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 PayPal Fraud - Help please

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Hello I'm New here!

Joined: 20 Jul 2007
Posts: 3

PostPosted: Fri Jul 20, 2007 10:16 am Reply with quoteBack to top

Hi folks,
Have come on here in the hope that some of you can advise me on my current situation and also to see if I can get some info on how this has happened. I will try and stick to the point but apologies in advance if this is a little long-winded.
Yesterday morning (19/07) my bank branch rang me to ask if I was aware that they were due to pay out a sum in excess of 500 to PayPal, needless to say this was a complete surprise to me and advised them that I had not authorized the transaction. The bank were great and stopped the money by blocking the Paypal merchant ID and have returned the money back to my account. They advised me to contact Paypal and see what was going on which I then did by logging on to my account and sure enough there was a transaction dated 16/07 transferring money to a name and email address of someone I have never heard of !!
I rang Paypal and they advised me to fill out a form in the resolution centre of their website which I did and at 12:04 I received an automatically generated email telling me that their Fraud department would investigate thoroughly and that they would get back to me within 10 working days. However at 12:15 I received another email stating

"Through careful research of the transaction(s) you submitted, PayPals
Fraud Team has determined there is insufficient evidence in support of your
claim. As a result, we have refused your Unauthorised Account Use Claim."

So in effect after 11 minutes of "careful" research they did not think any fraud had been committed and closed the case!!
I then phoned Paypal again and demanded that they re-open the investigation, which they say they will and that a supervisor will contact me.................still waiting!!
Anyway the upshot of it is that as yet I am not out of pocket as my bank are refusing to release any money to Paypal, however in one of my conversations with Paypal customer services it transpires that Paypal have already paid the sum to the unknown party and if they find no evidence of fraud in my account will pursue me for the money!!
OK, that about sums my situation up but there are some questions I have which Paypal cannot answer and was hoping that some of you guys can help me out on.

1/ I have to my knowledge never clicked on a phishing link, and when logging in to my Paypal acc my password and email address were unchanged so how could this transaction have happened without an automatically generated email from Paypal detailing the transaction on the 16th being sent to my registered email address?

2/ The only details I have access to are an email address and the name of the recipient to who I supposedly transferred the money to, so how
can I use this information to get an IP address without alerting the Scammer? Yes I know I could send an email saying give me back my money you thieving B**tard but I would really like a location and even better a postal address and I doubt if that approach would help!!

Sorry if this has turned into an epic but I don't feel that I am going to get a fair investigation with Paypal (especially since they have already paid the money out!) and feel that I should try and find out as much as possible myself.
Thanks for reading this and would welcome any help in locating this Scum.
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Baiting Guru

Joined: 22 Jun 2007
Posts: 2239
Location: Gone for a while.

PostPosted: Fri Jul 20, 2007 11:29 am Reply with quoteBack to top

I'm not a PayPal or fraud expert in particular so my advice may not be what you're looking for, but hey it's the thought that counts, right? Smile

Anyway, here's what I suggest.

1. Scan your computer for malware. Get a really good good virus scanner (this implies that you avoid Norton/Symantec). Running AdAware, Spybot S&D and RootkitRevealer can't hurt much either. Lots of valuable stuff (e.g. PayPal credentials) is stolen by means of nasty programs on the victim's computer.

2. Don't change anything on your computer, including running any of the above programs, if you don't absolutely have to. The best thing is not to touch it at all. Because: ...
If they used some piece of malware on your computer to get your PayPal password, they might also have been slick enough to use your computer as a proxy for the payment, so all evidence points to you, and the only proof for fraud you might have is the malware on your computer. In that case it would be a bad idea to remove it. (This is highly hypothetic, but better safe than sorry, right?)

3. Inform the police ASAP, and mention this to PayPal (also see below).

4. Keep nagging the PayPal people until they get off their asses and start a serious investigation. As you've mentioned, if they've already paid the fraudster it's probably not in their interest to discover/acknowledge the fraud and thus forfeit the chance to get the money from you.

