PayPal Fraud and what to do next

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    I could use guidance on a current situation that just seems absurd to no end, but it’s really causing some problems.

    I received an odd email a couple of months ago that I didn’t open and sent to the spam folder. The bit of it that I read from the subject line was something along the lines that my apparent order had shipped, etc. (It was from an unknown sender and every now and then, stuff like this gets through. Thus, I deleted it without opening it.)

    This was rapidly followed up by emails and then daily calls from PayPal for 2 transactions for a delinquent account (due to the bank account tied to PayPal having been closed months prior). Not having used PayPal for well over a year now and having only opened the account for donations to legitimate 501c3 organizations that I had some direct connection with, I sent an official Fraud Alert to PayPal. After still receiving daily calls from PayPal and numerous emails to the same, I was finally sent an email to inform me that my Fraud Alert was denied…payment now due…and then collection notice… and then a series of calls from a collection agency. I’ve talked to no end on this with PayPal with and followed all of their procedures to no avail.

    The only saving grace on this is that the bank account tied to PayPal had been closed a few months before these transactions were incurred. And hopefully the records I’ve kept will help also.

    So here’s the question. I’m writing a letter to the State Attorney General and will cc the Better Business Bureau, PayPal and the collection agency. I have most of the emails/notes from calls/letters printed and will send all with the letter, so I have a decent amount of documentation.

    Does anyone have any feedback on what else to do?



    Paypal must know who sent you the email right? Did you contact them to find out what happened? I thought PP would have to have proof of delivery to your address to do what they are doing.

    I would go to a forum like this and see if anyone can give you any ideas.



    smy…if all else fails, get Jesse. I’m not jesting here..he seems to get results.

    oh, and, hi…sorry this is happening to you. What a pain in the arse !



    smy, I scanned the site from oddreality’s link, and in the FAQ’s it suggests not only contacting out AG, but;

    ….and the California and Nebraska attorneys general informing them of your problems with PayPal.

    Good luck, and yeah, like Jan said, what a pain in the arse….




    I’ve had my Paypal account hacked twice in the last year (fraudulent charges made). I am completely unimpressed with this supposedly safe mode of conduction transactions. Sorry this happened to you. In my case, I was lucky to notice the sketchy purchases right away and report them as fraudulent. One time I could forgive, but not twice. I do not trust their security and am closing my account. I hope you can get this sorted.



    I closed my Paypal account a couple years ago because of sketchy emails I was receiving. PayPal is the only website I have felt unsafe using.

    I don’t know what you should do in this case. Do people get lawyers to get collection agencies off their back for such things? Is that the only way?



    Just closed my little/rarely used PayPal account, (used for purchases/payments only—11 transactions in nearly as many years), and gave a rather lengthy comment as to why I was doing so.

    And I didn’t even say “thank you” at the end of my comment.

    So there! ;-)



    Betty T

    Go Mike!



    good luck closing that account…

    I closed one in 2001. Earlier this year I had reason to open another. But I could not open another since PP said I already had one. I recreated the email address I used back then and logged into the supposedly closed account. Luckily I had changed all the account and card numbers to nonsense back when I was struggling with them to close it.

    You may want to do the same.

    12 years and they cannot close an account with bank routing numbers of all x’s



    I so appreciate the input from everyone – thank you.

    oddreality, the folks I’ve talked to at Paypal have each time feigned ignorance with “access” to details of the transactions. They flip it back at me that I must have lost bank statements, etc. No accountability on their part whatsoever. When I’ve gotten really direct with them and not so nice at all, they just keep passing it off for “further investigation” and “someone will contact” me in the next 1-2 days. I will go to the forum link you sent to do more research.

    Jan, I had the same thought on Jesse if it comes to it. I’m ready to do whatever I can to fight this one. They’ve really chapped my hide, so I’m ready to brawl.

    Mike, you are a wonder of positivity – thank you! I can only get so annoyed with “stuff” in life, before I bust up laughing.

    The stupid thing of it is that this is a pretty small sum of money in the big scheme of things, but it’s been so poorly handled that I have to fight it. Principle now. And a friend also had a good perspective in that rolling and just paying the fraudulent charges leaves me open to this happening again. Paypal has informed me that I cannot close that account (there is a hold on the account) or they will not be able to ever view past transactions or history. Me arse, are you kidding?

