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(Topic ID: 275608)

PayPal Friends & Family Scam


By hefel-be

3 months ago



Topic Stats

  • 24 posts
  • 14 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 3 months ago by hefel-be
  • No one calls this topic a favorite

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#1 3 months ago

I'd like to share a little story regarding PayPal Friends & Family that I think will be helpful.

Most Pinsiders probably know that PayPal does not want to help people who are conned into sending a scammer funds via F&F. They naturally want their 2.5% cut of the transaction, or whatever it is, so you shouldn't expect much protection from them if you left them out of the deal.

I had $5500 stolen from me by a scammer on Mr. Pinball Classified. I was trying to buy an AC/DC Premium. The scammer gave me a sales reference (that was clearly his buddy in on the scam), wrote up a purchase agreement document (using a fake name) and even contracted a shipping company to pick the machine up at the supposed address. I sent him the funds via PayPal F&F and learned a valuable lesson when the machine was not at the address. Don't ever use PayPal F&F!

However...if you find yourself in this situation, opening a dispute with PayPal will not be enough. Even though PayPal harbors the criminal's banking info, shipping address, etc...you're still out of luck and the authorities don't really seem to care for the most part. You will have to open a fraud dispute with your bank.

I filed a dispute with my bank and within two days, PayPal completely reversed all of the transactions. The key is, PayPal will need to see the phrase "unauthorized" transaction. To PayPal, this will mean you got hacked and someone else sent the funds from your account. My bank told PayPal the charges were unauthorized and now I have my money back and the scammer is out the cost of shipping. Gotcha MF!

#2 3 months ago

First off- CONGRATS! From my experience from these things is you're definitely in the minority here. I've had friends gotten scammed through very similar Craigslist ads before and even through their bank they were not able to reverse the charges. Definitely good to know though, and glad to see the good guys win one when it comes to these things!

#3 3 months ago
Quoted from hefel-be:

I'd like to share a little story regarding PayPal Friends & Family that I think will be helpful.
Most Pinsiders probably know that PayPal does not want to help people who are conned into sending a scammer funds via F&F. They naturally want their 2.5% cut of the transaction, or whatever it is, so you shouldn't expect much protection from them if you left them out of the deal.
I had $5500 stolen from me by a scammer on Mr. Pinball Classified. I was trying to buy an AC/DC Premium. The scammer gave me a sales reference (that was clearly his buddy in on the scam), wrote up a purchase agreement document (using a fake name) and even contracted a shipping company to pick the machine up at the supposed address. I sent him the funds via PayPal F&F and learned a valuable lesson when the machine was not at the address. Don't ever use PayPal F&F!
However...if you find yourself in this situation, opening a dispute with PayPal will not be enough. Even though PayPal harbors the criminal's banking info, shipping address, etc...you're still out of luck and the authorities don't really seem to care for the most part. You will have to open a fraud dispute with your bank.
I filed a dispute with my bank and within two days, PayPal completely reversed all of the transactions. The key is, PayPal will need to see the phrase "unauthorized" transaction. To PayPal, this will mean you got hacked and someone else sent the funds from your account. My bank told PayPal the charges were unauthorized and now I have my money back and the scammer is out the cost of shipping. Gotcha MF!

Hence why you shouldn't use friends and family like that.

Good you got money back but...Friendly suggestion...since you had to kinda lie to your bank and paypal to do it, I wouldn't recommend publicly announcing it like this....just saying. You don't want that biting you in the ass later on or something if they choose to investigate the "unauthorized" purchases....

#4 3 months ago
Quoted from pacmanretro:

Friendly suggestion...since you had to kinda lie to your bank and paypal to do it, I wouldn't recommend publicly announcing it like this....just saying. You don't want that biting you in the ass later on or something if they choose to investigate the "unauthorized" purchases....

Where does he say he lied to his bank? He doesn’t say he told his bank the charge was unauthorized, that’s simply the language his bank used to describe the charge to PayPal.

#5 3 months ago

I only accept F&F for this very reason. Because I don't have to worry so much about funds being reversed or disputed. With me, if you want to use Paypal, it's the only way I go as a seller. Otherwise you can always do check/m.o. or cash.

#6 3 months ago
Quoted from Blackjacker:

Where does he say he lied to his bank? He doesn’t say he told his bank the charge was unauthorized, that’s simply the language his bank used to describe the charge to PayPal.

I stand corrected.

I reread it and you are correct. OP only said he filed a dispute and said bank referred to it as "unauthorized".

Guess I read it as he used the term as well, but he did not publicly state how he worded it to the bank.

I was only posting out of concern and niceness because I'd hate to see some scum scammer wind up getting money or OP have any further problems is all.

Scammers SUCK.

#7 3 months ago
Quoted from CaptainNeo:

I only accept F&F for this very reason. Because I don't have to worry so much about funds being reversed or disputed. With me, if you want to use Paypal, it's the only way I go as a seller. Otherwise you can always do check/m.o. or cash.

As a seller, I definitely see your point Neo. That and fees add up. Don't have to worry as much, but still have to be careful...never know bank or credit card challenge stuff on other end as seen above.

Guess nothings totally secure....maybe straight up gold in hand.

