Scary PayPal Stuff!PayPal Horror Stories

There are millions of PayPal horror stories on the internet today. There are many more yet to be written -- perhaps yours. This collection of "horror stories" is here to give you a small sampling of what others have gone through when dealing with PayPal. A good tip is to read our "PayPal TOS Exposed" section first, and then read some horror stories. You'll see how PayPal really works!

You can find more recent PayPal horror stories in our FORUMS and in our LETTERS TO THE EDITOR.

If you would like to submit your PayPal horror story here, you can CONTACT US and we will place your story in this section. There are other places on this website where you can submit your experience with PayPal. First you can post your story in our FORUMS. Second, you can have your story featured in our LETTERS TO THE EDITOR section. Third, you can submit your story in full article format and we will feature it in a special section. You can submit your article by CONTACTING US.

NOTE: The following stories have NOT BEEN EDITED for spelling and grammar mistakes. To protect user privacy, we have removed names as well.

Paypal decided to close my account and FREEZE my cash because a buyer had a questionable login name and inferred that I was selling adult material. Prior to this excuse they said I used their logo on my website (DO NOT HAVE A WEBSITE) then they said I changed my credit card too many times (DON'T USE CREDIT CARD - USE CHECKING ACCOUNT) then they finally decided to slander me with this complaint. I have contacted Paypal by telephone and by email but have yet to get a consistent response.

Further they will only tell you they will SEND YOU A CHECK in a "few" days but will bot quantify a "few" nor will they tell you the bank name that the check will be issued from. The funds are frozen and they ALONE are reaping the interest off of the money. I caution you about complaining to the BBB of Silicon Valley ( Despite that Paypal has over 2,800 consumer complaints, the BBB of Silicon VAlley keeps them in GOOD STANDING.

I sold merchandise to an individual and she paid me through her paypal account to mine for the goods. When I went to withdraw a money transfer this individual sent me for some merchandise I could not do it. When I went to my paypal account, it asked me to confirm my identity by giving them my Social Security number. They said there was a transaction that was done on the 25th that made them suspicious so they need more info.

I called them on the phone after looking at my account (which had no transaction for that date and challenged them on it. They told me they froze the account because a person I was selling to had problems with some of their buyers so they decided to hold it aganst me because I sold them merchandise. I cannot send the merchandise to another buyer because his money is on hold. The money the person who is having the problems is long gone.

Over a year ago I sold a used Leica M6 camera lens on eBbay. The buyer wrote and said that the item was "not as described" - he alleged a problem with the lens. Ebay checked into his complaint and closed the case having taken no action. A month and a half ago I received an e-mail from PayPal informing me that they had placed a "chargeback" against my account. Evidently his credit card company was requesting a return of funds because the item was "not as described".

I sent all pertinent information to PayPal, and asked many, many questions - to which I received no response except irrelevant form letters. I then received an e-mail from PayPal saying that they had my lens in their posession and they required a check from me for the amount of the refund due ($540.00). I have no assurances that the lens is in the shape it was in when I sent it to the buyer - over a year ago. I have no information as to how and why someone decided that the item was "not as described". I have no information about his credit card issuer's "chargeback" policy - which is usually about 30 days for most banks. A year and a half seems excessive.

I must tell you that the lens truly had been used by 2 professional photographers and they thought it to be in pristine condition. And I included many photographs of it when selling it. I suspect that the buyer did not pay attention to the descrption, and bought a "rangefinder" lens for a non rangefinder camera.

Damage Resulting: PayPal has charged me 544.00 - and has requested that I send them a check for that amount, at which time they will return the lens to me. The lens could be in pieces as far as I know.

I sold a computer on Ebay, about 2 months ago. The person was from California and said she/he had a nephew that lived in Illinois, and it was his birthday in 2 days. She/he asked if he/she could use PayPal to pay for the transaction, and if I minded sending the computer to the nephew in Illinois. I completed the transaction with him/her, and once I confirm that the package was delivered I left positive feedback on ebay for him/her.

