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If you've been Swindled!

Discussion in 'Auto & Truck Parts For Sale' started by Heath, November 6, 2004.

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    1. Heath

      Heath Elite Moderator Intoxicator Staff Member Moderator Elite Explorer

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      Folks! It Is Buyer Beware!
      Explorerforum does not mediate delivery, payment, or any other details of specific transactions
      between vendors and buyers. We simply provide this forum as a communication channel.

      As the ForSale moderator Section525 and I occasionally have members emailing us about people who have taken their money and run off with out sending the product or refunding the $$. Unfortunately, not all members can be trusted, it is a shame. My general advice is:

      Use a credit card if you can.
      Use an escrow service like paypal.com or use Ebay if you are unsure or use a 3rd party person the two of you trust to conduct the transaction if you have ANY doubts.


      Good info:



      This information is good not just here on Explorerforum, but also on eBay and other auction sites, other forums, and bulletin boards.

      Okay, here is what I would do:

      First, as a general rule for dealings on the Internet, keep copies of EVERYTHING- emails, PayPal receipts, money order stubs, everything! Second, be aware that steps 1 and 2 can involve a lot of back and forth between them, depending on the method of payment.

      STEP 1.
      Inform the Financial Institutions and websites involved.

      If you paid by money order place a complaint AND a trace on the money order with the company that sold it (western union, USPS, etc.). Make sure it was cashed. Find out WHERE it was cashed. The same goes for a check, whether issued by a bank or a personal check.

      If you paid by PayPal, go to the PayPal website at www.paypal.com and look for the complaint process. PayPal Buyer Complaint Info Page.
      Next, Review the Buyer Complaint Process and fill out a "Buyer Complaint Form" through the Security Center. If you are logged in on the PayPal site, it may take you to a different site than these links. You must be logged in to fill out the form.

      If it was on eBay or another auction site, look for the "Safe Harbor" clause or provisions in the user agreement. Try the "help" icons and search for "fraud" or "safe harbor" in the FAQs or Help sections.
      Here is the General Help Page for eBay: General Help- eBay. Here is the Fraud Protection Information: Fraud Protection Information- eBay.

      Most other auction sites have similar policies. I use eBay as an example because I, like many of you, use it frequently.

      Most forums are like this one: Buyer Beware. While you may get moderator assistance to get IP information, login frequency, and other contact info, in most cases nothing can be done.

      One other thing to look into is the fact that eBay and PayPal are now one company. While before they would play one off of the other as to whose responsibility it was, they can no longer do that safely, as statements of one could be used against the other. This should, at least in theory, cut down on passing of the buck between the two, a common thing in the past.

      Your bank or credit card can also be a powerful ally. While not necessarily bound to help you if you used PayPal, most of the time the fraud protection issued by your credit card company can help get to the root of a problem. Remember, you credit card can even file a complaint with PayPal if PayPal won't do anything to help you, because, as far as the credit card is concerned, PayPal took your money. THey don't care what PayPal did with it, they just know that it was PayPal that billed you. Your bank can do the same. Your bank will be more likely to give you personal service, but your credit card company has more clout. Use both to your advantage.

      If you paid by check, or money order issued by the bank, or by bank card (ATM/Debit Card) directly, the bank should get involved. My PayPal account ACCEPTS Credit/Debit cards. If someone were to pay me that way directly (not through "PayPal" funds), their bank or credit card company could come after me directly (if I tried to shank them). I have helped people get money back through PayPal this way.

      STEP 2.
      Inform the Authorities.

      If you sent payment in any form, whether check, Money Order (Postal or other), cashier’s check, or cash (NEVER SEND CASH!!!) through the mail, file a complaint at your local post office. Here is a link to the mail fraud reporting form:
      Mail Fraud Complaint Form

      It is a federal crime (mail fraud), so they should know the drill. Get the manager of your local post office to give you the name of the post office that is local to the recipient (where HIS/HER mail gets routed through prior to delivery).

      Here is a link to the USPS web site. It has a "finder" feature to locate post offices anywhere, including contact information:
      USPS website

      Call the endpoint post office and file a claim. Call the local police or sheriffs office and file a criminal complaint using the information from the postal complaint form. Local police numbers can be found through most Internet directories. I have found that www.anywho.com works the best for me. Most of the time, the post office can even give you that information. If not, your local police can do so.

      STEP 3.
      Involve the BIG DOGS.

      Your next step is to go to the Internet Fraud Complaint Center website. The IFCC is located in my old hometown of Morgantown, WV (Go Mountaineers!!!).
      IFCC is a joint venture between the FBI and the National White Collar Crime Center
       
      Last edited: May 7, 2005
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    3. Heath

      Heath Elite Moderator Intoxicator Staff Member Moderator Elite Explorer

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      This info was pilfered from another board. But I thought it was really good info, so props go to the mods of the for sale forum over at JU thats where I got it... I'm also leaving this thread open for others to post ways of getting your money back to. Please don't fill this thread up with posts asking how, this is for posting ways of getting either your parts or money back.

