|Internet fraud and paying with paypal ... story|
Message #1 Posted by Gene on 3 June 2002, 10:39 a.m.
This is from www.macintouch.com, but given that it shows some problems if you pay with paypal, I thought it might be helpful here. If not, sorry! I just don't want anyone here to get ripped off thinking paypal is a good way to get paid or pay for something. --Gene
subject: MacFraud Reader Report
An earlier poster wrote:
"The order was supposed to come in about 3 weeks. Three weeks came & went, no computer. Patrick put me in touch with Teresa, who was very hard to reach. She explained that one of her suppliers did not fulfill her orders and she was having trouble getting her money back from them. She needed the funds to place a new order."
This might sound convincing, if the exact routine hadn't been used with iBook and TiBook sales from a totally different supplier late last year. A fellow with the user name of "batmanyearone" (later found as Mr. Z.*) put up iBooks and TiBooks. He accepted the money, but no computer was shipped. After repeated attempts at contact a "friend" of Mr. Z. gave everyone a song and dance about how he'd had supply problems because some people had complained prematurely. He was therefore not able to pay his supplier and get the iBooks shipped. So everybody needed to withdraw their PayPal complaints and so he could buy the computers and get them shipped. He even sent out bogus refund checks.
No one we could actually speak to, or verify their ID actually got their computer. A number of the defrauded customers got together and compared notes, and the few who actually spoke to Mr. Z. on the phone had a similar experience to yours. A "Oh, this is all just a mistake" routine. He was tracked down by a couple of the people who sent the money in. Interestingly enough, there was supposed to be a girlfriend involved in all of this mess as well.
PayPal was a real pain in the butt on this one. We actually got our money back because we paid PayPal through a Credit Card and simply called the bank and charged back the money. If we had accepted the bogus refund check we would have been out the money. If we had paid PayPal by any other means, we would have been out the money. PayPal and its customers that didn't get refunds through chargebacks or other means got stung for something like $70,000.
Mr. Z. was a "verified" PayPal user and after this I will *NEVER* use PayPal again.
Three lessons from this:
(1) Seller claims of innocence need to be consistent with seller actions.
(2) Be VERY careful how you pay for expensive items on e-Bay. Many payment methods offer no protection against fraud.
(3) Be careful of a deal that's too good.
* Note about "Mr. Z": This was originally posted with a full name,
however, this name was also an alias so it has been removed to
protect anyone who really has that name.