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Am I Boned (eBay, Paypal and credit card fraud)

Uncle LongUncle Long Registered User
edited September 2008 in Help / Advice Forum
Last wednesday I sold my Nikon D2X on eBay for ~$1850 to a buyer with 100% feedback. The buyer had a verified address in LA so I sent an invoice with the total plus cost of domestic shipping. I didn't see payment but got an e-mail from the buyer asking if I could send the camera to an international address in Moldova (bells starting to ring in my head, but I'm trusting). I said yes and sent her a new invoice with the appropriate postage for Global Express Mail International to Moldova. According to her she is working as a project manager oversees and this was supposed to be a gift for a business partner.

I get a notice within about ten minutes that I've been paid the full sum for the item and shipping through Paypal. However, the name attached to the account is not the same name as the ebayer to whom I sold the camera. This is the point where I probably should have contacted both eBay and Paypal and had them check this all out before I shipped, but apparently I'm a retard and didn't. Anyway, I transfer the funds to my bank account and then head for the post office. I post the package and head back to work.

At this point I've got two or three more e-mails from the eBayer who won the auction asking for the tracking number and asking if I'd already sent the package. So I take a picture of the receipt and the customs info and the express mail info and e-mail it to her.

The next day (last Thursday) I get a notice from eBay's security center saying that my listing for the D2X was deleted and cited a fraudulent use of the eBayer's account to purchase the item. This is where I really start getting worried. I contact the eBayer and she says that her account was locked because eBay was suspicious of her bids coming from her international IP. That puts me somewhat at ease, but I start preparing myself for a Paypal charge back within the next couple of hours.

I got the chargeback this morning (woohoo).

Now, it looks like even though this guy and this girl both had their information jacked and fraudulently used, that they will be able to get their money back and the damages repaired. However, I have no idea what I can do because I'm out my item and, essentially the ~1850.

I've filed a claim with Paypal, tried to explain the situation, sent them the item tracking number and have been trying to figure out what to do on the eBay side of things.

The eBayer left feedback so I still have her information even if the listing has been deleted from my "sold" file.

I have the information of the eBayer, including address and e-mail. I've got the information of the guy who paid me through paypal, including address and e-mail, and I've got the name, address and phone number of the person who is supposed to receive the package in Moldova. I've got the original shipping receipts as well as the transcript of about 20 e-mails back and forth between myself and the ebayer.

So, H/A, what do I do? I need your help and your advice.

Uncle Long on

Posts

  • DoctorArchDoctorArch Curmudgeon Registered User regular
    edited September 2008
    I don't know what you can do other than keep pressing Paypal on the issue. The best thing you have going for you is that you have documentation.

    Have you tried calling the postal service to see if they can locate and return the package?

    Unfortunately, this is why I don't bother with eBay anymore, because their policies are so crazy draconian that you can have delivery date, time and conformation with a picture of the buyer taking it from the postal carrier's hands and still get a chargeback.

    steam_sig.png
  • eternalbleternalbl Registered User
    edited September 2008
    As the mailer, can't you call the courier with the tracking number and get the delivery changed? Assuming it hasn't been delivered yet.

    Spoiler:
  • TheLawinatorTheLawinator Registered User regular
    edited September 2008
    Any chance you could take it up with a bit more powerful of an organization? This is pretty hefty, 1850 is a lot.

    My SteamID Gamertag and PSN: TheLawinator
  • Uncle LongUncle Long Registered User
    edited September 2008
    As far as asking to stop shipment:

    I don't know. I think it's pretty set in stone with USPS that you can't do anything once a package is sent. But, if anyone knows of any options along this route I'd be sure and pursue them.

    What sort of organization are you talking about? I mean, if there was anyway that I could catch the fraudsters I'd be glad to prosecute to the full extent of the law.

    I mean, I really am looking to fight this with everything I can and as ruthlessly as possible. I'd prefer not to be out my 1850.

    What about contacting the parties involved? Should I just leave this to eBay and Paypal?

    I guess I just don't really know what my options are.

  • ThanatosThanatos Registered User regular
    edited September 2008
    Call this number tomorrow, as early in the morning as possible:

    1-877-876-2455

    It's the number for the United States Postal Inspection Service. If they can't help you, they should be able to tell you who can help you.

  • Uncle LongUncle Long Registered User
    edited September 2008
    Thanatos wrote: »
    Call this number tomorrow, as early in the morning as possible:

    1-877-876-2455

    It's the number for the United States Postal Inspection Service. If they can't help you, they should be able to tell you who can help you.

    Thanks Than. I've got it written on my hand so it'll be right there when I wake up.

    Any idea what sort of information I should have ready? I mean, it's all here, but I want to have the most pertinent information the nearest at hand.

    Should I just explain, "hey, I sent a package on Wednesday Sept 10, via Global Express Mail International, here is the tracking number. The item was purchased fraudulently in an eBay auction and is currently en route."