A day after I left positive feedback I recieved a notification from paypal that A funds reversal has been initiated due to use of fradulant funds. I sent PayPal a copy of all emails, on the transaction, and they refused to give me any information, not even an IP address of the person that bought the computer off me, so I had no legal action that I could take on the person that took my money and my computer.

So far I have refused to pay PayPal because they have provided me with no proof that this transaction was not legitimate. I notified Ebay on the problem, and they did nothing to resolve the issue, I received no refund on the auction fees, and I even lost my registration because they claimed that I was the fraud.

Two months has passed and I just received an Email from a person in Pennsylvania, who has just had the same exact thing happen to him with the same ebay username! Now I notified ebay and paypal of the issue, and they did nothing to the person responsible, they didn't even suspend their account! And now someone else has fallen victum to the same person. I feel this is gross negligence on the part of Ebay and Paypal to alow this to happen twice by the same person with a 2 month time difference.

Sold $14,000 worth of planters on Ebay. Buyer put $1,400 down through PayPal then came to Indiana to pick them up. Three months later the buyer stopped payment on his credit card and PayPal charged my account the $1,400. The buyer later returned the money to PayPal, but PayPal sat on the money and sent me to collections!

Now my credit report has a collections on it. To this day they have not credited my account but say the buyer has sent the money, so I do not know what else to do.

Last week, Paypal sent a notice stating that my company was in violation of their acceptable usage policy for selling adult novelties, and as a result, my account would be restricted if it was not in compliance of their policies by 11/24/03, and would no longer be able to accept future payments. Upon receiving this notice, I altered approximately 600 pages of my website, in order to comply with their request, and adhere to their �user agreement�.

As of last week, well before their deadline, my website was 100% compliant with their policy and all of the stringent regulations they have set forth, per their email request. However, on November 26, 2003, I was shocked to learn that my account had been limited without any justification or warning, despite the fact that I had complied with their previous request. In addition, the funds from transactions prior to the date of their notice that my account was in violation were also locked. There was no fraud, or even the question of any activities such as that, or any other tangible reason for that account to be limited, other than non-compliance, which had already been taken care of days before the account was �limited�. Although my account is still �technically� open (their legal loophole I suppose).

I am not able to withdraw, or access any of the funds from my paypal account, nor am I able to spend those funds anywhere else. As of writing this, I still have $118.15 in my account, which paypal has adamantly refused to refund to me, giving no rhyme or reason. I understand that this is a relatively small of money, however that does not make it right. Regardless of whether or not my account, or any other account adheres to their policies, they have no legal claim to hold those funds without explanation or cause.

have been selling on ebay for about 2 years. I advertise Paypal as the online payment I prefer. On July 1, 2003 they reversed a credit card payment of 810.00 to a buyer that bought a mink coat on April 27, 2003 from me on eBay. Paypal just reversed the payment withput even contacting me first. I was shocked. As a seller I thought I was protected.

She said the item wasn't as described and wanted her money back. It was as described and I had the original sales receipt for the mink coat. Clearly written on the receipt is MINK and the original selling price. I also had a signature confirmation receipt from the post office. It was over 30 days since she paid me for it through paypal. She did not purchase the buyers protection insurance either. The previous money transaction on June 30, 2003 to my bank was cancelled and reversed back to paypal. My paypal account now is -810.00 as they reversed the payment for the mink, back to the buyer, just because she said wanted her money back because the item wasn't as described.

Now all the payments made to me by buyers of my auctions goes toward the -810.00. I don't receive any of the money that is being sent to me from the buyers, but I still have an obligation to my buyers to send the items they paid for. I had 5 days to contact paypal with the tracking numbers, which I did so, but nowhere was there a place to add any other information. The email I received from paypal said that they would make a decision within 5 days. I called paypal and asked about the sellers protection policy and about it being over 30 days. I also informed them that the buyer did not purchase buyers protection. I was informed that since the buyer paid by credit card, that none of the above applied.

