New eBay Fraud
Here's a clever attack, exploiting relative delays in eBay, PayPal, and UPS shipping:
The buyer reported the item as "destroyed" and demanded and got a refund from Paypal. When the buyer shipped it back to Chad and he opened it, he found there was nothing wrong with it -- except that the scammer had removed the memory, processor and hard drive. Now Chad is out $500 and left with a shell of a computer, and since the item was "received" Paypal won't do anything.
Very clever. The seller accepted the return from UPS after a visual inspection, so UPS considered the matter closed. PayPal and eBay both considered the matter closed. if the amount was large enough, the seller could sue, but how could he prove that the computer was functional when he sold it?
It seems to me that the only way to solve this is for PayPal to not process refunds until the seller confirms what he received back is the same as what he shipped. Yes, then the seller could commit similar fraud, but sellers (certainly professional ones) have a greater reputational risk.
Posted on March 6, 2009 at 1:30 PM • 54 Comments