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Old 04-10-2008, 03:22 PM   #1
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Craigslist - Paypal Payment - Scam?

Not sure where to post this, but this seemed best.

My friend put his laptop up for sale on craigslist, listed at $1,000. He got an e-mail from a woman who is willing to pay $1,200 via Paypal. She also said she wants the laptop shipped to her daughter in school out-of-state. Any way my friend could be getting scammed here? Is Paypal pretty safe for this sort of transaction (i.e. is there any way the woman will be able to cancel the payment after the fact)?

Thanks,
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Old 04-10-2008, 03:50 PM   #2
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Re: Craigslist - Paypal Payment - Scam?

Never deal with anyone from Craigslist that wants to pay you more than the price you listed. Never ship to an address that has not been verified by Paypal.

This is a scam.
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Old 04-10-2008, 04:09 PM   #3
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Re: Craigslist - Paypal Payment - Scam?

wait. is she willing to send money via paypal before your friend ships it? not sure i get the scam if that is the case.

fwiw, i had someone on craigslist pay me in advance via paypal and ask me to mail the item. i was surprised he was willing to be so trusting but figured it was no risk to me and did it. no problems.

but that was a $40 bike pedal, not a laptop. i wouldn't pay 1000, much less 1200, for a used laptop i have never seen. hell, not sure i would pay 1000 for a used laptop period.
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Old 04-10-2008, 04:14 PM   #4
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Re: Craigslist - Paypal Payment - Scam?

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Originally Posted by spider View Post
wait. is she willing to send money via paypal before your friend ships it? not sure i get the scam if that is the case.

fwiw, i had someone on craigslist pay me in advance via paypal and ask me to mail the item. i was surprised he was willing to be so trusting but figured it was no risk to me and did it. no problems.

but that was a $40 bike pedal, not a laptop. i wouldn't pay 1000, much less 1200, for a used laptop i have never seen. hell, not sure i would pay 1000 for a used laptop period.
For that matter I would pay $1200 for your bike pedal before EVER spending that much on a used laptop I didnt even see?
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Old 04-10-2008, 04:22 PM   #5
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Re: Craigslist - Paypal Payment - Scam?

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Originally Posted by spider View Post
wait. is she willing to send money via paypal before your friend ships it? not sure i get the scam if that is the case.

fwiw, i had someone on craigslist pay me in advance via paypal and ask me to mail the item. i was surprised he was willing to be so trusting but figured it was no risk to me and did it. no problems.

but that was a $40 bike pedal, not a laptop. i wouldn't pay 1000, much less 1200, for a used laptop i have never seen. hell, not sure i would pay 1000 for a used laptop period.
Well the tip off is agreeing to pay more than asking price. That almost guarantees it's a scam. The usual scam of course is the "certified check" where you deposit the check, they "realize" they overpaid, or were forced to overpay, and request you send them cash with the goods. Then weeks later the bank tells you the "certified check" didn't clear and you are out all the money and your goods.

My guess is that there is some way to send you a payment on Paypal, and later have Paypal revoke it because it never cleared. I'm not a paypal expert, so this is just all supposition on my part.
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Old 04-10-2008, 04:59 PM   #6
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Re: Craigslist - Paypal Payment - Scam?

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My guess is that there is some way to send you a payment on Paypal, and later have Paypal revoke it because it never cleared. I'm not a paypal expert, so this is just all supposition on my part.
I dont think this is true though I'm no expert either. But PayPal takes 5% of every transaction, I assume that people are paying for PayPal to guarantee funds from both ends.
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Old 04-10-2008, 05:00 PM   #7
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Re: Craigslist - Paypal Payment - Scam?

To protect your friend, tell him to arrange with the buyer that he will put his laptop on Ebay with a "Buy-it-now" price of whatever they agree on. Your friend will eat the listing and commission fees; in return, he will be protected so long as the buyer has the appropriate positive feedback on ebay (see Ebay's policies for details).

I have done this with sports tickets before, since I didn't want to be scammed, and neither did the buyer. Sometimes you can split the difference on Ebay fees as "insurance" for both of you.

As is, I would never expect someone to offer > asking price, and I fully expect her to bail on this when you suggest something safer. Otherwise, only agree to cash or certified funds.

GL.
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Old 04-10-2008, 05:03 PM   #8
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Re: Craigslist - Paypal Payment - Scam?

