Mark of a scammer...learn not to burn.


So, my ad says USA only and "zero feedback and lowball offers will be politely ignored". Mr. X says he'd like to buy it at my price - I never do "Buy it now", rather preferring to entertain offers only so I can be running the show..not him. I ask to have his phone number so I can discuss with him, answering his "how old. etc." questions directly (and figuring out if he is a knowledgeable sort of audiophile who would be buying a $7K preamp- we audiophiles love to talk audio). Here is a classic response, I think, of a scammer:

"From: (zero feedback guy)  
Aug 1, 2016 9:52pm
I live in Switzerland! You probably don't want to phone me (then there's the 6-hr. time difference). I would want the XXX shipped to my niece in Virginia. Give me your number and a convenient time to call and I'll phone you. What about 3:00pm (EDT) tomorrow afternoon?"

Maybe not a scammer....that's why I omitted (His?) names. But it has all the classical markings, I don't really want to point them out so as to educate any bad guys, but you can spot them. But if it looks like, smells like and walks like this....BEWARE. I'm sure he has a very nice niece but I didn't care to carry on a further discussion with someone in Nigeria or Jamaica. 

(This was a zero feedback chap but be sure to take a look at their feedback record and make sure it hasn't just been packed with recent co-conspirators- often zero feedback sorts themselves- feedback to have some "feedback".)

So now, I want to ask you a question. What worries me, and shouldn't I be worried, about someone with a stolen credit card using paypal? They would "send me money" and only later, after the unit has been sent, would I find out there was a problem with the card. Would paypal then want/pull money back out of my account to cover or is that what you are paying for with 3% fees? Insurance? Or does the credit card company take the hit and that is why they suffer such large losses....(and thought up DEBIT Cards)? Thanks for your help & Be Careful Out There.




Convert?fit=crop&h=128&rotate=exif&w=128truman
I would accept his offer,  wire transfer only and be sure his payment is in the Fed before shipping.

I've done this before, customer in Asia and want shipped to USA address.  I just tell them my responsibility ends with signature collected by FedEx when I deliver to agreed address.
If he's legit he would accept Albert's terms; if not, you'll never hear from him again,
+1 albertporter & swampwalker.

Thank you Albert, good advice taken.

Further investigation alarmingly reveals:
From Paypal website, agreement form:
"4.3 Risk of Reversals, Chargebacks and Claims. When you receive a payment, you are liable to PayPal for the full amount of the payment sent to you plus any Fees if the payment is later invalidated for any reason. This means that, in addition to any other liability, you will be responsible for the amount of the payment sent by the sender, plus the applicable Fees listed in Section 8 (Fees) of this Agreement if you lose a Claim or a Chargeback or if there is a Reversal of the payment. You agree to allow PayPal to recover any amounts due to PayPal by debiting your Balance. If there are insufficient funds in your Balance to cover your liability, you agree to reimburse PayPal through other means. If a sender of a payment files a Chargeback, the credit card issuer, not PayPal, will determine who wins the Chargeback."

Yikes! Chargebacks are what happens when a credit card user or a bank files a claim because of a charge on a stolen card. Really, the bank will decide if you need to pay them back... and paypal can access your accounts to make it so? 

I sold a set of speaker cables just recently to someone that was from Vietnam, but wanted the item sent to his friend in California.  I agreed, he sent the PayPal payment and I mailed his package USPS Priority with tracking.  I also even took photos of the package with address and the item in the package.  After a week or so, he says that his friend did not get the package and made a claim on PP.  So I replied to the claim with a lengthy reply to PP along with the tracking number and photos I had taken.  I also included a photo of the e-mail where he had asked me to send to XXX address.  PayPal sided with him anyway and I was out $250. 

PayPal = POOP
Even locals like to practice paypal chargeback.
It’s the scammer’s favorite schema using their pal.
Dealing with payment processors or payment processing companies is identical to the boxing ring where you must protect yourself at all times and keep your hands up or you’ll get the blow at any unexpected time.
I have about 6 paypal accounts linked to the generic prepaid card banks so to make sure I’m covered. If anyone provides to paypal their personal bank, they must be out of their minds, because hackers get through paypal all the time to grab your personal info. I always retrieve paypal funds ASAP after payment is received to the different paypal account via friends-family transfer. if they want to place one of my accounts negative due to the scam, i’ll let them do it and ignore forget all the communication.
So I'm charge-back proof. If I loose one of paypal accounts I use, I won't regret and I'll be all right.
Sold item must be sent to the buyer’s verified address listed on the PayPal account. Period.
Wow what a sad story!!

