$6,000 fraud by Ebay Seller - How I easily got my money back

Roku

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There was a related thread in August about a buyer who had something similar done to them where they purchased an item and the seller shipped to a nearby address and then updated the tracking to show it was delivered when in fact the buyer never got it.

I was sadly victimized by this same situation.

It was resolved quickly, but I felt I should still report it to all of you here for the archives.

I bought a bag for circa $6,000 on Ebay.

I kept tracking the item on Ebay and it showed it was delivered on Monday but it never got here. (The tracking said, DELIVERED TO CITY, ZIPCODE (matches mine), on MONDAY, SEPTEMBER 15). I checked with the front desk. Nothing. I checked the tracking, and the name on the tracking info didn't match any of the reception staff, either. On top of that, the tracking said that it was sent to a residential address but it was a domestic address that was shipped to. And furthermore, the tracking said it was 1.0 lbs. The item I purchased was definitely way more than 1.0 lbs.

I knew I was scammed. PP and Ebay are tricky in that PP works in black and white and Ebay works more in shades of gray. But sometimes, Ebay can be hit or miss.

I called UPS. They were not supposed to, but over the phone they gave me the details that the item was shipped to an apartment building one block from the office location I requested it be delivered to. Same zip code and city. And they also gave me the name on the package. Was not my name.

I called PayPal first because it's easier to talk to them without being rerouted constantly to PH on this type of complex scenario I needed someone at HQ. Spoke to a supervisor in claims. She told me NOT to file a claim on PayPal because the seller would win. She said, there were two types of claims, not as described and not received. For not received, the seller would then be asked for tracking, and it would check out. I asked them, what about the fact that UPS has the exact street address and name and it doesn't match my address and name. And they said, unless UPS will disclose that information publicly which they shouldn't have, it will be a difficult thing to prove, and that UPS wasn't supposed to share the detailed street info with me. She said, the seller would likely win the case and they would close the case in the seller's favor. The supervisor advised I call Ebay and ask them for help, or, file a chargeback with my CC. I said, what about the airtight buyer protection?

I then called Ebay. I spoke with a manager in the high value claims department. She said the situation was rare but it happens, and it usually is linked to a hacked account also. Which ended up to be true; the seller's account was hacked into and someone used it to defraud me.
She had a direct chat line with a UPS rep who was able to verify the different street address.

She had my money refunded in one hour.

The purpose of this post is to inform the community on the incident that occurred and how I went about it. I am very grateful that I got my money back so quickly after calling them.

I was also surprised that PayPal could not help me better. I wrote an email as a heads up to their risk management leadership that their airtight buyer protection isn't so airtight. If ebay can get the UPS intel, PP should be able to as well.
 

BeenBurned

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Roku

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I believe you're referring to Uadjit's thread.

The reason you and she were successful is because you were your own best advocates. It's stressful, time-consuming and sometimes you want to throw in the towel but if you take the time and have the stamina, you can win against a scammer in this type of situation.

http://forum.purseblog.com/ebay-forum/burberry-bag-returned-to-wrong-address-872775.html
I think that could have been the one. It was a really long one, where the buyer said she was shaking as she was writing it... the item was delivered to a nearby address but wasn't hers...

I agree, it is true that you have to be on it definitely. It took me less than two hours and I was very, very surprised at Ebay's efficiency.

But I have to be honest that I think it also does relate also with what kind of spend you have with both Ebay and PP... depending on how much you spend I think. When they give you that six digit code or whatever to key in when you call it's to ID your user account but I remember being told once by someone who shouldn't have told me that I was routed to some type of other customer line. I think it also helped my credibility that I buy a lot on Ebay; my last purchase was a $26k watch. So it is difficult to imagine that I would cry fraud on $6k when my historical spend has been in the seven figures over the several years.

I am just being full disclosure because I didn't mean to make it sound so easy and I do think some of that had to do with it.

BUT I think that the most remarkable takeaway was the night and day difference in outcome from ebay vs paypal.
 

whateve

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Congratulations! It sounds like what you are saying is that ebay wouldn't give me the same consideration since the most expensive thing I've ever bought on ebay was $200.

I don't quite understand the reason ebay said that the seller's account was hacked into. If someone hacked into the seller's account, wouldn't they just steal the money rather than the elaborate ruse of sending a fake package to an address near you?
 

IrisCole

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I'm glad that you got your money back! PayPal requires online viewable signature confirmation for orders over $750 - did they say why they weren't requiring it in this case? (I'm assuming they didn't, since you had to get the "delivered to" details from UPS and not the tracking page.)
 

Roku

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Congratulations! It sounds like what you are saying is that ebay wouldn't give me the same consideration since the most expensive thing I've ever bought on ebay was $200.

I don't quite understand the reason ebay said that the seller's account was hacked into. If someone hacked into the seller's account, wouldn't they just steal the money rather than the elaborate ruse of sending a fake package to an address near you?
That's not what I said... I said it COULD be that they made it easier because of my spend, but that is all hypothetical, and the other opposite assumption I did not assert. I was simply trying to state all the details so nothing was misleading.

Regarding the hacking though, I think it's more difficult to hack into someone's financials to steal their money than it is to send someone a spoof email to get their username and password for an auction site.
 

