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Thread: Fraudulent PayPal transaction

  1. #1
    Super Member Favorite Fabrics's Avatar
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    Fraudulent PayPal transaction

    Wondering if anyone here can shed some light on a new situation I encountered over the weekend.

    We had a large ($945) fabric order come through, paid by an e-check through PayPal.

    Yes, that is WAY more than our average order. So, of course, I start wondering about fraud. Obviously we are not going to ship anything until the e-check clears, so I have a couple of days to do the fraud screening. At first glance, though, all seems ok, because the ship-to address is a CONFIRMED address according to PayPal.

    But yesterday I see that the e-check has cleared, and the funds are now available in my PayPal account. But... the customer calls, and says that she has spoken to PayPal and her bank, and the transaction is fraudulent, so we should not ship.

    Ok. So we won't ship, and I immediately refunded her money.

    Then I start to look more closely at the transaction.

    The billing address for the order (which does not appear anywhere in the PayPal transaction detail) is different than the ship-to address. And... doing a reverse address lookup, the billing address does tie in to the customer's name. But the ship-to address ties to four people, none of whom have the same surname as the customer. However, both addresses have the same zipcode, so they're just across town from each other.

    But - because I'm concerned for this customer, I decided to call her back and ask her to be sure that her bank reports the e-check to PayPal as being fraudulent, because otherwise PayPal won't bother to investigate. (This I was told by someone I spoke to at PayPal.)

    Mind you, this is only three hours after the customer had called us, and now I get a Verizon message saying that the phone number has been changed or disconnected. (I used caller id lookup to return her call, so I know I didn't misdial.)

    Puzzled.

    But still worried about the customer, because it seems possible that someone hacked her PayPal account, and I wanted to warn her to cancel any credit cards that were associated with her PayPal account, and check all her other online accounts if she by chance used the same password for multiple accounts (banking, credit cards, Amazon, eBay). I figure we all should be looking out for one another, and I might be able to warn her/save her more trouble. So I sent an e-mail to her personal address as well as her PayPal address.

    Funny thing is, I would have expected some sort of acknowledgement of the e-mail, maybe a tiny thank-you-for-the-suggestions. Not that I want her to be grateful, just forewarned.

    But no communication at all.

    This is so strange! I wonder if it really was fraudulent, or if she just had buyer's remorse and was to embarassed to ask us to cancel the order, or ... if there is some other scheme at work that I wasn't aware of?

    If you send an e-check, and the funds are returned, do they go back into the actual bank account, or just your PayPal account? Could a fraudster send out funds via e-check, then ask for the funds to be returned, and then use the PayPal balance to buy the stuff you *really* want? Like maybe downloads (which probably aren't traceable)?

    I have no way to know if the phone number belonged to the customer or to the fraudster. It was a mobile phone, and you can't do a reverse phone lookup on those.

    Any ideas?

    And how did that other address wind up as "confirmed" in PayPal?

    I'm hoping someone here has some knowledge about these things.

  2. #2
    Super Member NikkiLu's Avatar
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    Sounds really fishy to me! Another call to PayPal would be in order.
    Nikki in MO

  3. #3
    Super Member SewExtremeSeams's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by NikkiLu View Post
    Sounds really fishy to me! Another call to PayPal would be in order.
    Yup, I agree. And ask for someone above the first or second person you get. Higher levels should get you more experienced/knowledgable personnel.

    Linda

    Amazing Grace, how sweet the sound, that saved a wretch like me. I once was lost but now am found, was blind, but now I see.
    [John Newton (1725-1807)]

  4. #4
    Super Member suebee's Avatar
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    sounds fishy to be me too. and that makes me so damn mad that some low life thinks its ok to rip people off. Lazy jerks! I hope you get some resolution to this...keep us posted. Sorry this happended to you.
    SUEB

  5. #5
    Super Member Tink's Mom's Avatar
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    You need to talk to a supervisor at Paypal...This may be somekind of pfishing and getting into your info.
    The whole thing raises a red flag.
    Tink's Mom (My name is really Susie)

  6. #6
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    Sound really fishy. Talk to paypal. Hope you are not out any $$$$. I would check your account for a while.

  7. #7
    Super Member Favorite Fabrics's Avatar
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    We aren't out anything, though I would have liked to make that sale!

    Makes me glad that I don't sell electronics, or something else where there generally is a lot of fraud and theft.

    We did get taken once on a large order ($350) and I learned a whole lot about fraud prevention and order screening after that. And I've become very protective about "shipping safely", insuring, and getting signature confirmation.

  8. #8
    Super Member teacherbailey's Avatar
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    PayPal is so safe that I'm thinking perhaps buyer's remorse here....but I agree with some others, you should definitely follow up with the PayPal people and see if you can figure this out together.
    Mistakes are just opportunities to invent a new quilting technique!

  9. #9
    Super Member raedar63's Avatar
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    I am hearing of this happening more and more . A co-worker had this happen with something as small as a stroller that was purchased over the internet with pay pal. Her situation too was a slight address diffrence .Money was refunfed but not to the correct party etc,etc,. As far as I know it is still a battle to get that straightened out . The transaction was all completed through paypal as well . Seems paypal is not as safe as it used to be .
    Last edited by raedar63; 06-15-2012 at 03:54 AM.

  10. #10
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    Paypal is not safe! Someone hacked into my account (I was not phished) and was busy buying on ebay with money from my checking account. Somehow they were able to bypass any confirmation emails to me whenever they were in my account even though paypal said my email was the only one registered to my account. Frankly, I suspect that it was a paypal employee who was stealing from my account. The creep added four names and four addresses to my account without me ever knowing. I discovered the fraudulent charge when I was looking at my checking account balance on-line and reported it to paypal. They did next to nothing to help, it was my bank that took care of everything. They refunded my money immediately with no questions asked. Paypal's customer service was horrendous and I ended up canceling my account with them. Will never use it again!

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