimal balance in it just for Paypal . Under NO circumstances would I have let them have ANY of my personal bank account numbers with my bulk assets ; just a special account designated just for Paypal.
otherwise you have put , " ALL OF YOUR EGGS IN ONE BASKET ".
Senior Member
Username: georgie_boy

Post Number: 959
Registered: 8-2005
Posted on Tuesday, September 22, 2009 - 4:35 am:   Edit Post

That's frightening to know!
I've only bought one thing on E Bay, and used Eden Navigator!
Turned out not too bad, but now, I'm really wary!

Advanced Member
Username: sonicus

Post Number: 386
Registered: 5-2009
Posted on Tuesday, September 22, 2009 - 7:10 am:   Edit Post

Hi George.
is that the Eden Navigator pre-amp that you have / How do you like it ?
Wolf ___
Username: goop

Post Number: 69
Registered: 7-2008
Posted on Tuesday, September 22, 2009 - 7:58 am:   Edit Post

Sorry to hear of all these troubles. Paypal is not perfect for sure, but I believe it is the preemminent way to cyberbank.

Many of these reported issues are people issues, not Paypal issues. Paypal is there in support of both buyers and sellers, but has traditionaly given the benefit of the doubt to buyers. They have recently made changes to support sellers, much like ebay has, as ebay owns Paypal and ebay is canvasing for listings and sellers.

The bottom line is caveat emptor - let the buyer beware. When you buy or sell on ebay (or anywhere else), you need to do your homework to protect yourself.

I have bought and sold a lot of stuff on ebay and on the internet, mostly without incident. I have had a few situations where Paypal shafted me because of a lying idiot, but thankfully, I was able to demonstrate to Paypal that this was the case. So although I have been frustrated and had unpleantries to deal with (both Paypal and ebay), it has all worked out for me at the end of the day.

Buyers - make sure the seller has enough feedback to satisfy yourself they are legitimate, or feel comfortable taking a chance. Makes sure you get hi res shots so you know exactly what you are buying - didn't John Lydon sing "words cannot express". Make sure you get a tracking number with full insurance. Make sure the seller is openly communicating before your purchase. Make sure your purchase is covered entirely through Paypal. I genereally open communication with all sellers before bidding.

Sellers, you are now protected even if the buyer's address is not confirmed. Only ship with tracking and full insurance. Make sure the buyer has open communication before shipping. Keep all of your emails. If the buyer is suspect, dont complete the transaction.

You do have to be aware of and adhear to the requirements and processes of ebay and Paypal to avoid frustration and cost.

ebay has its own issues as well, including hijacking of accounts (happened to me) and issuing "warnings" instead of enforcing its own rules and regulations. They claim a transaction / bid is a legal contract, but they will not support you in enforing it. ebay will not force someone to sell something from a completed transaction. They will get 3 warnings and then possible suspension. ebay's problem is they use legal and fun together to describe their "community". if you dont get enough for your item, just refuse to ship it and there is no long term recourse. The other thing one can do is say it broke and not complete the transaction.

I have completed several hundred transactions, including about 10 guitars without incident. If someone wants to sell it and someone wants to buy it and they are both normal, respectuful human beings, there should be no problem. ebay is the ultimate place for used and rare merchandise and there are many good deals to be had. You just have to be careful and patient.

Good luck with case glocke.

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