View Full Version : The headache is now a migraine...

03-01-2009, 04:47 PM
Hi everyone,

I'm new and have come to this forum because I have been duped. This may sound repetitive considering some of the threads I have recently read, but here goes...

I bought a blackberry 8330 off ebay and payed through paypal:

1. the bb was marketed as "new, never used"

2. received bb, called verizon (my current service)

3. can't activate because it was reported lost/stolen. told to contact seller.

4. shock, surprise, and irritation sets in (forgive my naivet'e)

5. contact seller: seller claims ignorance, its never been used.

6. reply to seller: um, verizon says different.

7. seller: must be mistake, never even opened it.

8. i then do some digging into the bb, everything is empty except there is a screen that says something along the lines of "my number xxx-xxx-xxxx"

9. contacted seller: if this bb belongs to you or someone you know, you or that person needs to contact verizon to fix this issue.

10. last contact from seller: i don't give refunds there must be some mistake.

11. reply to seller: what are you going to do about this? (*crickets chirping*)

12. lodged a dispute with paypal.

13. looked up phone number on internet. belongs to same brick and mortar address as the bb was sent from, but different name.

14. this "differently named person" is friends with the seller on facebook.

15. what do i do now? why would a friend steal a friends bb and sell it? what should i do with this bb (besides use it as a stolen, expensive paper weight?)

16. what is the next level beyond this migraine...

17. help!!!!!!

03-01-2009, 04:50 PM
Hopefully PayPal will get somewhere, since the PIN/IEMI have been marked as lost stolen you can't do anything from your side.

Hope you didn't spend too much on it.

03-01-2009, 04:57 PM
Thanks, Steve.

I spent less than I would have through my actual carrier to upgrade, what with their new every two and all. But, the money given to me to buy it was a birthday gift, and without it I wouldn't be able to afford it. It's like what I didn't pay for with money, I am paying for with this headache...

03-01-2009, 05:24 PM
Paypal should reimburse you for that. I would also file a complaint with ebay and contact the owner of the phone if possible.

I'm no angel, but that is about as dirty as someone can get. I'd sick the dogs on him.

03-01-2009, 05:31 PM
Do you have the Sellers Ebay Info? Just for future reference? I have never bought a phone off Ebay (this is why) but if I ever wanted to buy accessories for my phone I'd love to know who NOT to buy from.

03-01-2009, 05:41 PM
Thanks turnkey, I've left negative feedback for the seller and I've got an open claim with paypal. I almost wanted to contact the "sellers friend" about this stolen phone and maybe arrange to get it back to him, but the whole situation seems "fishy." Should I contact verizon to give the phone to them or wait and see what paypal says/does?

Cline, he is a relatively new ebayer (amazing how much info you dig about this kind of stuff after you've been cheated). I am not sure how much info I can release about this? If a moderator says its okay, I would be more than happy to post a PSA-warning about this guy.

03-01-2009, 05:59 PM
I'd go all out with this guy....

Also for future reference we have an FAQ for things to watch out for when buying a BB over eBay.

03-01-2009, 06:22 PM
I always loved eBay, but in the last couple of years I've done WAY less business there. Too much of this garbage going on, plus deadbeat buyers galore. I would guess that PayPal can resolve this, but lets keep our fingers crossed anyway.

Sounds to me that the original owner gave the BB to his arsehole buddy to sell, then reported it stolen to get a bogus insurance claim, either through Verizon or homeowner's insurance. Contacting the seller with this theory, and offering to let it drop if he makes it right immediately might bring results. Telling the seller that you've been advised to get law enforcement involved, but have not done so YET, might change his attitude.

03-01-2009, 07:02 PM
Thanks, Steve. I feel like I have been fair at this point, but now I'm really ticked off. I just don't want to be hasty and stupid. (Two wrongs don't make a right, but it sure feels great sometimes!)

Rambo, I am so glad you mentioned that, because it does sound like there is some kind of
"buddy-buddy" ring going on. Thanks for the suggestion!

03-02-2009, 05:32 PM
The seller most recently contacted me with the question "what do you want me to do?"

I didn't think it would be that difficult to understand:

Contact Verizon, cancel the lost/stolen claim, get a verification or tracking number for the canceled claim, contact me with this info so I can contact Verizon and get this setup properly.

Am I missing something? Am I being jerked around (some more)? I haven't replied yet, but any input as to how to deal with this character would be appreciated. Apparently, he needs explicit and simple directions on how to fix this...

03-02-2009, 05:49 PM
The seller most recently contacted me with the question "what do you want me to do?"