The purchase showed that her payment was instant. Nowhere did it state that she paid by credit card. The seller is not protected when paid with a credit card, I was told by paypal. Then why doesn't paypal state that in their agreement up front? Paypal did tell me to fax them a copy of the original sales receipt that I had kept that was on the mink and a copy of the signature confirmation. I did that on July 1, 2003. I have still not heard anything from paypal and my account is still negative. I also informed paypal that I did refund to the buyer 13.00 in overpayment of shipping costs through paypal. Still no response on that either.

I am a very honest seller and try very hard to keep my good reputation. Paypal makes people believe that they can trust them. I want other sellers to know just what is in store for them if they use paypal.

Paypal which recently has been taken over by, has simply allowed a large amount of my customers to commit credit card fraud, and did nothing about it. I started hearing rumors on the ebay bulletin that there is a loophole with paypal. Any customer who pays by credit card for any product may do a reversal after receiving the product and keep both the money and the product simply BY STATING THAT THE PRODUCT WAS NOT AS PROMISED. That is it.

If the customer put non delivery, we can defend ourselves. The problem here is the money is tied up for a couple of weeks! Even though we get the money back within a month or so, the customer then does a chargeback with their credit card company. HERES THE BAD PART. THEY ALWAYS GET THEIR MONEY BACK!

Paypal tries to send an email that says anything over $250 you must have a signature stating that the customer received the package for us to support you. If you look at my paypal disputes list, you will see some examples of me just getting ripped off! The worse part is paypal froze my account due to people wanting chargebacks because i couldnt get to the money that was frozen. just yesterday i sold some items and the money was negated from my account instead of being added to the account.

Paypal needs to be overseen as they are the largest online bank for auctions and growing bigger everyday.

In January 2003, Paypal deducted $900.00 from my account for a fraudulent chargeback complaint. Even though I provided proof of delivery with signature, Paypal said it would take up to 75 days for the chargeback investigation to be completed. 75 days and many phone calls later, the funds were finally returned to my account. A second chargeback for over $915.00 was also deducted from my Paypal account. This time, however, even though I provided proof of shipping with a signature, the chargeback was finalized, and I will never see the money from this sale again. Paypal is unable and unwilling to provide their customers with any level of personalized service. They also can do little or nothing over the phone, aside from telling you your case has been stacked with the rest of them and will be handled in the order received.

Effective today Paypal froze my account; their term Limited Access -- meaning I can do nothing with the money. I sold two Vulcan Griddles (a three burner and a four burner). The buyers paid using Paypal. I requested that $1200.00 oof the $1434.00 be transferred to my bank account. After waiting two days for the EFT, they reversed the transaction and requested more verification before I can regain access. Due to this fact I have placed a hold on the shipments for Monday and have faxed Paypal the requested information. They say 3-5 business days to resolve the matter. However, my account already shows that they have verified the account and my social security number.

It has already hurt my reputation with my buyers due to the fact that I felt obligated to inform them that their shipment may be delayed and why. If the buyer backs out I am out the sale and the fees, plus my reputation will be worthless and the equipment, purchased specifically to resell will be nothing more than a storage problem.

PayPal froze my account $100 because I added a second credit card and started transferring money there. PayPal told me I needed to veriy the account. I did, and sent proper documentation. This took a week.

Three business days later they told me I need to change my password and "secret questions" before I can withdraw money or unfreez the account. I did that. 10 min later they send me another letter saying the only way to release the hold on my account is to verify the account (which they had already checked) and send the documentation (they had already sent me an e-mail verifying that they had received the fax and reviewing it)

This may not seem like a major problem but I need that money to ship the items paid for. Also the amount in the account has tripled from auction's ending. My total time locked out is estimated at 3 weeks minimum. They have caused me considerable headache and financial grief without reason other than they are having unrelated security problems.

