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  1. cacatman

    cacatman Oakley Expert Premium Member

    Trophy Points:
    Hi people,
    Just got burnt pretty bad by a scam involving PayPal. It's ingenious, I have to say! I'm pretty upset, but hey, at least no one got maimed, killed or raped. Got to live and learn, I guess. :)

    Bear with me. But it's best you read this to protect yourself, especially if you buy from Gumtree (Australia) OR Craigslist. Some of you may be already familiar with this scam...but I was given a painful schooling.

    Scammer sells fake item to you (Sucker #1), provides Sucker #2's PayPal address and then physically picks up Sucker #2's item after Sucker #1 inadvertently transfer money into Sucker #2's PayPal account. Essentially Sucker #1 pays for Sucker #2's item, and scammer picks up Sucker #2's item in person (or by proxy) and leaves Sucker #1 and #2 left holding the baby to fight it out with each other.

    Detail About How it Works
    - Scammer offers fake item for sale, Sucker #1 (aka me) negotiates and agrees on price - $X
    - Unbeknownst to Sucker #1, Scammer offers to pay for item from Sucker #2 (which is usually about $X)
    - Scammer gets Sucker #2's PayPal address for "payment" and passes it to Sucker #1
    - Sucker #1 pays $X into Sucker #2's PayPal address thinking it is Scammer's account
    - Sucker #2 confirms payment, thinking it is from Scammer, when it's really payment from Sucker #1
    - Scammer picks up item in person from Sucker #2 and disappears, disconnecting burnable mobile phone
    - 1 month later, the poo hits the fan and Sucker #1 lodges PayPal dispute (which leaves either Sucker #1 or Sucker #2 out of pocket as adjudicated PayPal)
    - Scammer has long disappeared

    Known Variations
    - Scammer sets the honeypot trap. Advertises something at 20% discount on the going rate of a popular item with fake location and stolen/unregistered mobile number. When he gets a promising "bite", he finds an item at the same price and the scam is as above.
    - Scammer buys something at $X - $Y. Tells Sucker 2 that he's overpaid accidentally and collects cash as well as the item.

    How To Combat It?
    - Take photo of person that collects and see driver's licence or car rego
    - Always post the item to the PayPal address (not always possible because often they'll buy unshippable items e.g. Desktop computer, washing machine etc).
    - Read the notes in the PayPal "notes" comment to make sure it's payment for the correct item, but in my experience, most people don't leave a note there.
    - You are probably safer if you buy off eBay because I guess that there is more information that's "trackable"

    Bad News For Sellers
    - Apparently in PayPal's fine print, sellers ie. Sucker 2 are not protected with direct "pickups" as there is no "registered" mail proof of sending of item.
    - It's possible that Sucker 1 may not get their money back if there is no indication of what was actually purchased.

    If you have any further information, questions or ways to protect ourselves, leave a comment.

    P.S. I'm really starting to get sick of being the lesson that everyone else learns from....
    Last edited: 8/4/16
    flyer, cyclerdoug and motoGP_fanatic like this.
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  2. OakleyFrankFMJ

    OakleyFrankFMJ The Legend - - Vlad the Impaler Premium Member Lifetime Member

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    Damn. That sucks and not like a vacuum sucks either.
    cacatman likes this.
  3. Rustpot

    Rustpot M Frame Lover Premium Member

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    Oddly enough, where I do most of my Paypal transactions there aren't too many problems. Of course pissing off people you're selling gun parts to might not be a good plan when you know they're typically motivated individuals with some kind of tie to law enforcement... and guns.

    My Oakley buying endeavors have been filled with a lot more cheaters, scammers, shipping mistakes, damaged goods, transaction disputes, etc. And I'd rate my Oakley-centric activity as maybe 1/3 of those made on gun forums (even fairly often in person).

    And Paypal technically doesn't allow most of these transactions, so they're done with zero notes or as F&F because Paypal will nuke both accounts if a dispute is opened and they find out you violated TOS by using their services to buy/sell guns and parts. So there's really very little security against scammers.
    cacatman and cyclerdoug like this.
  4. cyclerdoug

    cyclerdoug The Juliet Multiplier Premium Member

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    Damn Cacat....sorry again for you. That seriously sucks.

    Thanks at least for posting this outline for us...I would never have thought this one up, and I have a devious untrusting mind.
    cacatman likes this.
  5. OakleyFreak

    OakleyFreak The freak you can Taunt

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    what I dont get is , if its a face to face why use Paypal at all.
    I always tell them to bring cash
    That seems to weed out the scammers
    cacatman and Davemro like this.
  6. cacatman

    cacatman Oakley Expert Premium Member

    Trophy Points:
    Sometimes the sellers are sick of "holding stuff" for people who may not potentially show up, so before they give out their address (especially if they're concerned about scammers), they tell the buyer to pay first.
    The other thing the scammer could say to get around the suspicion is, "I'll show you that I mean business, so I'll pay first, just to make sure that you don't sell this bargain from under me" or "I've got to travel a long way to collect and I want to be sure that you'll keep the item for me".
  7. Jmgarcia

    Jmgarcia NOT an Oakley expert!

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  8. Orion

    Orion Oakley Collector

    Trophy Points:
    Sorry you got "effed", that blows!

    If you are in the position of "sucker #2" you can also tell the "d-bag scammer" to meet you at the local police station for the "transaction". Many of them are now offering "safe zone meetings areas" for online transaction. Even if they don't have a specific area designated, you can suggest that as a meeting spot.

    My guess is unless that have brass testies, they won't go anywhere near a police station and if they come up with an excuse to meet else where. You can cut the deal short.


    If people would put in half as much time for endeavors that would benefit humanity rather than trying to screw someone over, imagine what our world would be like.

    This problem didn't exist decades ago when if someone "F-ed" you over you got your buddies, hunted them down, and held a pillow party for them. Now there are fewer and fewer consequences for bad people doing bad things.

    Believe it or not, I'm not a violent person (anymore ;)), except when it comes to criminals.
  9. djhyper66

    djhyper66 Oakley Expert

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    That sucks what happen too you!!!

    There so many way to get scammed thru Paypal and eBay these day. I had to stop selling so much on eBay. Good luck moving forward!!!

    Even selling legit on eBay you can be burned now, eBay has a 6 month return policy . So Becareful guys ... System not setup for seller.

    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
  10. kronin323

    kronin323 Font of Useless Knowledge Premium Member

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    That's a lot of sucking.
    OakleyFrankFMJ and OakleyFreak like this.