      TIA eveyone.

      Heath
       
    4. boominXplorer

      boominXplorer Elite Ranger Elite Explorer

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      just to let you know on an addtion to the paypal complaint thing, It MUST be done within 30 days or you wont see a dime. If you do it within 30 you have a great chance of getting your money back (even better if you call paypal yourself). The IFCC is never really a help because they get SO MANY complaints many get looked over. So concern on steps 1 and 2 but the addtional 3 couldn't hurt. I have done alot of selling / buying online and I know abotu and experianced problems.
       
    5. Skunk

      Skunk 2/1974-4/2015 RIP Elite In Memoriam

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      Thats all good info and all but you forgot the one most important key to resolving the matter.... COMMUNICATION. if you read up on all the sites where money is transacted, ebay, paypal, etc. they all tell you to try to resolve the situation by email, phone, etc. before you start filing compaints and sitting on hold with paypal or your creditcard companies, 9 times out of 10 the situation can be resolved by just talking with the person or an unbias moderator that can help resolve it. There could be a lagit explaination to why the transaction is held up, and this is not meant by just sending one email, and if you dont hear back in a day you start to panic, make a good attemt, drop a few emails and give it a little time, not too long as stated above that paypal wont give you a second look after 30 days. I know these days you gotta look out for #1, yourself, but there are still deceint people out there that run into bad luck here and there.... keep an open mind.
       
    6. spindlecone

      spindlecone B

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      Heath
      You state that you get complaints on occasion, and your advice on dealings is very good,I might add.
      I've bought and sold some items on this venue with never a problem, same with Ebay, have never gotten stiffed.
      I would hope, and think that bad sellers and buyers on this forum is a rarity.
      Any handle on how many transactions go down here with a bad outcome?
      Just curious
       
    7. Heath

      Heath Elite Moderator Intoxicator Staff Member Moderator Elite Explorer

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      It should be obvious but apparently isn't, this is for AFTER communication hasn't worked... Its expected and I figured common sense that you need to try and communicate with the other person involved first...

      Spindle - I haven't had a problem here... But lately there have been a few people to make the bad news sellers list... And as soon as they come up with the goods they've been paid on, or refund the amount of $$$ then they'll be removed... Overall, I think 99% of our transactions here go well...
       
    8. spindlecone

      spindlecone B

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      Thx for the responce
      would think if one is dealing with a regular on this venue, a good outcome would be the norm
       
    9. TSTONE

      TSTONE Giddy up! Elite Explorer

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      Bought & Sold here multiple times - I'd like to say its luck, but for the most part I think we have some really good/honorable members here.

      p.s. - I always recommend Paypal when buying or selling for the reasons listed above by others. I'm even eat the cc fee's when selling to try to avoid a problem down the road. Also always - Always - ALWAYS, insist on using some type of tracking service when buying or selling.

      $.02
       
    10. Brock94

      Brock94 Active Member

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      Just wanted to post a clarification on your rights if you pay by credit card, whether directly or through PayPal. You must choose your credit card (not one of those credit card-like ATM cards, not direct withdrawal from your account) as a source of payment if you use PayPal. You will note that they make you jump through some hoops to do this, since it is not advantageous to them.

      Under federal law you have specific rights that give you a lot of power when you buy using your credit card. The most significant is that when a charge appears on your bill for an item that you ordered, but did not receive, that charge is by definition a "billing error". It may sound counter-intuitive, but that is the legal definition. Within 60 days of receiving a credit card statement that contains a "billing error" you have the right to contest the charge by sending a letter to your bank notifying them of the error. To get things moving more quickly, you can call them, but follow up with a letter as this is legally required. They may conduct an investigation, but they are unlikely to go to such an expense because they have a contract with the credit card company that says they can pull the money back from the credit card company. The credit card company, in turn, has a contract with the "merchant" (either the person you ordered from or PayPal, as applicable) that says they can pull the money back from the merchant-- guess what they do. In the end, either the Merchant or PayPal has to come after you-- but they can't do that unless they can prove that you did in fact receive the item you ordered.

      Always use your credit card when buying online. I will not purchase from an eBay seller that does not allow me to do this.
       
    11. Xzibit A

      Xzibit A Active Member

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      ive had luck calling the local police in their hometown before, and found that this guy had een ripping people off for years but had a mustang in pieces in his yard, and he told the guy to give these people their mony or the product, or go to jail(one guy paid him like 2400 for a tranny) and sure enough i got my parts within in a week.
       
    12. huskyfan23

      huskyfan23 Rah no Hans Bwix

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      I think this would be a great idea:

      IP address, email address, and time and date of post will be turned over to the local FBI office for internet fraud of the city belonging to the said user, and links to the ad placed.
       

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