5. It goes without saying that you should change at least your PayPal and e-mail passwors from a clean computer. Smile

how could this transaction have happened without an automatically generated email from Paypal detailing the transaction on the 16th being sent to my registered email address?

Unless PayPal is in cahoots with the bad guys, my only guess is that they either temporarily changed your e-mail address (is this possible without the user being noticed? PayPal experts?) or intercepted/deleted the message from the mail server before you could download it. The latter seems likely to me, but I'm a person focused on computer security and may be biased enough to miss an obvious non-technical solution to the problem.

2/ The only details I have access to are an email address and the name of the recipient to who I supposedly transferred the money to, so how can I use this information to get an IP address without alerting the Scammer?

It's not possible to get the IP address from this information, as e-mail and IP addresses are two totally different things and independent from each other. This kind of stuff is, however, of course of interest for the cops.
(Experts - what are the odds of the recipient being some kind of mule?)

In any case I wish you good luck. If you'd like me to elaborate on something, just ask. Also, I'm sure that more experienced users will provide you with excellent advice that I've forgotten to mention here.
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Hello I'm New here!

Joined: 20 Jul 2007
Posts: 3

PostPosted: Fri Jul 20, 2007 1:03 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

Hi Bankster,
thank you so much for your detailed and helpful reply.
Some of the programs you mention I am already running ie AdAware and Spybot S&D however I have unfortunately been using Norton as my anti-virus mainly because I was having compatability issues with others as I am running Vista, so will look about and try and get something better, possibly Kaspersky? If you know anything better I'm open to any suggestions.

I changed all my relevant passwords yesterday using a different (hopefully secure!!) computer and have also put a transaction limit of 1pence on my Paypal acc, ideally I would have liked to close it completely but Paypal informed me that if I did this then they would automatically assume that I committed the fraudulent transaction and pursue me for their money Evil or Very Mad
I telephoned our local police hotline number yesterday and asked if they had a dept for investigating internet fraud, they asked me to explain what the problem was so I did and they then advised me to go to
and lodge my complaint, however after browsing that site it seems to deal with consumer issues and not direct money transfers and can't find anything applicable to my situation. I will go to my local police station this afternoon because I feel they may take me more seriously if I am actually standing there in front of them!!
As for Paypal being reluctant to carry out a thorough investigation because they have already paid out the money I totally agree that was my thoughts exactly!!
Have been badgering Paypal every 2 hours since I got up this morning but they still say I have to wait for a call from a supervisor so I just feel totally devastated as I have no confidence in them whatsoever being able to carry out a proper investigation.
I suppose my 1 consolation at this time is that my bank have totally blocked Paypal's merchant ID and have assured me that they will not be able to get any money from my acc.
However I don't suppose this will stop them pursuing me through different channels but I'll take 1 step at a time and cross that bridge if/when I come to it Rolling Eyes
If you can think of anything else I should be doing please let me know and thanks again for going into such detail with your reply It really is very much appreciated.
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Baiting Guru

Joined: 22 Jun 2007
Posts: 2239
Location: Gone for a while.

PostPosted: Fri Jul 20, 2007 2:35 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

Well, it looks as if you've already done everything I've suggested. Smile

so will look about and try and get something better, possibly Kaspersky?

I use Kaspersky myself and am quite happy with it (it detects everything), but it's a bit, erhm, moody on certain systems. I suggest you download the evaluation version and see if it runs fine on your system. Other people I know are happy with Avast or FreeAV.
With Vista I have no experience as I'm avoiding it like the plague.
Norton has a decent detection rate but is an incredible resource hog (not to mention the ugly user interface), and once you've got something on your system it's virtually worthless. (I've seen systems where Symantec itself was infected and malfunctioning but failed to clean itself, probably due to its own self-protection. I eventually had to take the systems offline to boot from a CD and brute-force deinstall it by hand.)

What I'd definitely do is visit the local police station. Even if they can't do a lot right now, you still have a piece of paper that proves you've talked to them and informed them of the fraud. Speaking of paper, document everything that you or other people (unfriendly PayPal people) do.

