Return Scam/Fraud - Buyer Sent Metal Junk Back!


I have been scammed, buyer returned metal junk instead of my item!!!


On the 17th of July I sold a pair of 'Balenciaga Triple S' trainers for £400 using Paypal, to a buyer in Poland. After the buyer has paid me through Paypal, he messaged me on Depop asking for the parcel to be sent to a slightly different address to what's displayed on his Paypal account, this was the first red flag! I still decided to send the trainers to the exact address that's displayed on his Paypal in order to be be eligible for 'sellers protection'. After the parcel was on its way to Poland, i've messaged the buyer but received no reply from him going forward. in the next few days it turned out that DPD_local still had an issue delivering the trainers to the buyer using the Paypal address so the parcel was ultimately left at a pick up point for him to collect. He still didn't reply to any of my messages asking him to go and pick up at the parcel otherwise it will be sent back to me. To my surprise, the parcel was eventually collected but my money still on hold and i was yet to hear anything from the buyer. Shortly after, the buyer proceeded to open an "item significantly not as described" dispute. This was already surprising to me as the trainers were exactly in the condition i've described them and the buyer has also seen images of the trainers on Depop before purchasing. He's asked for a full refund which i've refused as his claim was invalid, the shoes were exactly as described. The claim goes on for weeks after which i had enough and decided to give the buyer a partial refund in order to settle the matter as my money has been on hold all this time and i started to worry that he would wear the trainers in the meantime and send them back in an even worse condition. He declined my offer of a partial refund and chose the option to return the trainers to me. I received a tracking number, but when i viewed this tracking number online, the weight of the parcel was significantly more than the weight of the trainers i sent him which was extremely suspicious but all i could do is wait until it arrives and see why this is the case. Today morning I received the parcel, i knew something wasn't right as the box i received was way too small to fit the trainers i've sent him so i decided to record a video of me opening the parcel so i can have visual evidence of what he sent me. The parcel contained some metal tool and not my trainers, so i've been scammed!  The buyer sent me a parcel with some metal junk and Paypal is currently still in the process of releasing the funds to him (due to happen on the 5th of September), while he also has my trainers! The scammer has also changed his Depop username now but i have record of all our conversation from before. I've already contacted Action Fraud, filed a police report on their website and received a crime reference number, i tried to reach Paypal numerous times but they keep hanging up the phone before i could speak to an advisor (apparently no available staff due to covid19).


I've done some research and found that other sellers have experienced very similar cases in the past, and i find it outrageous that Paypal would let someone get away with such a scam! Please advise me on what i can do now to reach Paypal and ultimately receive my money or trainers. 

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