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Author Topic: Non Pony: Paypal Friends and Family and got scammed. Advice please?  (Read 527 times)

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Offline Thunderwing

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So this is a post I am making for a friend, not for me, but I know everyone here has tonnes of advice and years of experience. She is a novice buyer.

The transaction happened on Facebook. Buyer purchased a rare toy. Seller requested FnF payment via paypal. Buyer sent payment via Friends and Family via paypal.  Seller provided a fake tracking number, toy never arrived. Seller blocked buyer, which basically says to me it was a deliberate scam.

Buyer has called paypal and was told 'nothing we can do'. 

I am pretty sure that isn't true. That paypal can choose to help, and in this case is not.

What should our next step be?

Offline banditpony

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Pretty sure it is true, as far as paypal is concerned.

That's why the options are "send to a friend" or "pay for an item/service". Only using the pay for an item option gives buyer/purchase protection.
https://www.paypal.com/webapps/mpp/paypal-safety-and-security

At best if she used a bank card, or a credit card, she can try to see can do the charge back through them.
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Offline Oneleo1

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She needs to file a report with the sellers local police as well. I dont think it will help get her money back, but it will at least flag the seller.
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Offline LadyMoondancer

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Yikes, I would never buy something via Friends & Family, but I would ESPECIALLY not do it if the seller specifically asked me to.

I don't think there's anything Paypal can do, or at least will do.  In cases where things are legitimately between friends / family, they don't want to get embroiled in a dispute.  As far as legality, you can check into it but I'm sure Paypal put "we don't have to do anything" in their fine print.

I agree with trying credit card chargeback and/or police report.  A police report might scare the seller into complying.
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Offline Tulips

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Be cautious doing a credit card chargeback, in my experience that will only put the PayPal account into negative and they will freeze it until the balance is fixed by the account holder. A police report might help your case, but I don't know your laws regarding PayPal's practice in this situation.

Offline banditpony

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Be cautious doing a credit card chargeback, in my experience that will only put the PayPal account into negative and they will freeze it until the balance is fixed by the account holder. A police report might help your case, but I don't know your laws regarding PayPal's practice in this situation.

I'm confused about your warning.
Fairly sure it would put the sellers account in negative, I've never heard otherwise.

Here is an example (where someone was doing a charge back to scam the seller).
https://www.paypal-community.com/t5/Disputes-and-claims-Archive/Credit-card-chargeback-claim-even-after-Paypal-ruled-the/td-p/292290
The *sellers* account gets frozen.
« Last Edit: June 01, 2019, 11:03:08 AM by banditpony »
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Offline lovesbabysquirmy

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Not that I know of, that is why PayPal has the F&F option. That is why there are about 5 warnings before completing the transaction that you should only do it IF you know the other party well enough that you wont have to dispute things. This was not one of those times.....
Sorry for your friend but sadly a lot of novice buyer mistakes are through loss and learning not to do it again.  No more F&F payments!
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That’s such a shame that your friend trusted the seller and was scammed. And this also makes it harder for other genuine sellers who prefer f&f to avoid the crazy fees!

I agree she could try a credit card chargeback. Has she also reported this seller to the admin teams of the Facebook groups too?
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In my opinion no seller should ever ask a buyer to pay via F&F. Aside the fact there are fees if you're paying across currencies to the buyer's expense, it's a risk. It isn't against paypal rules if you MUST do it to ask the buyer to pay the paypal fees SO LONG AS you are open and up front about it in advance, I believe. I personally don't, but I have seen some people do it.

It sucks your friend trusted someone and got ripped off. They can maybe pursue it outside paypal or with their credit card - I am not sure it is a 'chargeback', but it is worth talking to their bank/CC to see if they can get any help or advice. The bottom line though is what LBS said. There are many warnings about the F&F and how to use it. Getting people to send money for a transaction or service via F&F is a way of avoiding paying selling fees so is in itself probably against Paypal's rules. And that's not going to encourage them to find in someone's favour. It's like marking down on a custom form. It may seem like a good thing to do, but in reality, you are putting yourself at risk somewhere along the line.

I have had people pay me via F&F, but I have never asked anyone to, as that's not what it's for.

I wish them luck if they're able to do anything with their CC or some other service. But it seems like a really harsh learning curve experience to me.
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Offline Thunderwing

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Thanks for your replies, guys!  Unfortunately, it was paid with a balance and not a CC or debit card. I will pass on the advice about calling the local police department.

Offline Ringlets

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Re: Non Pony: Paypal Friends and Family and got scammed. Advice please?
« Reply #10 on: June 05, 2019, 11:03:59 AM »
I'm so sorry to read about this :(  Unfortunately Paypal can't do anything because she paid with F+F (and basically what she did was against their rules as it's a transaction to a random seller trying to avoid their fees, so they would possibly call her out/refuse to help on that as well) , and if she didn't use a card , just her PP balance then .. unfortunately there isn't much she can do to recover her money.
Hopefully you let her know about contacting the police and whoever the facebook group admins are though.
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Offline banditpony

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Re: Non Pony: Paypal Friends and Family and got scammed. Advice please?
« Reply #11 on: June 05, 2019, 11:36:59 AM »
I think the only way to get money back in this sort of situation is to do a small claims in court.
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