Almost scammed twice in a week on Ebay and PayPal

I wanted to upgrade from my Macbook Pro 15 inch SSD to a 13 inch Macbook Air since traveling with an air is much easier with battery life, weight, and size. I maxed out the specs for the Air. 1.7GHz Dual-Core Intel Core i7, Turbo Boost up to 3.3GHz, 8GB 1600MHz LPDDR3 SDRAM, 512GB Flash Storage. I assume that will be enough for my development needs and thankfully Apple gives you 14 days from delivery to bring it back for a full refund.

After putting my Macbook Pro up for auction starting at $1800…no dice. Then $1690 for buy it now. Someone bought it! I was so excited, but quickly did my research about the person and saw they created their account the same day, had 0 reviews, and 0 ratings. My guard has been up from paypal and ebay since I was young when I was scammed out of $300 for an Xbox. This time I looked into a bunch of different factors. The location where they wanted to send me did not match the cell phone number that was texting me or the number registered with Ebay. Did I say texting me? Yes apparently Ebay released my private information to the buyer who was then harassing me to “SEND YOUR PAYPAL EMAIL NOW SO I CAN PAY YOU… NOW!!”. If that didn’t scream SCAM I don’t know what does.

I called Ebay and told them that this person was totally trying to scam me. They agreed since they saw the lack of any purchasing / selling on this account. Plus most of the conversation (other than the texts) was via Ebay chat which the Ebay reps can look at. They helped me put in a case to close out this issue. The next day the person closed their account.

To help others out there who might be scammed by this person this is their info:

Email: [email protected]
User ID: tollylesexxx
Name: Tolly Lese
City: Cadet
State: MO
Country: United States
Phone: 850 677 5659
Cell Number: 630 796 0588

Now after being assured this is rare from Ebay…I put the listing back up. I went back and forth with a user via Ebay messages about my item and if I would ship it internationally. I was fresh off this scam so I did the same research. This person had a lot of positive feedback, 100% rating, and was signed up to Ebay for a while. They also were able to bid after I set my “Buyer requirements” high on Ebay. What that means is you can say the person needs to have at least 10+ items purchased under their belt to buy yours along with other variables to weed out scammers.

AWESOME!!!! That person contacted me during the Ebay auction and asked if I would ship to indonesia. I said sure as long as everything checks out I’ll deal with that. I just wanted this to be over! They put their bid for $1,300 and won. I lowered the price since now it was more about just making anything off this machine and getting it off my plate. I got an message minutes later asking to ship to this address followed by can you ship today? I laughed to myself and said “No I will wait until the money clears thanks”. I was waiting for the person to just abandon this deal as it started to feel like another scam. While I was hanging out with my family over the weekend, I checked my phone and saw that they payment was made! I was so happy that I got to that step since the last one was such an epic failure. PayPal said the money was pending and had to be “cleared” by them before I should ship.

The next day I got the email from PayPal. “Ok to ship” WOW I’m actually going to sell this laptop! The money cleared so I started writing my drive with 1’s and 0’s to make recovering data incredibly hard. Thankfully Mac has that built into Disk Utility to write the drive for a secure format. Basically your data isn’t deleted until you write over it again. I wrote over it again 5 times which should be enough as government standards say 7+ times is best.

As I was packing up the laptop to ship out I get an email from PayPal.

An unauthorized account activity claim was recently filed against the
following transaction.

Wonderful! Just when I thought I had a legit buyer…It was really someone who used another person’s account to pay for the item. The money cleared, but the person who paid realized that money was gone and contacted PayPal. Now I’m in the middle of another scam case a week later…for the same item. I called Ebay and flipped out. I ranted to the customer service lady Rebecca explaining the entire episode. She was shocked and the first thing she said to me after listening was great…”What would you like me to do?” I told her there is no way I’m paying for the Ebay fee since this listing was closed and I want that person’s account shut down. She informed me that Ebay receives the same notifications I do about Fraudulent charges from PayPal so they already have that account under investigation. He can’t buy or sell any items until that account has been checked by Ebay.

To help others out there who might be scammed by this person this is their info:

Name : Kerin Lawrence.
Address : Gg. Manunggal No.2c
State : Jawa Barat
Zip : 40142
Phone : +6287001050099

So now I don’t feel secure with PayPal or Ebay right now. Even though they “resolved” the issue I still fear it will happen again as the Ebay woman said Macs, iPhones, iPads are some of the highest scammed items on Ebay.

Lessons Learned / What to Remember for Ebay and PayPal

  • Always run your own background check on users of your products. If the names, numbers, and locations to send the item don’t match up…it’s probably a scam. Do a quick Google Maps search of the location you are shipping it to. Is there a house at that location? Is it being currently sold online by a realtor? I mention that as sometimes they could ship packages to houses that nobody lives in and just wait for it to be delivered.
  • Look at the user has 0 ratings be aware you could be getting into a scam.
  • If the user tries to take the money transaction off the normal Ebay way…it’s most likely a scam.
  • Contact Ebay and PayPal as soon as you have a feeling something is wrong. It’s better for them to have a record now rather than later. They will give you the best suggestions for your specific case.
  • Make sure to file a case on Ebay to get reimbursed for the Ebay listing fee.
  • If they are rushing you…put your guard up even more. Within minutes both of the scammers asked me when can I send it out? Can you do it today? I really need it! The second scammers story about “It’s a birthday present for my client so I need you to ship today” REALLY made me facepalm and think “Not again…”.
  • Just because PayPal says the money cleared and it’s okay to ship…It still could be a scam. Yesterday they told me it was okay to ship, today they told me it was fraud and hopefully I didn’t ship the item.
  • PayPal buyers protection DOES NOT cover items you ship to addresses OTHER THAN the PayPal address. In my case the person wanted me to ship to indonesia vs the address of the person in Australia.
  • It’s 2013 currently…Google the person’s full name that is buying your product. Do they exist online? This will either put your mind a bit more at ease or put your guard up even more. “Tolly Lese” didn’t exist on Google or Facebook.
  • Keep your conversation with the person as much as you can on Ebay messages. The more customer service can read the better off you are.