I didn't think it would be that difficult to understand:

Contact Verizon, cancel the lost/stolen claim, get a verification or tracking number for the canceled claim, contact me with this info so I can contact Verizon and get this setup properly.

Am I missing something? Am I being jerked around (some more)? I haven't replied yet, but any input as to how to deal with this character would be appreciated. Apparently, he needs explicit and simple directions on how to fix this...

The one thing you're missing is that Verizon will only retract a lost/stolen claim under very specific circumstances. I doubt very much you will get that status changed.

I don't believe there is anything the seller can do now to make this right save a full refund to you. Pursue your PP dispute and hang the seller out to dry. You've certainly met Pay Pal's dispute conditions....

03-02-2009, 06:03 PM
Thanks so much for your reply CO. As you probably have seen the dispute is already in PayPal's hands. I'm pretty much going to tell him what you've said "Unless I get a full refund from you, it's in Paypal's hands." I really don't think he gives a flying fig at this point. He got my money for the moment.

03-02-2009, 08:50 PM
I would contact EVERYONE on this. In addition to paypal who will hopefully get your money back, I would definitely open a dispute with eBay too. They ARE two different companies, so it helps to talk to both of them. And eBay will ban the seller and can stop him from opening up a different seller account.

Also, I don't know how you set up your account, but you should contact your bank or credit card company, whichever applies in this case. They also may be able to get your money back faster. They might tell you to contact paypal first, then contact them, but it can't ever hurt to let them know.

I would not threaten the seller with law enforcement, I would just do it. It is quite obvious this seller is commiting either theft or insurance fraud, either one will be taken seriously by law enforcement. An honest seller who did not do this intentionally would refund your money and tackle this problem themselves. Your only challenge here is going to be figuring out WHICH agency is going to handle it. It might be local for you, local for him, federal, etc. I am not sure which one, but a great place to start is your local sheriff's office, because they should know.

Then I would call Verizon back and find out who carries their lost/stolen insurance claims. I know for Sprint it is Asurion. Call them and report a potential insurance scam. Explain what you've found (the same address, different name, name is friend on facebook, etc) to them and they can investigate themselves. If you haven't already, don't mention what you found to the seller, he can easily change all this information (and probably should have if he was planning on actually pulling this scam off - thank god for stupid criminals, huh?).

I know it's alot of work, but the only reason this type of thing occurs is because we as consumers allow it. If we don't pursue getting these type of criminals then they are just going to continue.

Wish you the best of luck with this, I've been there with eBay.

03-02-2009, 10:18 PM
Thanks, Rachel. I actually just got off the phone with Verizon:

The phone was actually reported lost/stolen/damaged as of last summer. I also spoke with their Claims Dept (Asurian) and told them as much information as possible. I looked at the guys facebook and-wonders of wonders-you can no longer view all his friends. Hmm. I took a screen-shot of his page anyways.

I am a little confused about contacting Ebay. Will that affect my claim with Paypal? Also the status on my claim with Paypal is "open." Do I need to escalate my claim? Should I contact my bank now or wait to hear from Paypal?

I guess my next step is a little field trip to my local sheriff's department.

As I told the lady at Asurian...this was a rather expensive way to get a headache.

I want to thank everybody once again for all their suggestions. I hope this thread will help someone else to not get into the same "mess" I've got festering right now. I guess it's okay, if I prevent someone else from this. I type this as I fight the urge to rip my hair out.

03-02-2009, 10:28 PM
By the way, one guy was "smart" enough to private out his friends. But the other one wasn't.

03-03-2009, 01:27 AM
Wirelessly posted

By the way, one guy was "smart" enough to private out his friends. But the other one wasn't.

Good work and keep digging. Save all of the info you come across and confront the seller. I'd call him out on it, especially with finding out he's friends with the owner. It's a scam either way.

03-03-2009, 02:11 AM
Contacting eBay will not likely help with actually getting your money back. eBay will investigate the fact that he sold a "New/Never opened" phone that was lost/stolen. eBay can pressure the seller to give a refund, or ban him from using eBay. It should NOT affect your claim with PayPal, because eBay is going to look at this person's account and hopefully ban him to stop him and his friends from pulling this scam on someone else.

As far as escalating your claim with PayPal, what did you originally tell them in your claim? If all they know is you bought a phone that can't be activated and can't get a refund from the seller, then yes you should probably contact them and explain the rest of the info you have gathered so far. If they already know that stuff, I'd wait a little bit.

As for contacting your bank: I would definitely contact them now, but make sure you let them know PayPal is investigating this. They may start a claim and not pursue it until hearing from PayPal, or they may just tell you to wait. It can't hurt to call and be told to call back. The quicker you get on this and get the information to these places, the fresher it is. It gives you the ability to remember everything, and doesn't give the seller time to try to cover his tracks.