Roku

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I'm glad that you got your money back! PayPal requires online viewable signature confirmation for orders over $750 - did they say why they weren't requiring it in this case? (I'm assuming they didn't, since you had to get the "delivered to" details from UPS and not the tracking page.)
Good point! Given that there was a name on the tracking, I'm assuming they got a signature, and I'm sure that if requested they could retrieve it. For FedEx, you can only retrieve the signature if you are the sender or buyer, and I am assuming that is for the case where the third party requests the actual signature proof. In this case, that was moot because the signature of whoever that was didn't belong to this address.

And thanks, I am glad too. :smile:
 

Kylier

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May 7, 2014
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Wow! Great job getting that worked out and I'm glad you got refunded whew. Given the huge variance in reps I do wonder if it is luck of the draw, or the high claims department is better, or if its because it was a manager, or of it was because of spending history? Regardless I'm just glad it worked out and you were able to recognize it was a scam so quickly. Before reading threads in this forum I would have thought the seller made a mistake. Just shows how grateful I am to the members who share their stories and people like beenburned who help them.
 
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Glad you got your money back & no question one has to be their own best advocate.

Scammers count on buyers not being aggressive & losing interest in doing what
it takes & having the perserverance to do so..
 

Roku

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Wow! Great job getting that worked out and I'm glad you got refunded whew. Given the huge variance in reps I do wonder if it is luck of the draw, or the high claims department is better, or if its because it was a manager, or of it was because of spending history? Regardless I'm just glad it worked out and you were able to recognize it was a scam so quickly. Before reading threads in this forum I would have thought the seller made a mistake. Just shows how grateful I am to the members who share their stories and people like beenburned who help them.
Do you mean with the ebay rep being so helpful, or the PP rep being so unhelpful?

Either way, for both, I do wonder the same thing!!

I was really, really surprised that PP could not help me.
 

Roku

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$6000 is a lot of money. I can not imagine how panic I would be. Glad you've got your money back so quickly.
Glad you got your money back & no question one has to be their own best advocate.

Scammers count on buyers not being aggressive & losing interest in doing what
it takes & having the perserverance to do so..
Thank you both! I am so glad too. God is good.
 

Kylier

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May 7, 2014
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Do you mean with the ebay rep being so helpful, or the PP rep being so unhelpful?

Either way, for both, I do wonder the same thing!!

I was really, really surprised that PP could not help me.
I meant more how ebay reps are sometimes a lot less helpful to people. But yes I was surprised in this case that PayPal was so unhelpful and ebay got things done. Makes me wonder....
In a way the PP rep was helpful because they at least knew they couldn't help you and pointed you to ebay, who did help you. Not the best kind of helpful but still better than pretending it would be fine and closing the case against you.
But I'm really just glad they returned your money and the scammer didnt get away with it. Thanks for posting here for people to see the experience.
 

Roku

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I should probably mention a tip: if you call Ebay and you spent over $500 (TPF Ebay Forum experts - is this the threshold for High Value claims? $500?) then you need to immediately request to be transferred to the High Value Claims department.

This is the fastest way for you to speak with someone more knowledgable in the United States and who can help you with your case.

If you speak to the front line rep who first answers your call, they will take time to ask you a million questions, write down all your info (because that is their job, to show they are collecting all your info) and then they will forward you to Ebay Claims department, and the Ebay Claims department will again take down all your info, and then forward you to Ebay High Value Claims, or, they will submit your request to that department. And it's these two levels of gatekeepers who often give customers a lot of wrong info!

So ask to speak directly with High Value Claims Department as soon as you get someone live. Again your purchase has to be in that price point and I think it's over $500, but BB or someone else would know better.
 

Roku

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I meant more how ebay reps are sometimes a lot less helpful to people. But yes I was surprised in this case that PayPal was so unhelpful and ebay got things done. Makes me wonder....
In a way the PP rep was helpful because they at least knew they couldn't help you and pointed you to ebay, who did help you. Not the best kind of helpful but still better than pretending it would be fine and closing the case against you.
But I'm really just glad they returned your money and the scammer didnt get away with it. Thanks for posting here for people to see the experience.
You are welcome!
I rarely ever post here but I put it on my To Do list to notate my experience on TPF, because it's critical when you don't know, and you submit something via PP then, seriously critical, your only other recourse is CC chargeback and when you're stuck with a tracking number that is difficult to prove it could be a nightmare!!

To the public: Also if it's not obvious, I will spell it out: This also means that unless the seller is reputable, do not even think about buying directly via PayPal. Can you imagine what would have happened for me if I bought directly via PP? At least if the seller is reputable you know they aren't going to try to fraud you with this type of mail fraud scam. (And if the seller is reputable and you end up with a fake or bad experience they'd be so embarrassed they would try to make it right as quickly as possible).

In general, I only buy directly via PayPal with reputable sellers 1) who have their own website and 2) are clearly a business. A reputable business seller of high-end bags will not risk their entire business, company revenue, livelihood, to scam one buyer out of a few thousand dollar bag (can you imagine Ann's Fab Finds, Boutique Patina, or Yoogi's Closet doing this - risking their entire business and company to scam a buyer out of a Chanel or Hermes? Never). These are sellers who, if you bank wired them too much money, they would wire back to you the difference. Use that high trust threshold to make your purchasing decisions, and you will be golden. Even sellers like Fashionphile who sometimes have upset customers make mistakes due to being too big, or careless - but never out of malicious intent.
 
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