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TO ALL PRODUCT BUYERS FROM SCAM CHINESE COMPANIES ADVERTISING ON FACEBOOK and EBAY
This is a warning to all buyers of Chinese products to be wary of what you buy on Facebook and Ebay advertising and also using Paypal.
Not all Chinese companies advertising on Facebook are without ethics, picking which ones are honest is now just plain difficult.
Be aware of the latest scams that seem to be ignored by Paypal and Facebook due simply to Facebook’s lack of investigating a company’s legitimacy and in Paypal’s case for their lack of returns policy that seems to always favour these scam transaction companies. The saying “if it sounds too good a deal, it will probably cost you” is very relevant here.
I have over 26 years investigating criminal activity including fraud whilst a serving police officer prior to retirement
This is just one actual example I have had to deal with.
$USD (rounded to nearest $1)
Buy goods (car kit) weighing 1kg $20.00
Postage & Handling $13.00
Company sends product with tracking number and enters on customs declaration plastic electric toothbrush worth approximately $5 (AusPost investigations). Assumed it is a gift of some description and puts it in a drawer. Package arrives without requiring signature about the same time a 1kg package would have been expected. Buyer eventually makes inquiries to AusPost why 1kg package has not arrived. AusPost quite quickly sends result of investigation. Tracking number from Chinese company order identifies package as a 1kg package containing car kit. Customs identifies that tracking number as a package 70 grams weight and lists battery powered plastic toothbrush (batteries not included) on the customs declaration form. Chinese companies who supply a digital signature for customs typically have the letters CN appearing at the end of their tracking number.
Inquiries to selling Chinese company results in company expecting the return of the incorrect undamaged goods (they call it a “mistake” by their dispatch department) back to China at buyers expense before refund could be granted. Chinese company also replies with:- “….offer you 40% of product value. If you want full refund you must return undamaged goods at your own cost which might be $15 and take 20 days before arriving…”
Dispute opens with Paypal after the revised offered refund of 65% of product cost was rejected. Paypal negotiates on your behalf but also then state if you require a full refund than the goods must be returned at your own expense. So, do you spend another $15 postage with a chance of a full refund or not?
Let’s assume you return the goods. You are now $15 out of pocket and another 3 weeks before you MAY receive your refund through Paypal. You also have a useless cheap piece of Chinese product you didn’t order or want (Toothbrush. Complainant has dentures…)
Assume you accept 65% refund on purchased item. $13. You are now $7 item cost +$13 postage cost out of pocket…expenses equaling $20 and now also own a useless piece of equipment you didn’t order or want. So, is it worth an extra $15 to return this scam product to receive the full refund in a month’s time or so or accept the offer and subsequent loss just to get some return? Most will just accept the refund % offer and subsequent loss and move on.
The scam company has then spent $2.5 on the product, $3.5 on postage (70 grams) and $13 refund. Their net profit is then $33 less $2.5, less $3.5 and less $13. This then equates to $14 USD profit for each scam individually. Multiply that by 50 customers worldwide each day (conservative estimate) and this scam equates to $700 USD per day ($935 AUD). For some nominal employee on $300 USD weekly, this not only employs a worker but also equates to a scammed profit of around a minimum of $4900 USD a week less the cost of 50 toothbrushs’ and minimum 50x postage for this corrupt Chinese company. You may now begin to see why this type of scam is escalating.
Now after complaining to Paypal of this scam, their advice is just to return the goods and seek a full refund. Paypal does not guarantee the postage refund and will close your case within 3 days unless you advise the return details of the package to China. Paypal does not seem to have any care here for their clients as they will not use any coercive power to require the scam company to bear all costs their “mistake” has caused. Paypal are therefore complicit as an enabler of this scam by failing to either suspend this scam company’s account or require this scam company to pay postage costs. If they did, this scam practice would likely totally cease as the company would suffer a loss rather than a profit.
I now suggest that complaints be made to Paypal of fraudulent transactions by these companies and require proper investigation by supervisors, not just someone from Paypal’s resolution centre.
While Paypal does not take any action to quell this type of “mistake” and cause the scam company the loss instead of their clients and the company’s product buyers, these scams will perpetuate and increase in frequency. And it will increase exponentially as more and more Chinese companies and others realise the enormous profits that can be obtained with little or no redress from you, the buyer. And guess how many more investigators Paypal will start having to employ? Many more than they currently have at the moment…
If you have been scammed in this way and been dealt with by Paypal in the above described manner, please post and share your experiences for all to be made aware. Perhaps even Paypal may be forced to change their current policies and start putting a stop to this scam useage of their company and keep their reputation intact.