As far as him making his friends private, it's probably not going to help him much at this point. You've already seen it, which is what is causing you to contact all these people involved...and Asurion isn't going to go online and look...Asurion is likely going to call Facebook and have a warrant for all of his account info, proabably including msgs, etc between the two, that pertains to this problem. Insurance companies don't take kindly to being scammed...

Perhaps before you go to the Sheriff's office you should write it all out. If they're the ones who are taking the case, it'll help alot if you have it written all out ahead of time. Saves you from forgetting details once you get there. And if they send you to a different agency, you won't forget the details in transit...Oh, and make sure you print out all the screenshots you got too.

This kind of thing may take a few days, or even a couple weeks. It does suck to lose your money for that long, but they will definitley get it back for you.

You're not just helping by putting your story out... you're getting one more scammer out of the game here.

And next time you're looking for a phone, there are honest sellers on eBay. Before you buy the phone, PM the seller and ask for the PIN & IMEI. If they're honest they will give it to you. Some will even put it in their description. Then you can call Verizon and check it's availability BEFORE you put your money out there.

Good luck again with all of this!!

03-03-2009, 01:15 PM
I would go to his house and talk it out.

03-03-2009, 01:20 PM
I would go to his house and talk it out.

Chicago-style*. :smile:

*Al Capone reference.

03-03-2009, 06:51 PM
Rachel, you along with everyone else have a been A BIG HELP. Serpentine and Rambo, your comments made me chuckle. Believe me, I have to keep the little hellion that's going bonkers inside under control. I keep repeating "what goes around, comes around." Through clenched teeth...

03-03-2009, 08:24 PM
Ah, the high road. I recognize it from all the times I failed to take it! :)

You are, of course, correct. Yours is the right way. Not always easy, but definitely better.

03-03-2009, 09:19 PM
It'll definitley come around for this guy when you're done with all these phone calls.

It's a HUGE headache, but you live and learn, and I bet you'll never get duped on eBay again...Where do you think I got all this info, lol? Live and learn, live and learn.

Of course, when all else fails, I'd definitley take Serpentine & Rambo's advice... ;)

03-04-2009, 08:07 AM
Wirelessly posted

Let us know what happens with this. I'm sure this will happen to someone else, and this info could help if successful. Paypal should make you whole at least refunding your cash, but I believe the only justice will come if there was an insurance claim and there is fraud at play. Good luck.

03-04-2009, 05:58 PM
Hey all,

I will definitely keep everyone updated about what is going on. So far Paypal has contacted the seller with all the information. He has until Mar 13 to respond. However, I don't think that is going to happen. If he does respond, he seems like the type "to play dumb."

Rachel, I gave them all the information I had uncovered. Do they detail all that info to the seller in the dispute or do this some other way, i.e. paraphrase, etc?

Thanks again everyone.

03-04-2009, 10:17 PM
All the big companies have fraud departments. PayPal and eBay's departments start with a "cookie cutter" e-mail that they're going to send to the seller. Pretty much says "eBay buyer _____ has an issue with item # ______ that you sent them, and is requesting a refund under the terms of our _______ policy. If we do not receive a response from you by Mar 13, we will consider this issue resolved, and will have the amount ______ deducted from your account."

They might include blanket statements, such as "misrepresented descriptions" or say fraud is suspected, but odds are they aren't going to let out too many details. If the seller denies it and decides to fight the claim, PayPal is going to probably ask them for proof of ownserhip of the product: receipt, bill of sale, something.

Being that the phone was sold to you as "New/never opened" and is obviously locked from activation, the burden will fall on the seller to proof how he acquired the equipment. Whomever did the wrong will be tracked down by PayPal.

Odds are at some point PayPal is simply going to deduct the money back out of the sellers' account, and refund you the money because the item was not sold by eBay policies.

Have you spoken to the Sheriff's Office yet? I am curious to know what agency is in charge of this case.

03-06-2009, 04:08 PM
Thanks, Rachel. I tried to call the Sheriff's office today and I keep getting put through to the voice mail. I guess I am going have to make special time next week to go down there with all my info. I have a feeling even the sheriff's office isn't immune to "Friday Syndrome."

Paypal sent me an email yesterday stating that the seller has responded to the claim. I would absolutely love to know what his reply was, giving that his communication with me has been lame, at best. The thing that made me kind of more bummed than I already was is that Paypal said I would probably hear from them on their decision by April 2. That's a little while, but as long as they rule in my favor (I can't understand why they wouldn't) I am okay with that...

04-08-2009, 07:39 PM
Any updates, total?