Potential leads would be the IP address from which the initial payment was made and the recipient's email address and name. If somebody accessed your mailbox to delete the payment notification, this might be documented too.
Once you convince the police to investigate it should be easy for them to obtain this information.
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Baiting Guru

Joined: 10 Sep 2006
Posts: 5496
Location: Yeah who can tell me where I am?

PostPosted: Fri Jul 20, 2007 10:07 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

Just downloaded Kaspersky on a W'98 machine, seems to work well, but naggs a lot Smile We'll kill that once we find out how.
Thanks for the tip

I don't do bling, I just do lads Evil or Very Mad
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Master of Master Baiters

Joined: 08 Jan 2007
Posts: 923
Location: Wide open spaces

PostPosted: Sat Jul 21, 2007 9:20 am Reply with quoteBack to top

I went down this road with Pay Pal a few years ago. I also was fortunate enough to identify the transaction before any money was taken out, but it is in only the last year that Pay Pal has accepted me back into the fold. I stopped any future transactions between my Bank Account and Credit Card and Pay Pal until the thing was sorted. It only took about two years.
I suggest you do the same, and do it quick. Someone has your Pay Pal details.You are now likely to get emails from a myriad of Pay Pal personnel who want to help you. It will be a first if you get to talk to the same person twice.
It follows from what you say that you have a verified account that can access your Bank A/c and/or C/Card. Kill that until the matter is settled.
Then ask Pay Pal very formally and firmly on what they base their assessment that the transaction wasn't unusual.
Slightly off topic, there was a thread here in the last week about a phishing email. I will put the link here:

Among others I reported it to Pay Pal. I quote a short part of their reply

If you notice a payment that you don't recognize, visit the PayPal
Security Center to file a claim. We'll promptly investigate any
suspicious transactions and you won't be held liable for unauthorized
payments sent from your account.

You could quote that back to them.

If you want to PM me any details you have on the other guy, I will have a look and see if anything baitable is there.
Do not email him from your regular account!!!

DEVIL NA E GO KILL YOU THIEF Williams J Spillboard
I will send a photo copy of your draft to your state security agent with all your information that you are using the money to finance TERRORIST in America that you have received one already, and you also involved in the slept 11 attack.

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Hello I'm New here!

Joined: 20 Jul 2007
Posts: 3

PostPosted: Sat Jul 21, 2007 4:44 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

Hi Folks,
thanks again for all your help and advice, just thought
I'd update you and let you know that I appear to have a positive result.
I went to my local Police station yesterday afternoon and after dragging the duty officer kicking and screaming into the world of internet crime he finally got a grasp on my situation and took all the relevant details to date and issued me with a crime ref. To be fair I live in a rural community and our local Police don't really deal with anything more exciting than the occasional shoplifter and the frequent village drunks!! Anyway after a few hours with the Police I felt as though my head was about to explode so I put off phoning Paypal till today.
Ok, so today I spoke to very helpful guy called Mark who has informed me that Paypal have further investigated and now have proof that my account has been accessed by a third party and that they are now actively pursuing the recipient to recover their money, he says that Paypal have closed the case between myself and them as they accept that I am an innocent party. The sum was apparently over $1000 (US) hence the figure of just over 500 appearing in my transactions and he also explained that the reason that I did not receive an automatic Paypal transaction notification to my registered email address was because the scammer had turned off this option in my Paypal account...............simple but effective Evil or Very Mad
Have got to say that I am incredibly relieved but at the same time bloody angry and still totally confused as to how they managed to access my Paypal account in the first place!!
Anyway for me personally I reckon I've had a lucky escape and won't take anything for granted in future.
My Paypal account is now closed and I never intend to open a new one.
My bank are issuing me with new cards and I have now shut my old account which was associated with Paypal.
I have now received an email from Paypal reiterating my most recent conversation with them but have still insisted that they send me a duplicate confirmation letter to my postal address which they have agreed to do.
As for my computer, I am about to start stripping it bare and intend to start all over again in the hopes of making it like Fort Knox!!
Thanks again for all your help Bankster and Afferbecklauder, don't think I would have got through this without your help and support I really appreciate all the time you guys have taken to help.
Afferbecklauder if will still PM you with the email and name of the scammer because although this appears to have ended OK for me I would hate to think that the same person would be able to do this to someone else so if there is anything you can do then go for it with my blessing.
Thanks again Folks,
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419Eater is my life

Joined: 26 Jan 2006
Posts: 349
Location: Out of my mind. Back in 5 minutes.