  • ThanatosThanatos Registered User regular
    edited September 2008
    Uncle Long wrote: »
    Thanatos wrote: »
    Call this number tomorrow, as early in the morning as possible:

    1-877-876-2455

    It's the number for the United States Postal Inspection Service. If they can't help you, they should be able to tell you who can help you.
    Thanks Than. I've got it written on my hand so it'll be right there when I wake up.

    Any idea what sort of information I should have ready? I mean, it's all here, but I want to have the most pertinent information the nearest at hand.

    Should I just explain, "hey, I sent a package on Wednesday Sept 10, via Global Express Mail International, here is the tracking number. The item was purchased fraudulently in an eBay auction and is currently en route."
    The first person you talk to you should just tell them "I was defrauded in an eBay auction, and the package is still en route. Is there any way to halt it?"

    They should be able to tell you at least if they're the people you should be talking to. They probably aren't. They'll probably give you another number, and you might be making a lot of phone calls tomorrow morning, and waiting on hold a lot, but for $1850, it's certainly worth it.

  • SheepSheep Registered User, __BANNED USERS
    edited September 2008
    The only way PayPal will side with a seller is if a seller has tracking and delivery confirmation. I'm interested in knowing how you got tracking and delivery confirmation for an international, as the USPS generally can't track international packages.

    Anyway, PayPal's seller protection will only cover you if you can provide official delivery confirmation stating that the package was delivered. However, considering the sum involved, and how you ignored the signs of a very obvious case of mail fraud, you might just be SOL.

    QlBGc.jpg
  • Bob SappBob Sapp Registered User
    edited September 2008
    I wouldn't expect much help from PayPal. They'll probably point to some piece of protocol you violated (not shipping to verified address, for example) and deny your claim. Follow Thanatos' advice.

    fizzatar.jpg
  • CauldCauld Registered User regular
    edited September 2008
    Sheep wrote: »
    The only way PayPal will side with a seller is if a seller has tracking and delivery confirmation. I'm interested in knowing how you got tracking and delivery confirmation for an international, as the USPS generally can't track international packages.

    Anyway, PayPal's seller protection will only cover you if you can provide official delivery confirmation stating that the package was delivered. However, considering the sum involved, and how you ignored the signs of a very obvious case of mail fraud, you might just be SOL.

    USPS can track internationally. I get asked this every time I send something internationally, which is about once every two weeks. If you send it by EMS, which I'm sure you did, you have the option of a 3-10 days guaranteed or a 3-5 days or something like that. The faster one provides itnernational tracking and delivery confirmation. The cheaper only only provides domestic tracking (to the point of export) and then you can generally get some international delivery confirmation but getting the confirmation takes longer. EMS is an international shipping standard or something, so its all there if you want it. Both countries have to be a part of the service though.

    I would say there's a decent chance you can get your camera returned. Follow Thantos' advice.

  • RethiusRethius Registered User regular
    edited September 2008
    Contact eBay here. http://support.ebay.com/cgi-bin/ebay_us.cfg/php/enduser/ask.php?p_sid=HUFT9Xdj&p_eb_segment=&p_accessibility=0&p_redirect=&p_lva=133

    Good job on contacting PayPal already, the faster you make them aware of the situation the better they can help you.

    At the very least it will alert them to the situation, and you will be surprised at how much they can help you.

    They may tell you to file a complaint here: http://www.ic3.gov/default.aspx
    This is the website for the Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3).

  • Uncle LongUncle Long Registered User
    edited September 2008
    Called up this morning. Was transfered to another department. They said that there wasn't anything they could do but that I should call back on the 18th to file an inquiry stating that the package was purchased fraudulently and that I would like it returned to sender.

    Any ideas as to what I should do right now?

    edit: going to ebay link now.

  • DaenrisDaenris Registered User regular
    edited September 2008
    Did they give you a reason why you couldn't file that inquiry today?

  • Uncle LongUncle Long Registered User
    edited September 2008
    Not really. The woman on the phone gave me the impression that the people in the Moldovan post office wouldn't have any idea what I was talking about until the package was there.

    Alright, filed with eBay.

  • Uncle LongUncle Long Registered User
    edited September 2008
    Just wanted to update anyone that was interested.

    Called again today, like I was instructed. The woman said I should have called earlier so that they could have put in a stop request. When I explained that I had in fact and gave her the time, the date, and the name of the woman I had first talked to she started to be a little bit more helpful. They've put in a return request to the Moldovan postal service. Apparently I'll have a 1-5 day minimum wait, with a maximum of 30 days before I get news either way.

    Meanwhile. I haven't heard anything back from paypal or eBay about the payment issues, so I'm assuming they're still going through their investigation/it hasn't been processed yet.

    Anyway, I'll let you guys know what happens.

  • JaysonFourJaysonFour Classy Boatrower-Kitteh Registered User regular
    edited September 2008
    Well... one telling sign of mail fraud (address on account doesn't match shipping address- a big 'no-no', especially on overseas shipping), and considering the time you took to get the ball rolling with eBay and Paypal... I'd say about the best you can hope for through them is to have your fees reversed.

