PAYPAL: been defrauded, lost my money

  Superstylin 01:58 02 Mar 2005

hi everyone,

in december i sold a mobile phone on ebay whre the buyer paid by paypal. i thought all was well until a month later paypal contacts me with an email saying:

"It has come to our attention that you may be the recipient of potentially unauthorized funds. We have initiated an investigation into this event. In the meantime, we have placed a temporary hold on the funds in question until the investigation is complete."

today i receive this:

"We have conducted a review of a payment that you received. In this case, returning the funds to the sender was determined to be the appropriate action, and we have completed a reversal of the payment.
The funds from the following transaction have been debited from your

so now some thief has my phone and left me £70 out of pocket.

has anyone been in this situation and gotten their money or item back or has anyone any advice??

thanks in advance for any replies

  VideoSentry 08:19 02 Mar 2005

Two things , Have Pay Pal given a reason ? i.e. is the card used to pay you stolen, or has the Card holder denied the transactions as being correct?. I assume you have the name and address given by the purchaser? Is it local to you ( or anyone that you know well ) so as to enable a visit, be very polite as the occupiers may not know anything as there is the possibility of a 'Mail Re-direct' to another address, also if you E mail me the address I will be able to check if it is a 'Mail Drop'
Have you E mailed the purchaser?

  jrb1946 09:18 02 Mar 2005

My understanding of ebay's rules and PayPal is that you are protected from the financial effects of fraudulent transactions. ie Ebay give you your money back, all of it if you have used Paypal, 85% of it if you have not.

1)their system for doing this takes 6 months because every action takes 45 days from the previous one.
2)the process for getting a claim started is tortuous - just getting down into the middle of the complaints system is a good hour on line if you have the patience to complete it.
3)overall one gets the feeling that they are not particularly interested and try to stifle complaints.
4)This case looks as bit odd to start with 'cos you received the money and sent the goods. More often I think its you send the money and never receive the goods.

What I would do is acquaint yourself with all aspects of the refund system. Apply for a refund, keep a paper copy of all messages you send to Ebay and receive back. And don't expect anything to happen in a hurry.

  rickf 11:19 02 Mar 2005

It is not that esay. In Nov. last year I bought a mobile from from a seller on Ebay and paid by Paypal. The phone kept being delayed in despatched with the seller claiming that his warehouse had been burnt down. In the meantime, I was sent an email that my seller might no longer be registered by Ebay. When the goods eventually failed to arrive, I file a claim under the Paypal protection policy but was told that there were no funds to reimburse me for the fraud. Interestingly, another buyer of the same phone then email me as to whether I had received the item from the same seller because she had not. I emailed her to the negative and siad she should also filed a claim. Afew days after, she received about 60% of her purchase money back but I got none, even though I had filed my claim before her. When I took this up, I kept receiving answers that there were no funds in the sellers account and that they could not tell me why she had got some money back.Altogether a very unsatisfactory affair. On balance though, I have bought many things through Ebay and they had all been legitimate sellers and transactions went smoothly. I agree that both Ebay and Paypal should take more responsibility but they don't seem to really care, just lip service.

  rickf 11:21 02 Mar 2005

Basically, you use Ebay and Paypal at your own risk is the moral of the story. I could of course vote with my feet and refuse to use them but as said on the whole most transactions have been ok.

  VideoSentry 11:26 02 Mar 2005
  Superstylin 13:54 02 Mar 2005

Have Pay Pal given a reason ? i.e. is the card used to pay you stolen, or has the Card holder denied the transactions as being correct?

no they gave no details but to say that the funds were 'unauthorised' but i pulled the ebayers contact details and they show as being completely different to the contact details mailed to me at end of transaction via paypal. i'm assuming this means stolen card and since then the authentic card holder has reported losses.

neither of the addresses are near me, i'm in gloucestershire, they're in london or yorkshire. i was probably targeted because of this (my location) was listed on the ebay selling page.

i have recently emailed the purchaser with no reply as of yet. i have sent you the email address, tho to be honest i'm not sure what you mean by a 'mail drop'!

up until no i've dealt with paypal to try and regain my money but like u advise i think i'll try ebay complaints procedure. it might take me a while but i'm quite stubborn :)

like you my now nearly hundreds of transactions went smoothly with ebay/paypal so i am tempted to just put this one down to experience and carry on using paypal but then my stubborn righteous side tells me to complain, complain, complain because otherwise nothing changes

next steps? try ebay, contact other sellers possibly defrauded by this buyer, i have a mobile number i may try, contact FSA (regulatory body for paypal) try small claims court. i won't even bother with the police, i know from my partner (who is a police officer) that victims of this just get told to go to small claims court

  rickf 15:21 02 Mar 2005

I am glad you are continuing to complain as I did only to end up facing a brick wall. I think the best way is to gather enough publicity about this to force them to listen. At one point I threaten to go to the banking ombudsman but couldn't face the lenghty process. Decided I had better things to do which required my energy. If you have the time I'll give you every support. BBC Watchdog mat be the way forward. I still have all my details of the fraudulent transaction and PP emails. The Ebay complaints procedure seems to take you to PP anyway!

  Superstylin 15:42 02 Mar 2005

i've been trawling through ebays help labyrinth to find they have a way of filing an 'unpaid item' case and possibly receiving back your money BUT it turns out you have to do this 45 days after the transaction, when in my case it took paypal 55 days to contact me about the fraud, then another 21 days to give the verdict and take my money off me thereby rendering the item officially 'unpaid'! i did still try to file it but got the bold, red lettering telling me i was too late. bl**dy cheek

i've gone onto squaretrade dispute resolution now. i've filed my case. it might cost me $20 but i'm past caring about the money anyway, it's the principle (hehe i sound like my dad)

  spuds 15:48 02 Mar 2005

The other evening Ebays UK managing director was on television as part of Ebays worldwide success. There was a mention about possible payment and loss of item problems. According to his statement, Ebay take these problems very seriously, and full investigations are conducted. Perhaps an email to him, may bring faster results.

  g0slp 15:54 02 Mar 2005

To follow on from spuds' posting, if the MD of eBay was being interviewed & made that statement, then when you email him,cc it to the TV ststion involved. It might help...

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