Actually there are quite a number of sellers should join together for some chunky class action vs. Paypal on their scam successions. I bet it's going to affect its stance.

Don't forget a SIGNATURE upon delivery. I forgot that little point and took it in the shorts for $1800.00. Paypal did not back me. Recipient said he never received the item despite very detailed information from UPS including GPS tracking of the driver. Lesson learned and no love lost with Paypal...
Addendum: "Swiss" chap chose not to meet my (Albert recommended) terms..."when fun turns into tragedy".....but, disaster averted!  No sale.

Good points though if you do continue to use paypal; only send to verified address listed on paypal account and always get a Direct Signature!
Special thanks to beergut who has made us all sit up in our chairs a bit straighter. - Damn, sorry for your loss though.
Thanks to all who contributed.
...I may close my paypal account.

On this occasion, I might invite the audiogon administrator (after all, it's their site) to hopefully tout the many ways their new payment method would again reinvigorate and reestablish Audiogon as the #1 audiophile site with unparalleled
security.

Perhaps with a "hierarchy/tower portrayal of security" with tenure combined with feedback or other ideas we all might have to flesh out this thread. Times are hard, sales are slow. We need for this to be a viable site for our sales and purchases! Don't let this become another EBay.

Carry this thought forward with your creativity:

How could we enhance security?


 




How could we enhance security?

Pay more commission per transaction and security will get tougher. There also can be some insurance layers added per transaction as well. Lots of different ways of monetary control.

Enhancing security is best when done at your end, not PayPal. 
Scamming customer claims $1800 back? Guess what? In my case $1800 are gone to another paypal account and than to generic prepaid card account and than in my pocket forever. PayPal sets my account to negative, but I don't mind -- LET IT BE... Speaking words of wisdom LET IT BE... Have another account handy to receive funds or will make one -- doesn't take much to clone.
OMG..I have just sold a pair of interconnect to a vietnamese and shipping to US address. Bracing for further impact now. :(
Unfortunately, Paypal is a complete joke when it comes to this.  I know many cases where they were provided AMPLE evidence it was a scam and I believe they have sided with the scammer every time.  I agree with wire transfer of funds or paypal verified.  
This type of scenario is exactly why after several years I am still on the sidelines. Way back in the mid-80's I was a member of a smaller community called Audiomart. Primarily good people, mostly audiophiles buying and selling from a readers digest type of publication with communications via the telephone. I always sold my equipment with c.o.d. CASH only as the agreed payment method. Maybe I had about 20 transactions split between buying and selling and only had one bad experience. I shipped a Fidelity Research 64S tonearm to Florida, and in the end it came back to me. Total loss on my end was the cost of shipping. Why isn't this method of selling popular in the U.S. anymore?
"Truman" you violated your own rules.   You stated upfront that buyers with -0- feedback or lowball offers will be ignored.  A -0- feedback buyer contacted you and you chose to engage him.  Granted you did not complete a sale, but you also did not ignore him.

I understand why you were suspicious, but I also see where the buyer has tried to work with you, and offered to call you at their expense.  You can easily verify the location of the caller using online tools.  

I have dealt with foreign buyers who asked for delivery to a US address.  Quite common actually to either lower shipping costs, or to combine with other purchases to ultimately lower shipping costs to a foreign location.  When asked for this accommodation, I in turn ask the buyer to enter the new shipping address into their paypal profile, and then make sure it is verified before I ship.  I also stipulate that I do not ship until all funds have cleared my bank account (not cleared my Paypal account).  Never had a problem.

An alternative is to have the buyer send the purchase funds to their relative in VA, and have the relative purchase a US Postal Money Order that will be sent to you.  You can cash the MO at any Post Office, and you will know immediately if it is fraudulent.
Recently, most  of the "honest"  foreign buyers use to use carries here in the US (works like P.O. boxes) that will deliver whatever they receive for them to their countries. They also add this address to their Paypal so everything is in order and they can buy stuff here with no restrictions, and we as sellers are fully covered.  Other "creative" solutions offered by buyers should be considered as a "potencial" scam if Paypal is used. Remember, Paypal IS NOT our friend.