    More than likely, your camera's already been delivered- www.usps.com says that shipping via that method to Moldova takes three to eight days, so you may as well chalk this up to an expensive lesson in why you ALWAYS check the addresses when you ship internationally.

    steam_sig.png
  • wasted pixelswasted pixels Registered User regular
    edited September 2008
    JaysonFour wrote: »
    I'd say you may as well consider yourself boned, el grande style. You ignored an obvious sign of mail fraud (address on account doesn't match shipping address- a big 'no-no', especially on overseas shipping), and considering the time you took to get the ball rolling with eBay and Paypal, I'd say about the best you can hope for through them is to have your fees reversed.

    More than likely, your camera's already been delivered- www.usps.com says that shipping via that method to Moldova takes three to eight days, so you may as well chalk this up to an expensive lesson in why you ALWAYS check the addresses when you ship internationally.

    I'm not sure that kind of high-horse tone is really called for (or even fair) here, as the OP certainly got things moving with eBay and Paypal within a VERY reasonable span of time (he filed a claim with Paypal the same day the chargeback came through, if I'm reading right), and there are plenty of legit reasons why a buyer might ask to have a product shipped to an alternate address. This could have happened to almost any seller.

    BTW, I got a message from Obs that equated installing OS X on a PC with car theft, murder and rape. Is he normally like that?
  • JaysonFourJaysonFour Classy Boatrower-Kitteh Registered User regular
    edited September 2008
    Well, maybe you're right. We used to do a lot of eBay selling around here, and my aunt (the one who got us into the whole thing) told us that if the addresses on the account and the shipping address don't match, be leery, unless they can provide a damn good reason. I'm not trying to sound like I'm on a high horse (I can't ride them, anyways), but you've got to be careful with credit card orders going overseas.

    Not to mention it might be impossible to get the camera back- according to the OP, it was a week after he had shipped it, and according to the Post Office website, it takes between three to eight days for a package to go to Moldova. I hope he can get some good news on it, but at the same time, you have to be a realist- people do stuff like this. You can't trust everyone on eBay.

    Long story short: I didn't mean to come off like a pretentious jackass, good luck in getting the camera back.

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  • Uncle LongUncle Long Registered User
    edited September 2008
    It was three days after I shipped it that I got the chargeback. Right about the time it hit "international" out of San Francisco.

    You're right though, I was totally an idiot to send it out. I guess I was going to expect some sort of poorly worded e-mail or whatever if it was a fraud, but the contact certainly acted legit.

    Anyway, on something that expensive I should have put a clause in my listing to the effect that I would only ship to verified paypal addresses and saved myself this ridiculous headache. Like I said, it was a dumb move on my part and I should have been more cautious. Now I just have to hope for the best.

  • DaemonionDaemonion Registered User regular
    edited September 2008
    I wish you the best of luck.

    As a bit of advice, I do a lot of buying/selling/trading over the internet, and if it is anything serious, I always shy away from anything international, unless I am willing to give the item away.

    If anyone ever lists a local address, and then says they are out of town or something after you contact them, it is 99% of the time bad news. This goes for eBay, Craig's List, what have you.

    I can't tell you how many times I have run into - and evaded - frauds this way.

    Strain 121 wrote: »
    Spoiler:

    LURK mod for SoC|Backloggery|XBL|XFire|Steam|Zune
  • fuelishfuelish Registered User
    edited September 2008
    Daemonion wrote: »
    If anyone ever lists a local address, and then says they are out of town or something after you contact them, it is 99% of the time bad news. This goes for eBay, Craig's List, what have you.

    Print that and put it on your monitor. More of CL problem but happens with Ebay to.

    I also like, " I will pay you an extra $(large sum) because I need you to hold the item(Item? If you can type "item", you can type "table") until my agent is ready to recieve it. What person buying a $10 car table has an agent?

    Please be careful in the future. Overseas can be OK. If all the correspondence comes from the same overseas location and the guy does not want to transact in some odd fashion, probably OK. There are also some countries I would trust over others. I like Japan, they want vintage US or French bike stuff as bad as we want NJS/Kerin stuff. (former)Eastern block countries or anywhere in Africa is a big warning.

    Another day in the bike shop Pretty much what it sounds like. The secret lifestyle, laid open.
  • DaemonionDaemonion Registered User regular
    edited September 2008
    fuelish wrote: »
    (former)Eastern block countries or anywhere in Africa is a big warning.

    This, too.

    Don't get scared of internet trading/buying/selling, though. Just use your common sense and follow your first gut instinct. From your OP, it sounded like you silenced yours due to lack of experience.

    If you are uncomfortable, don't do it. The internet can reach out to anyone with a computer and a connect - there will always be more than one person interested. As with drugs, children, just say no.

    Strain 121 wrote: »
    Spoiler:

    LURK mod for SoC|Backloggery|XBL|XFire|Steam|Zune
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