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I just wanted to put out yet another warning on the New Castle Delaware scams that have been going around for almost 8 years now. Unfortunately, I didn’t know about this until I sold a phone on Ebay on October 13th, 2018. The buyer paid through Paypal immediately after confirming the IMEI number on the phone and I shipped it out (with delivery confirmation/signature required). The listing clearly stated US sales only, but that apparently only matters to the seller. The buyer’s communication was in broken English, but I didn’t give it a second thought as the shipping address was McCullough Drive in New Castle Delaware. Well, 3 days after shipping, we get an email that they want to return it because it doesn’t work. This was my personal phone that I used up until just a couple of days before selling it, when I upgraded to a new model, and it still looked and functioned as new. After looking into it, they had filed a Paypal dispute before ever contacting us which already threw up red flags to me. I googled the address which led me here and to many other websites where this has shown up as a problem. The phone was sold under my wife’s Ebay account, and she has over 500 positive feedback (0 negative) over the last 12 years, also with no Paypal disputes before. She had responded to the dispute before we google the address, and as luck would have it, they sided with the buyer. So Paypal doesn’t seem to want to help, and now they say we need to send $400 back to the buyer after they return the phone. I’ve read numerous posts on multiple message boards that we will probably receive a “brick” phone in the mail if there is a phone in it at all, but that since there will be a tracking number associated with it, Paypal will demand the refund upon delivery. Is there any way that I can protect myself on this transaction? I can easily video myself opening the box whenever it returns, but then I’ve read where this still didn’t help as it still came down to one person’s word against the other. It’s very disheartening that EBay nor Paypal seem to want to look into these scams any further than the person’s username. If you check the address I shipped to, there are currently 41 residents there, which should at least warrant someone looking a little deeper but I get the feeling that they just don’t seem to care at this point, as the money isn’t being lost by them. It’s obvious that this is a re-shipper with this many residents. Any help or advice would be greatly appreciated as this is a first for me or my wife and I’m not sure if there are really any options. Thanks for your time.
Well, as luck would have it...we received a tracking number for the return of our phone today....The tracking information states that it is being sent back to us from Indiana! Does no one at Paypal pay attention to these things??? Why would they even accept this as a return on our product when it’s not even coming from the same state? I’m completely sure now that we are not even going to receive our actual phone, it’s just a waiting game to see what shows up at this point. Then it will be up to us to appeal and to wait for Paypal to draft our account for the money. This is just one big nightmare with no positive end in sight...
Just trying to keep up the flow of information, hoping that this will help out someone else should they ever find themselves in this situation. After some internet investigation tonight, my wife discovered that the fraudulent buyer has bought some “tree air fresheners” like you use in your car, and that is what is being shipped to our house instead of my IPhone 7 Plus. We even called the Ebay vendor that sold our fraud the air fresheners and they were gracious enough to send us an email copy of the invoice showing his username and email address, but with our mailing address. We have called Paypal back to see if we could send them the invoice and help this case along, but the answer was no, that we just need to wait until the package arrives and then send them a message that it’s not our phone. We already know it’s not our phone because the tracking number from the auto parts store matches the tracking number the fraudulent buyer sent Paypal. It really doesn’t take a Private Investigator to look into these things to figure them out. I just don’t understand how a business gets so big that it ignores fraud and becomes complicit in letting it happen. But it appears that this is the Paypal business model.
Unfortunately it took weeks to remedy this situation, and probably more hours of work and phone calls than it was worth. We ended up getting the package in the mail just as I described above, and immediately knew it wasn’t my phone as it was just a flat envelope with a tracking number. Once again I called Paypal (this was probably the 9th or 10th time) and they told me to take the envelope to the local police station and open it in front of them. Then, when it wasn’t my phone, the police had to fill out a report for theft by deception that I had to submit to Paypal. I’d say by the time it was over, I had probably 15 hours worth of phone calls, and trips to the PD department to get it all settled. It also took about 4 weeks from start to finish to get my money back. In the end, I was refunded the sale price but the “buyer” also had gotten his money back and got to keep my phone. PayPal’s fraud protection insurance was what reimbursed my funds, so it cost Paypal $400 out of their insurance. It just looks to me like they would have used some of the information that I gave them to stop the refund to the “buyer” but they just don’t even seem to care. I guess at this point they’re making enough money that paying out off of their fraud insurance doesn’t bother them.
Also, unfortunately, this situation pulled the $400 out of our account until the dispute was settled. I got my money back, but my wife’s Paypal account was short the $400 until it was refunded by the insurance.