This is the same thing that happened to me in the thread " PayPal denies refund for obvious fraud". The scammer sends you something completely worthless, like a piece of ribbon or string, just so you can't tell PayPal that the envelope was completely empty... and then PayPal won't give you a refund unless you return the worthless item to a foreign country with signature confirmation, spending far more effort than the money is worth.
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Here's an account of how someone in China gamed PayPal's rules to steal $25 from me and get PayPal to deny the refund.
On October 28, 2019, I ordered an electrical box from a Chinese company for $24.94. I made the payment using "good and services", supposedly giving me PayPal seller protection.
The seller didn't ship anything or reply to my messages, so I filed a PayPal dispute November 13 saying I had never received the merchandise.
On November 14, the seller shipped "a package" and provided PayPal with a tracking number. PayPal told me that since a shipping number had been provided, I would need to wait until delivery was attempted. Okay.
On December 30, a "package" arrived. It was actually a tiny envelope that literally contained only a tiny piece of string. PayPal then told me that since a package had been delivered, my "never received merchandise" complaint was no longer valid. Because of that, I changed the complaint to "merchandise was not as described" (since that was the closest option from the available ones), including a photo of the envelope and tiny piece of string.
On January 13, PayPal told me that since I was alleging fraud, I needed to file a fraud complaint with a third party, which I did. I provided PayPal with a copy of the complaint.
On January 21, PayPal told me that since my complaint is that the merchandise was not as described, I could get a refund only if I shipped the merchandise back to China with signature confirmation. I explained again that there was no merchandise to ship back: the seller had sent me a tiny worthless envelope, presumably to avoid my "never received the merchandise" complaint.
Today, PayPal told me that they can't give me a refund because I "refused" to ship back the "merchandise" I was sent.
This is extremely annoying. This is clearly intentional fraud by the seller, who has figured out a way to both prolong disputes as far as possible... and to force disputes to be resolved in their favor by sending a worthless package that you can't return when PayPal asks you to.
Has anyone else been the victim of a similar scam?
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