    Ahhhh, if only I had a family-lawyer. Since I don’t, I will keep on with this one and really appreciate everyone’s input. I’m pretty dug-in on seeing this one through.

    Many thanks to all!



    After all the data spills with PayPal when a website offers me a choice between paying with Paypal or the individual site I choose the site. If you were trying to scam people, who would you target: a two-bit seller with a secure site or Paypal? Sure it takes longer to fill in information on non-paypal sites but not that much longer when viewed in context. Good luck SMY and others.



    Mike, you are a wonder of positivity – thank you! I can only get so annoyed with “stuff” in life, before I bust up laughing.





    Instead of deleting or sending the email in question to your spam folder right click to view the source of the emal to see if it is actually from Pay Pal. We received emails from time to time from either ebay or Pay Pal requesting payment for items we never ordered, we view the source and then forward the email in question to the security department to ebay or Pay Pal. Also ebay and Pay Pal can check your order histry as you can as well to see if you did not did not order the items.



    umm the details of transactions more than a decade old were still listed on my account info page…



    Long-story short, the issue with this finally done(!)



    Long story, I called the collection agency on Tuesday after they’ve been calling 24/7 for many weeks now. Got pretty nasty for them to stop the calls and update their records and never to call me again.

    This was after another call with PayPal on Monday. There are so many details to this story, I don’t even want to go into detail and the steps in this process, but the fellow at PayPal that I talked with finally gave me the details on what had been purchased, address sent to, etc. I was told in earlier conversations that information was not available. However….

    Teenager GI Joes canvas shoes and an EMCE Indian Record sent to an address in Los Angeles, huh?

    I finally asked if the “EMCE Indian Record” meant a vinyl-record or something other than that I’m clueless about due to my general non-hip status as middle-aged and not having teenagers.

    I think that was about 45 minutes after I initially hollered at him to no end, and I think he finally was getting that this was all complete bs. And the email addy used for this transaction was incorrect, etc., etc., etc. It just goes on and on in how poorly PayPal handled this from the start.

    He put in a request for a 2nd fraud investigation, and I called today to follow up…and it’s all finally done. I requested hard-copies from PayPal to the same and received them while on the phone with them today.

    The woman at PayPal I spoke with today said all of this should have been shut down on the spot with my first phone call saying this was an “unauthorized purchase” and all of the initial information I gave them and the fraud-alerts I filled out online at that time. I think she was sincere in her disbelief of how this was handled by PayPal and that she’s put in a request for an investigation to the same for how poorly this was handled from the start.

    From my end, I’m relieved to no end that this is (apparently) done. But, I will be closing my PayPal account and will never use them again. Unfortunate. They seemed like a secure way to make donations to non-profit groups I volunteer with, which is why I opened an account with them in 2006 and the only reason I’ve had an account with them.

    What have I learned from this that seems relevant to pass along and post?

    • Pay attention to supposed “Spam” emails. Don’t reply back or ignore if something looks suspicious. Contact the company directly. But pay attention to them, just in case.

    • Keep notes of every call, email, letter, etc. if there’s an issue – time, date, name, details of conversation. Even though they have their own notes (e.g. PayPal in my case), I also have had mine and was spouting off names and times and quoted information from scribbling notes with each conversation. I know having these notes helped end all of this.

    • Passwords. Change frequently and don’t use the same for any account.

    • Don’t back down!






    UGH! Do I ever relate. I had a similar situation with Paypal around 10 years ago. I happened to be online when I received emails “confirming my purchase of UPS labels” through Paypal. I had purchased no such thing. I immediately called them to report the fraud, filled out the report online as I was on hold. All told, I talked to them within 10 minutes of the transactions.

    Both labels were purchased for shipping from US to Belarus, labeled as electronics. Paypal told me that “because they’d already been used” I couldn’t fight them. There was insurance purchased on them, and basically every other add-on one can choose. They totaled a couple hundred bucks.

    The fraud investigation results were as I mentioned above, unsatisfactory to say the least. I worked with my bank to perform a chargeback due to unauthorized activity, and the bank manager called them on a conference line with me listening, and threatened them with the bank pressing charges and refusing further business with them. They eventually backed down, but I had a chunk of change held in limbo until the bank credited me back pending investigation outcome.

    It was horrendously frustrating. I occasionally use PayPal now, but I worked with my bank to set up an “online only” bank account that was not connected to overdraft protection or any other account, so I move money into it only when I purchase something online. It works beautifully.

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