#8 3 months ago
Quoted from CaptainNeo:

I only accept F&F for this very reason. Because I don't have to worry so much about funds being reversed or disputed. With me, if you want to use Paypal, it's the only way I go as a seller. Otherwise you can always do check/m.o. or cash.

Quoted from pacmanretro:

As a seller, I definitely see your point Neo. That and fees add up. Don't have to worry as much, but still have to be careful...never know bank or credit card challenge stuff on other end as seen above.
Guess nothings totally secure....maybe straight up gold in hand.

Exactly as you mentioned. There are ways to reverse F&F.

https://pinside.com/pinball/forum/topic/dont-ever-say-never-paypal-fxxcked-me-

#9 3 months ago
Quoted from CaptainNeo:

I only accept F&F for this very reason. Because I don't have to worry so much about funds being reversed or disputed. With me, if you want to use Paypal, it's the only way I go as a seller. Otherwise you can always do check/m.o. or cash.

My concern remains that if a buyer used F&F linked to a Credit card are you still not F’d?

#10 3 months ago

That sounds like a nightmare. I’m glad you got everything back.

#11 3 months ago

Yea F&F can still be reversed but would have to be done through purchasers bank or credit card company. Also, if PayPal finds out you’re using F&F for purchasing goods, they can put a hold on your funds.

Bottom line is PayPal sucks and I only use them when I have to use them ie ebay.

#12 3 months ago

Reading a lot of other experiences, I realize I definitely got lucky. I think it helped to have all of my paperwork in order during the dispute as well.

#13 3 months ago

This not new info, but it is worth mentioning so thanks for sharing.

You got lucky to get your money back. Kudos to your bank!

#14 3 months ago
Quoted from hefel-be:

and the scammer is out the cost of shipping.

Not sure what I am missing. How is the scammer (seller) out the cost of shipping? He never shipped anything.

#15 3 months ago
Quoted from Completist:

My concern remains that if a buyer used F&F linked to a Credit card are you still not F’d?

well you used to not be able to do F&F unless you were directly linked to a bank account. I guess paypal recently changed it, and you can do it with CC now too.

#16 3 months ago
Quoted from JethroP:

Not sure what I am missing. How is the scammer (seller) out the cost of shipping? He never shipped anything.

The seller paid the shipping company to show up at an address. Don't you have to pay them before they pick up? Maybe I'm wrong, that was my assumption.

#17 3 months ago
Quoted from hefel-be:

The seller paid the shipping company to show up at an address. Don't you have to pay them before they pick up? Maybe I'm wrong, that was my assumption.

But if the seller is scamming the buyer, and he really doesn't have a pin to sell, then why would he hire a moving company, and where would he send them? And why would he spend any money on anything if he's scamming? I'm totally not understanding this.

#18 3 months ago
Quoted from hefel-be:

The seller paid the shipping company to show up at an address. Don't you have to pay them before they pick up? Maybe I'm wrong, that was my assumption.

Not if it's COD

#19 3 months ago
Quoted from hefel-be:

They naturally want their 2.5% cut of the transaction, or whatever it is, so you shouldn't expect much protection from them if you left them out of the deal.

They get their percentage either way. When it comes to percentages, the only difference between regular PayPal and F&F is who pays the percentage. In one case the sender pays it (F&F) and in the other case, the receiver pays the percentage. (Assuming you are using a credit card).

But don't smile too broadly, just because you reversed the credit card charge. They have been known to go after balances and linked bank accounts, several weeks after you think you got away free and clear. If you ever file a dispute, it is always advisable to put an advisory on your bank account to keep them from withdrawing anything without your permission. Once they get their hands on it....good luck getting it back.

#20 3 months ago
Quoted from Manimal:

They get their percentage either way. When it comes to percentages, the only difference between regular PayPal and F&F is who pays the percentage. In one case the sender pays it (F&F) and in the other case, the receiver pays the percentage. (Assuming you are using a credit card).
But don't smile too broadly, just because you reversed the credit card charge. They have been known to go after balances and linked bank accounts, several weeks after you think you got away free and clear. If you ever file a dispute, it is always advisable to put an advisory on your bank account to keep them from withdrawing anything without your permission. Once they get their hands on it....good luck getting it back.

It wasn't a credit card charge so PayPal did not get a cut. Also everything is finished.

#21 3 months ago
Quoted from JethroP:

But if the seller is scamming the buyer, and he really doesn't have a pin to sell, then why would he hire a moving company, and where would he send them? And why would he spend any money on anything if he's scamming? I'm totally not understanding this.

He wanted to make it look legit...It's a scam. He took $5500 from me and paid the shipping company around $500. He sent them to an address in FL that wasn't his. The person who lived at that address had the same last name as the scammers pseudonym. The trucking company says they think the same person is doing this over and over.

#22 3 months ago

Good point. I don't think it was.

#23 3 months ago

AwesoMe job ! I would never use mr pinball or f and f with someone i don’t know , but great job

#24 3 months ago
Quoted from Oneangrymo:

AwesoMe job ! I would never use mr pinball or f and f with someone i don’t know , but great job

Thanks. Lessons learned...the hard way.

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