PostPosted: Sat Jul 21, 2007 8:25 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

may I also suggest you check to see if anyone has added their email address to your account? I know you are supposed to get an annoucement to that effect, but it wouldn't hurt checking.

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Baiting Guru

Joined: 22 Jun 2007
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PostPosted: Sun Jul 22, 2007 11:45 am Reply with quoteBack to top

Glad to read the good news. Feel free to PM me if you need advice on computer security, otherwise I wish you good luck and I hope they get that bastard.
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Hello I'm New here!

Joined: 07 Jul 2007
Posts: 9

PostPosted: Sun Aug 05, 2007 12:00 am Reply with quoteBack to top

I've received a slew of fraudulent emails lately, including ones from PayPal, eBay and banks I've never heard of. I guess ye olde internet connection in parts unknown has been strong lately.

I report these fraudulent emails.

[email protected]
[email protected]

As far as the banks are concerned, I google them and find the contact information on the site and report them.

I also forward spoof emails such as this to [email protected].

I take emails like this much more seriously than I do emails from the lads.
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Hello I'm New here!

Joined: 30 May 2006
Posts: 10
Location: San Antonio, TX

PostPosted: Thu Aug 16, 2007 6:30 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

I was just scanning this thread, and the bit about the original poster believing that he had never hit a phishing site caught my eye.

I'm fairly computer, network, and web literate. For the better part of a decade I was technical director and co-owner of a software firm. I handled computer security. I also clear estate toy lots on ebay in my spare time, having moved 12,000 to 13,000 items over the past eleven years. I've seen credit card scams... hacker attacks.... paypal scams.... all sorts of payment scams local and international... copyright infringement... software piracy... a long list. A large part of why I gave up being self-employed in software is because I got really super tired of dealing with a lot of this.

So, my point here is that I'm pretty darn careful online, and that I know how to be careful.

One of my standard practices is to use separate email accounts for ebay and for paypal. On several occasions I've had opportunity to start a new paypal account, which means a brand-new email account, never before used for anything else.

On each of those occasions, on EVERY ONE OF THEM, before the paypal account has been used to send or receive funds, before the email address has been used for ANYTHING else, that address has received fake paypal and fake ebay sign-in page link phishing scam emails.

Let me re-state that: for email addresses no one in the world has seen except for paypal, and possibly the operators of email relays, I've received phishing scam emails within 48 hours of first setting up an account, every time I've set up an account.

So... who's given the email information to the scammers????

- AE
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Not quite a Newb

Joined: 16 Mar 2006
Posts: 70
Location: On an adventure with Dr Quest..

PostPosted: Sat Aug 25, 2007 12:59 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

I want to add to the above reply with a hearty PRE- F*CKIN- CISELY.

I am a long time online with a ton of similar experience. The real leaks in things like ebay, and paypal and Visa and MasterCard etc... is not some slimy fraudster somewhere ferreting out some personal info here and there. Fraud is big business and the real leaks are from compromised individuals on the INSIDE.

Sign me security weary too...

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Not quite a Newb

Joined: 09 Aug 2007
Posts: 28

PostPosted: Fri Aug 31, 2007 3:30 am Reply with quoteBack to top

You can actually get quite a bit of useful information from the e-mail address. You can't necessarily find the IP of the person using it themselves, you can however find where the e-mail is being hosted and who it is being hosted by. Usually any legitimate e-mail provider will have an abuse address you can use to report this kind of activity. Even if you're unable to get any useful information out of it, the authorities should be able to.

REDiculously Rich: Newbie to the scambation
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