Defrauded of $1600 Powermac G5

Discussion in 'General Mac Discussion' started by smharmon, Sep 7, 2004.

  1. smharmon macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jan 26, 2004
    #1
    I sold a powermac (1.8ghz, 160gig, 512 ram) on ebay for $1600. The guy sent the money via Paypal, and I waited for it to clear into my checking account. He then asked me (on the phone) to send it to his work address, which I did. Then, 3 months later, paypal came back, and made my account negative by $1600. They said he did a chargeback against my account, and that I had to pay the money back. I gave them his phone number, his home (confirmed address that the number matched to), and the shipping address, the UPS tracking number, and they still initiated the chargeback. Not wanting to risk ruining my flawless credit, and a law suit (they threatened both via e-mail) I just paid the money this week.

    Can anyone give me any advice on how I can proceed? I have the serial number off the unit, do you think apple will give me their contact info if the registered it?

    Oh, and please don't flame me, I know I was stupid in not shipping it to a confirmed address, but the guy was nice, and I am nice, and I was trying to help out a customer. (yes it was dumb to do, I am just trying to recover the money now...) This is only one of about 25 high value items I have sold, and I am usually so careful. It has UPS insurance, but they deliver to addresses, and not people, and so they don't care.

    And one more thing, if anyone lives in or around Cleveland, OH, and would check out the address for me, I would appreciate it. I could pay your gas or something, I am just strapped after giving $1600 back to paypal, (I hhad already bought a Powerbook with the $1600 I got from selling the G5)
     
  2. mikeyredk macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Mar 13, 2003
    #2
    YOU SHOULDN'T HAVE GIVEN THE MONEY BACK. NOW YOU HAVE NO RECOURSE YOUR SCREWED!!!!!

    yes i was shouting
     
  3. agreenster macrumors 68000

    agreenster

    Joined:
    Dec 6, 2001
    Location:
    Walt Disney Animation Studios
    #3
    Damn dood. That sucks. eBay is getting so shady that I dont think I would ever use it as a seller anymore.

    How does this stupid chargeback thing work? I've never heard of that! Sounds like fraud to me. Im surprised PayPal isnt investigating this situation, but then again so many companies nowadays just figure a bit of abuse as par for the course.

    I live about 6 hours I think from Cleveland, so I really cant help you out.

    Good luck though, and make sure this gets rectified. You may have to get on the phone and do some major complaining, if not eventually calling the police.

    I have heard of a situation similar to this before here at Macrumors a couple years ago, and the guy finally got the police to go to this persons house and got his computer back. I guess he was running a big scam with a lot of people.

    BUST EM
     
  4. Mantat macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Sep 19, 2003
    Location:
    Montréal (Canada)
    #4
    I know this sound stupid, but when threaten, never give money back. Its an admission of guilt! In their line of thought, if you are willing to give the money back, its because you know that you are wrong, very stupid way to think, but thats how they work.

    All hope is not lost. Keep contacting them and call the police, they can probably give you some advices on what to do.


    Keep us informed!
     
  5. rdrr macrumors 6502a

    rdrr

    Joined:
    Nov 20, 2003
    Location:
    NH
    #5
    PayPal is horrible... They don't "investigate", and basically take only one side of the story. If your PayPal account is secured by a credit card company you can use the Credit Card fraud investigation department to stop payment to PayPal. Gather up as much hard evidence you can and put it in a file. Email (archive it to a Zip disk if possible), UPS receipt and track information including who signed for it, original purchase of sale for the G5, ebay history as well as the buyers, and paypal history. Also write a written letter back to PayPal and tell them you are going to open up a case with the Better Business Bureau.

    If you secured your PayPal account with you bank account, then you really won't have a way to reverse or stop the charge. But I suggest you at least pursue the BBB complaint.

    Good luck.
     
  6. Mr. Anderson Moderator emeritus

    Mr. Anderson

    Joined:
    Nov 1, 2001
    Location:
    VA
    #6
    I have never heard of this chargeback - it would seem that if paypal got the money from the guy in the first place that it would require both of you to agree that the chargeback(return of the money) is valid....

    When you find out more, post it....

