So far I’ve been scammed twice on Paypal, and almost scammed five times more.
The first time I lost $2500 to scammers in China and never saw it again. :(
A part of me hopes that the people that scammed me threw a big party over in China to celebrate and all choked on their cake.
A big part of me.
The next part of this story details how I got scammed but it will also serve as a pretty good tutorial on how to run your own Paypal scam, if that is your persuasion.
HOW TO SCAM ON PAYPAL
The art of a good scam on Paypal is built on trust. To pull off a good Paypal scam you need to know two things.
- Paypal will always side with the buyer.
- PAYPAL WILL ALWAYS SIDE WITH THE BUYER.
The iPhone Screen scam:
In 2013 a friend and I started an iPhone screen repair business. Business was good. The best thing about replacing iPhone screens is that the broken screens are still worth money. Companies buy back original Apple screens, scrape off the broken glass – attach new glass to the original LCD and resell it as a new screen (probably to us).
Its a good system.
We received literally hundreds of emails from Chinese suppliers asking us to sell our original broken Apple screens back to them in China. So we picked the guys who were offering the most $$ and the deal begins.
Stage 1 of the scam: Establish Trust
We dealt with these people over the phone and skype. We haggled on prices, volume, shipping etc etc. They want to do the deal through Paypal. This is good, this is safe.
We have over 200 or so screens to send over to China and shipping costs $100+. They will pay for the shipping. This is good. We like this.
The agreed amount is about $2500 or so. They send us HALF that amount before we send the screens as a deposit. We received that money in our Paypal account. They send us an itemised receipt and the address we had to send it to in English (Their paypal postal address was in Chinese).
We carefully pack all the screens in a big box and send it off to China, as soon as it arrives they will check we gave them all the screens and pay the balance of the agreed deal.
Stage 2 of the scam: Misdirection
We’re ecstatic. We tell all our friend with passionate
Two weeks go by, and the chinese company claim they STILL haven’t received the shipment, three weeks, four weeks all the same. No sign at all.
I have tracking info. I plug in the tracking number and track it. Says its been delivered and signed for.
We go back to the Chinese company, tell them. They claim it hasn’t been received.
At this point we have a pretty good hunch that we are getting played for fools. But we aren’t stupid.
We have proof it was delivered to the address supplied on the receipt.
We have copies of the receipt, the shipping info, pictures and records of chat logs.
An air tight case.
Its been six weeks and they keep saying they haven’t received the package.
But tracking info says its delivered.
We confidently reach out to Paypal.
Stage 3 of the scam: The Prestige
The itemised receipt they sent us with the postal address was in English.
Their Paypal postal address was in Chinese.
Yeah.. so what?
A quick google translate of the Chinese address shows it DOES NOT match the Paypal address.
Uh-oh. Game over, check mate, well done, thanks for playing.
Paypal only honors disputes on the address on the Paypal account. The address on the receipt still went to that company, just a different address. Because we didnt send it to the address on their Paypal account, Paypal won’t do anything.
Of course we disputed, we had a lot of evidence, but remember:
Rule 1. Paypal will always side with the buyer
We lost the dispute, and then the scammers in turn made their own dispute to get back the 50% deposit which of course they did.