When I was growing up the narrative around online shopping and safety was quite simple. Paypal was supposed to be the best company to buy stuff with. They always sided with the buyer and had the most buyer friendly policies in case of disputes.
Things have changed drastically though. Necessity is the mother of invention, and people have learnt how to game Paypal. I was recently the victim of a similar scam. In my case since I used my Amex platinum my card company will take care of it but for those who may use Paypal with a debit card or their bank balance, you might be left arguing with a bunch of robotic customer service at Paypal.
Here is the basic outline of the scam:
- Buyer buys something via PayPal thinking their transaction is secure.
- Scammer sends a fake package to a public address in city of buyer, this step is important because if they ship to you, then you can file it as SNAD or significantly not as described.
- Buyer never receives anything and files charge-back
- PayPal only looks at a tracking number, doesn’t cross check shipping records, weight info or any invoice of the real product being ever sent and denies the case.
The scam to be was done by a site called Shoplauer.com, it seems to generate a new PayPal Id for every transaction so they stay ahead of PayPal. It is however hard to imagine that PayPal is not aware of this modus operandi. I filed a claim and explained all of this to PayPal but it was denied. I am ofcourse escalating but its astonishing that PayPal to save on operations cost is not pushing basic training to their customer service personnel. Not only had I described the scam, I had also pointed to obvious discrepancies in the tracking information given by the scammer.
I have filed a CFPB complaint and also escalated. They asked me for a letter on UPS’s letterhead certifying that the package wasnt sent to me. I asked them to get a letter from the scammer that the letter was sent to me. I will update this as PayPal responds to my escalations. In the meantime, stay safe!