    Good luck,

    D
     
  7. Mr. Anderson Moderator emeritus

    Mr. Anderson

    Joined:
    Nov 1, 2001
    Location:
    VA
    #7
    Here's the paypal description of chargeback -

    go here, to the bottom of the page and hit contact us
    http://www.paypal.com/cgi-bin/webscr

    in the quick questions section, ask "what is chargeback" and you get this...

    looks like the guy was scamming you, using a credit card and then canceling it... have you reported this to paypal and ebay? I'd talk to someone who is a supervisor the next time you contact them.

    D
     
  8. smharmon thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jan 26, 2004
    #8
    Go to paypal.com, and read all about chargebacks, they can take the money whenever they want, really for any reason. They never let you know that when you sign up, but it IS buried in the TOS agreement. I have gathered the hard evidence, and sent it to paypal, they said they would
    "investigate" and a day later they told me it was my fault... i had to give the money within 120 days or they lock your account, charge your credit card, or file a suit. I didn't want me credit ruined! (and by signing up with them, they can do all of that, without any more permission from you).

    I called the guy, and he swears his credit card no. was stolen from the interenet, and it wasn't him, but his business address was 8 miles from the house he lives at (and the number I called matches that house number in the phone book). This guy has to be pro...

    Oh, I have called, and talked to Paypal, they are very nice, but say it isn't there problem...

    They also will not tell you the credit card company, and let you talk to them...
     
  9. smharmon thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jan 26, 2004
    #9
    I just stopped the payment to paypal, cleared out my account it would get it from, and paid off and cancelled the credit card that they have on file.


    they won't be getting any money from me, as your guys suggested. I will prursue the matter further.
     
  10. Mord macrumors G4

    Mord

    Joined:
    Aug 24, 2003
    Location:
    UK
    #10
    remember you are not in the wrong say you will only give the money back if you get your g5 back.
     
  11. Abstract macrumors Penryn

    Abstract

    Joined:
    Dec 27, 2002
    Location:
    Location Location Location
    #11
    That's it? That's the scam! It just seems so easy. I would think that PayPal or eBay has a way of preventing something so obvious.

    I don't know if you should pay or not, but I don't see how PayPal can tell you that it's your fault. What is your fault, exactly? I don't get what they meant by that. Is it your fault that you got robbed and screwed over? Its your fault? It sounds like it should be their fault. Why go through PayPal at all if they don't offer you any protection in return? This "chargeback" issue is just a hole in their system, and now everyone who reads this thread knows about it and can do it themselves if they wanted. That's how simple a "scam" it is.
     
  12. kbonnel macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Mar 1, 2004
    Location:
    In a nice place..
    #12
    smharmon,

    As you have found out from everybody here, paypal.com sucks! They really have no power over transactions. I purchased a cisco switch from a fellow, and it came down to me reversing the charge with my CC company because paypal.com could not do anything. Things may have changed since then, but I don't know. (I love how paypal wants you to use a checking/savings account for your payments... They know once your money is gone from there, you really don't have a way to get it back. With a CC, you have options)

    I would suggest that you get as much information about the shipment of your G5. (i.e., the shipping receipt, who signed for it, tracking number, etc). This will show that you actually shipped an item (though you may have to prove it was a G5 :( ). Hopefully when you shipped it, you put on the paperwork that it was a G5 computer, or something like that. Even if this person's cc was stolen, they should be dealing with there CC, and not with paypal. (but I can understand by, as paypal will suspend your account (usually) if you contest a charge with your cc company)

    Gather all emails, etc, of converstations you had with this person. And if needed, go see a lawyer!!!

    What sucks about all of this is you will probably have to spend money to prove that you are not in the wrong.

    What ever you do, do it fast. Don't sit around hoping that this will all go away.

    Kimo
    *NOTE: I am not a lawyer of any kind, but have gone through this before.
     
  13. JLS macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Aug 8, 2004
    Location:
    Kent, England
    #13
    This very nearly happened to me when I was selling a mobile phone (with a £250 value). The money was credited to my account, and I asked my parents to post the phone for me the next day via Royal Mail. I got up the next morning to find paypal had taken the money back, I immediately phoned my mum.. who was in the post office! I was within seconds of loosing my phone and the money.

    I hate ebay, I hate paypal. The only way you can stop this happening is by not using them.
     
