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Someone I don't know deposited a large sum of money in my paypal account. I then received an email from this person (regular email, not thru paypal) saying he sent the money in error, he was trying to send the money to someone with the same first name as mine. Really. Nobody's that stupid. He goes on to say that the money is for his mother's surgery adding a sense of urgency to the situation so I will act quickly without thinking. I know what will happen. If I refund the money, he will cash out and disappear. Then when paypal discovers the money originated from a stolen credit card or a hacked account, they will void the original transaction, leaving me liable for the whole amount. I tried to communicate this to paypal, but they seemed unintersted in helping or looking into the situation. I'm afraid if I open a case in the resolution center paypal will refund the money still leaving me liable somewhere down the road. I've been stalling for a week already. I have no intention of simply handing the money over to a scammer and putting myself at risk. I am looking to paypal to investigate this without tipping off the bad guy but just can't seem to get the message through.
Was there a PayPal fee charged? If not, issue a refund from within the transaction details or decline the payment so the money will reverse back to the original funding source (card or bank account, PayPal balance) used. In cases like this, you'd want the money to go back to the original funding source should the funds came out of a hi-jacked funding source.
If a PayPal fee is charged, you could be responsible for the fees though.
Or, don't do anything and wait for a PayPal dispute to be filed against you by the account holder and then you issue a refund then. You might still be responsible for the PayPal fees if you refunded within a dispute.
Recipients cannot open a dispute only senders can, I believe. Does it let you open a dispute on the transaction? Is there a "Report a problem" button after clicking the transaction?
No fees were charged. What if the original funding source has been removed from the account? Would the money then go somewhere else ie paypal balance, bank account, etc? How can I be sure where the money goes?
Removing the funding source will make no difference, PayPal will reverse it back original funding source. Removing a funding source only means that PayPal won't use it to pay future transactions but can reverse the funds back if a refund is issued.
PayPal still has record of the funding source on file, even if it is removed. How do you think PayPal can tell whether a funding source was linked to a PayPal account before or not.