The Museum of HP Calculators

HP Forum Archive 08

[ Return to Index | Top of Index ]

Internet fraud and paying with paypal ... story
Message #1 Posted by Gene on 3 June 2002, 10:39 a.m.

This is from, 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.

Re: Internet fraud and paying with paypal ... story
Message #2 Posted by W. Bruce Maguire II on 3 June 2002, 3:14 p.m.,
in response to message #1 by Gene


Scary! But I'm not sure I understand the logic of: "I'll *NEVER* use PayPal again." How, exactly, did PayPal cause a problem? Would the buyer have been any better-off with another payment method? It sounds to me, that paying via PayPal and a credit card was the only thing that saved this person!

I always use my CC with PayPal. I don't buy on eBay any other way! It seems to me that this story is just yet more reason to never participate in "Cashiers-Check / Money-Order ONLY" auctions!


I guess the point was paypal wasn't helpful here to bidders either
Message #3 Posted by Gene on 3 June 2002, 4:07 p.m.,
in response to message #2 by W. Bruce Maguire II

Paypal seems to offer no protection to buyers OR sellers.

Sellers are at risk of delivering the goods as they promised they would, only to get charged back by paypal a month or two later because an unscrupulous buyers claimed what was delivered was not what was ordered. Paypal could care less whether the claim was true or false...they charge back the seller and he/she is out of luck.

Seemingly, buyers would be in the driver's seat at paypal, since they could claim the above and charge back ANY seller by claiming "delivered not what was promised", but in the instance this story gave, the buyers probably tried "fraud" or "nothing ever sent" or such and got no action. Don't understand it completely myself, but oh well.

Personally, I don't buy anything much above $20-30 from someone with little or no feedback. As a seller, hopefully the +400 rating means someone will go with my (regretfully) money order only terms.

Cheers! (as much as possible, I guess) Gene

[ Return to Index | Top of Index ]

Go back to the main exhibit hall