  14. arilev macrumors member

    arilev

    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2004
    Location:
    Oakland, CA
    #14
    I had a similar experience with Paypal when I sold some DVD's on ebay. Paypal had on file both my checking account and debit card (linked to the same checking account). I sold one disc for $16 including shipping and received the payment through Paypal right away. I transferred the money into my checking account and mailed off the disc. About a week later I see that Paypal has reversed the transaction and since I always remove any money I receive into my checking account right away I now owe them $16. Paypal gave me virtually no explanation for this and did not respond to repeated emails and of course the buyer's email address went dead. Since I couldn't get anywhere with Paypal I called my bank and disputed the funds. Sure enough the bank credited me $16 within the day. I was shocked when later that same day Paypal again withdrew $16 from my account. I don't know if they took from the checking account first or the debit card first but since they were the same bank account it didn't really matter. I got really upset and started researching my options. I suppose I could have removed the link to my checking account and changed my debit card on file with Paypal to a credit card with more protection and then tried again to dispute the charge with my bank but I read the horror stories of Paypal actually turning people over to collection agencies. I didn't need that over $16. I found that Paypal's seller protection is really just a set of guidelines that are supposed to help you avoid getting scammed. They do nothing when you actually do get scammed. It still bothers me, but all I could do was close my account so that's what I did.

    Well I guess my post didn't offer much in the way of help and I know that my $16 loss is no match to your $1600 loss. Well good luck and let us know what happens!
     
  15. larry k. macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2004
    #15
    you guys are freaking me out as i have a powerbook for sale on ebay right now with a payment method of paypal. i sold an ibook on there before and not had trouble but now im getting nervous.
     
  16. smharmon thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jan 26, 2004
    #16
    Just take money orders only, or make sure you get proof you shipped to a confirmed address, and follow all the guidelines.

    i have spend 2 30min sessions on hold with Paypal, and have yet to talk to a human being... in total I have spend about 4 hours over the past few months, and only spoke to a human once. And they weren't helpful.
     
  17. larry k. macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2004
    #17
    yeah i always only ship to verified addresses, i say that in my auctions and i make no exceptions.

    i really hope you get yours straightened out. it bummed me out reading what happened to you, i cant even imagine how you feel.
     
  18. jeremy.king macrumors 603

    jeremy.king

    Joined:
    Jul 23, 2002
    Location:
    Fuquay Varina, NC
  19. smharmon thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jan 26, 2004
    #19

    Yeah, thanks, I think I made that clear in my opening thread... I know I made a mistake, and i said that. i am asking if anyone knows how I can save my butt, as i haven't given paypal the money. I almost did, but since the money wasn't out of my checking account, i transferred out all but $100 out so they will get an "insufficient funds" when they try. So, I just need to know what the forum readers think I should do. Oh, and shipping to a confirmed address doesn't fix everything. All they have to do is say the box was empty, and you still have months of problems.
     
  20. vikolaf macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jul 16, 2004
    Location:
    New York, USA
  21. smharmon thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jan 26, 2004
    #21
    They said they are putting a collection agency on me... how bad would this hurt my credit rating? Is it worth flying out there, and beating this guy up?
     
  22. vikolaf macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jul 16, 2004
    Location:
    New York, USA
    #22
    The guy tried to screw you!!!
    Call the cops!!!
    :mad:
     
  23. JLS macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Aug 8, 2004
    Location:
    Kent, England
    #23
    Yeah.. phone the police.

    In the mean time, tell PayPal whats happened, and that you need to claim the G5 back before you will be returning the money.

    Just DO NOT give them the money unless you have your G5 back.
     
  24. FlamDrag macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jan 8, 2003
    Location:
    Western Hemisphere
    #24
    This could damage your credit rather significantly. What you need to do is call the police and try and track this guy down.

    Sadly, I don't think that you have much of a choice at this point. Your credit rating (assuming it's good) is soooooo important. Your case is against the individual, not PayPal. Yes, they totally screwed you, however, they'll get their $1600 one way or another.

    If you can find him, take him to Judge Judy, or People's Court or something. Your credit (again, if it's good) will help you here. Take all documentation, and receipts etc with you.

    In short, you have to go after the scammer, not PayPal

    Good luck.

    ** Also not a lawyer
     
  25. slipper macrumors 68000

    slipper

    Joined:
    Nov 19, 2003
    #25
    what the hell are you thinking, dont ever do something until a check is confirmed. obviously this is a scam. theres been a chain of scams coming out of nigeria where someone would contact a car seller and send them a check. the check would be over the cars amout and he would ask you to send the remaining monies back before it actually clears. someone will pick up your car. and now your out of a car and broke.

    contact the FBI
    https://tips.fbi.gov/
     

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