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Originally Posted by DesertCat View Post
My guess is that there is some way to send you a payment on Paypal, and later have Paypal revoke it because it never cleared. I'm not a paypal expert, so this is just all supposition on my part.
This *can* happen, though I don't remember exactly the details. I remember being wary of this when I was selling things via Craigslist.
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Old 04-10-2008, 05:12 PM   #9
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Re: Craigslist - Paypal Payment - Scam?

100% scam
its amazing how blinded by greed people can get making them illogical
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Old 04-10-2008, 05:30 PM   #10
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Re: Craigslist - Paypal Payment - Scam?

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100% scam
its amazing how blinded by greed people can get making them illogical
In his defense. When somebody invested a lot of money in to a something like a computer then want to get the best possible price for it when they decide to sell it there is a lot of tension involved. A seemingly generous offer for the computer can come as a big relief to the seller, I can sympathize with their hope that it's not too good to be true.
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Old 04-10-2008, 05:39 PM   #11
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Re: Craigslist - Paypal Payment - Scam?

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Well the tip off is agreeing to pay more than asking price. That almost guarantees it's a scam.
I don't think it applies here, but it can happen when someone obviously underprices something. The would be buyer anticipates the seller will be deluged with offers and does this to increase the odds they will get the item over all the other possible buyers.

This particular case is almost 99.9% a scam, I'm just sayin it can happen for legit reasons.
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Old 04-10-2008, 05:40 PM   #12
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Re: Craigslist - Paypal Payment - Scam?

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Originally Posted by Wyman View Post
This *can* happen, though I don't remember exactly the details. I remember being wary of this when I was selling things via Craigslist.
If you can recall, I'm curious because PayPal might be breaking the law by doing so.
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Old 04-10-2008, 05:44 PM   #13
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Re: Craigslist - Paypal Payment - Scam?

Yeah I agree it's like 99.9999% scam. I guess his plan now is to tell the woman she has to pay first, wait for the money to transfer from Paypal to his bank account, and then he'd send the laptop. In the rare case that she agrees and the money were to actually make it into his bank account, there's no way Paypal or anyone else could take it back after that, right?
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Old 04-10-2008, 05:46 PM   #14
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Re: Craigslist - Paypal Payment - Scam?

1. scammer has stolen credit card
2. sends you money on paypal using stolen credit card
3. you ship to his NON CONFIRMED address
4. 3 months later, CC company contacts paypal and requests a chargeback on the fraudulent charges
5. you are out one laptop
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Old 04-10-2008, 05:54 PM   #15
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Re: Craigslist - Paypal Payment - Scam?

Quote:
Originally Posted by dknightx View Post
1. scammer has stolen credit card
2. sends you money on paypal using stolen credit card
3. you ship to his NON CONFIRMED address
4. 3 months later, CC company contacts paypal and requests a chargeback on the fraudulent charges
5. you are out one laptop
The question is, can PayPal take away your funds because someone who had a stolen CC paid you through their service? This depends greatly on their policies.
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Old 04-10-2008, 05:55 PM   #16
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Re: Craigslist - Paypal Payment - Scam?

ding!

Even if you end up keeping the money this is a ****ty thing to do.
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Old 04-10-2008, 06:11 PM   #17
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Re: Craigslist - Paypal Payment - Scam?

Quote:
Originally Posted by dknightx View Post
1. scammer has stolen credit card
2. sends you money on paypal using stolen credit card
3. you ship to his NON CONFIRMED address
4. 3 months later, CC company contacts paypal and requests a chargeback on the fraudulent charges
5. you are out one laptop
Regarding #4, I would think PayPal would be on the hook.
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Old 04-10-2008, 06:13 PM   #18
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Re: Craigslist - Paypal Payment - Scam?

Read this page:

https://www.paypal.com/us/cgi-bin/we...ckRisk-outside

key is this:

"The seller and PayPal can work together to investigate the chargeback with the buyer's credit card company. While the chargeback is being investigated, PayPal will debit the seller for the amount in question. If the investigation is resolved in favor of the seller with the credit card company, the credit card company will reimburse PayPal for the chargeback and PayPal will transfer the recovered funds back to the seller."

So in theory if the funds are already in your bank account, then your paypal balance will just be minus 1200 ... which means you wont really be able to use paypal ever again until you pay back that 1200.
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Old 04-10-2008, 06:18 PM   #19
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Re: Craigslist - Paypal Payment - Scam?

Quote:
Originally Posted by dknightx View Post
Read this page:

https://www.paypal.com/us/cgi-bin/we...ckRisk-outside

key is this:

"The seller and PayPal can work together to investigate the chargeback with the buyer's credit card company. While the chargeback is being investigated, PayPal will debit the seller for the amount in question. If the investigation is resolved in favor of the seller with the credit card company, the credit card company will reimburse PayPal for the chargeback and PayPal will transfer the recovered funds back to the seller."

So in theory if the funds are already in your bank account, then your paypal balance will just be minus 1200 ... which means you wont really be able to use paypal ever again until you pay back that 1200.
Interesting, wonder what the legality is on that. In either event, how the **** does PayPal justify its 5% transaction fee?
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Old 04-10-2008, 06:22 PM   #20
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Re: Craigslist - Paypal Payment - Scam?

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Originally Posted by dknightx View Post

So in theory if the funds are already in your bank account, then your paypal balance will just be minus 1200 ... which means you wont really be able to use paypal ever again until you pay back that 1200.
Might go to collections and on your credit report?

I would imagine that buried somewhere in the paypal user contract, all liabilities are clearly spelled out and if it ever got to the point where your account was held liable, that would be a debt that they could go after.
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Old 04-10-2008, 06:26 PM   #21
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Re: Craigslist - Paypal Payment - Scam?

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Might go to collections and on your credit report?

I would imagine that buried somewhere in the paypal user contract, all liabilities are clearly spelled out and if it ever got to the point where your account was held liable, that would be a debt that they could go after.
yep, this is very possible and most likely the case.
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Old 04-10-2008, 10:35 PM   #22
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Re: Craigslist - Paypal Payment - Scam?

good fatwallet threads on the subject:

FAQ: Selling with PayPal - SPP, chargebacks, INR, SNAD - how to protect yourself

FAQ: Scams/Phishes/Spoofs – How to recognize/what to do - Not sure if it's a scam? Ask here
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Old 04-11-2008, 12:32 AM   #23
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Re: Craigslist - Paypal Payment - Scam?

First, this is a guaranteed scam, do not sell to this person. Never sell to someone who offers more than you are asking (unsolicited), unless you are asking for trouble. Obviously, if you have multiple bidders feel free to create a bidding war.

Second, paypal will do absolutely nothing to protect you if you do decide to go through with it.

When using paypal in situations like this, only ship to a confirmed shipping address. For extra security, require a home phone number that you call to confirm the transaction with. You lookup the phone number for free online to make sure it origniates from the same area as the confirmed shipping address. You call to make sure they are giving you a real number and that the person who picks up confirms the purchase. Those extra steps will eliminate 99.9% of the fraud out there. Technically, yes, they could still scam you, but 99.9% of the scams involve a hacked paypal account that they will not have a phone number for the same area code in.

Last edited by Shoe; 04-11-2008 at 12:38 AM.
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Old 04-11-2008, 12:40 AM   #24
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Re: Craigslist - Paypal Payment - Scam?

Quote:
Originally Posted by dknightx View Post
Read this page:

https://www.paypal.com/us/cgi-bin/we...ckRisk-outside

key is this:

"The seller and PayPal can work together to investigate the chargeback with the buyer's credit card company. While the chargeback is being investigated, PayPal will debit the seller for the amount in question. If the investigation is resolved in favor of the seller with the credit card company, the credit card company will reimburse PayPal for the chargeback and PayPal will transfer the recovered funds back to the seller."

So in theory if the funds are already in your bank account, then your paypal balance will just be minus 1200 ... which means you wont really be able to use paypal ever again until you pay back that 1200.

The only problem with this is that paypal will try to take the money back out of your bank account. The terms you agree to allow them to do this to you, so unless you have an agreement with your bank to block this somehow you will either get the money debited back out of your account, or end up with a NSF charge or something.
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Old 04-11-2008, 05:05 AM   #25
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Re: Craigslist - Paypal Payment - Scam?

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The only problem with this is that paypal will try to take the money back out of your bank account. The terms you agree to allow them to do this to you, so unless you have an agreement with your bank to block this somehow you will either get the money debited back out of your account, or end up with a NSF charge or something.
I was going to say the same thing, in order to have a confirmed home address you need to hand over bank account and credit card information. Doing so gives them the ability to deduct right from either account.
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