I have been using Paypal on my Ebay auctions for so long. I clearly indicated on my auction page that I prefer this form of payment and a lot of customers use Paypal to pay for their merchandise. All the while I thought it was safe and secure to use them.

Out of the blue, on February 27, 2002, at 8:00 A.M., I received an email from Paypal saying that I have added another Paypal email address and that this change was my primary PayPal email address on my account with them. Nobody else knows my password on that account and no one at home uses, so I could only think that this has to be an inside job from Paypal who did this. I started to email Paypal to inform them about it, but I could not access to this email address anymore.

It has been very hard to contact them. All the emails that I sent them got the same response, to log into my account, which I could not of course because my account name was not valid anymore. Distressed and frustrated not able to get any resolution to this mess, I emailed them about this fraudulent act and finally on March 1, 2002, I was able to get hold of one of their employee named Doug, and told him the problem.

I have suffered harrassment from angry clients who thought that I just decided not to accept Paypal as mode of payment when in fact it was in my site that I accept payments through Paypal. Although I emailed my clients on the temporary suspension of Paypal until the problem is solved, some customers did not even read my note; they simply made payments to Paypal. I advised them to make a reversal of their payments to my old email address and some are having problems doing that and they are as frustrated and annoyed with the poor Paypal customer service. They are asking for help on how to get through to PayPal other than by email; and there is no phone number to reach them.

They have frozen my account that I rely on for business, and have complyed with everything that they asked me to do, and they still have done nothing! I have been out alot of money, buyers can't send me payments nor can I withdrawl money from my paypal account that has $646.00 in it that I really need to use!

I work for myself on the Internet. I have a simple ezine with over 1000 subscribers. I also join many marketing and affiliate programs. One such program I joined is called "Pay Direct Pal Depot." It is an affiliate program in which monies are paid to members' accounts upon joining.

Pay Direct Pal Depot program has many products for the one time 20 dollars one pays to join. The list is so long of what you receive that it would be silly for me to place it all here. However shortly after Pay Direct Pal Depot entered the net, Pay Pal froze their account. I was making 200 dollars a day almost from that great program and many others were making money and utilizing their good products. Now I have lost my good name and reputation due to the fact Pay Pal shut them down for no true legitimate reason.

How? Because I informed my subscribers of what a good program it was and they paid their good money of 20 dollars of which some never were able to utilize the products because pay pal shut them down so quickly. I feel paypal does these things in order to receive interest off companies and peoples monies. I am beginning to believe that Pay Pal is ONE BIG SCAM itself. Although I have never had my little account froze my them, I have lost more than once due to them shutting down legitimate business on the net.

I have sold several items on Ebay and to make payment faster and easier, I recently created an account with PayPal, which accepts credit card payments from buyers and deposits the money into my account after taking a fee of almost 3%. I signed up for PayPal because Paypal is often used on and heavily advertised on Ebay as a type of "secure" payment that protects both buyers and sellers.

Unfortunately, I have discovered that PayPal is not what it advertised itself to be. I recently sent a bag (on or about July 20, 2001) to the winning bidder of one of my ebay auctions in the amount of $114.00. I received payment notification from PayPal, indicating the amount paid and the name and address of the person to whom I was to ship the bag to. Shortly after receiving payment, I sent the bag with insurance at the United States Post Office.

After a couple of weeks, I received an email from PayPal notifying me that I may have received the funds "fraudulently" and that they were currently investigating. I was also notified that as a result of the investigation, the $114 less PayPal's fees would be put on hold. In other words, they took that amount out of my account for no legitimate reason and without proper information.

I emailed PayPal back and provided them with all the information I had including, but not limited to, the name and address where I sent the bag, pictures of the bag I had taken, and the date when I shipped the bag and the "tracking number" on my post office receipt. When I never received a response from PayPal, I called their 888 number and was told no information could be given to me because it was currently under investigation. I also inquired as to why PayPal was so quick to withdraw the money from my account and expressed my concerns that this was quite unfair for there was no proof anything was "fraudulent" and that I indeed had proof that I had sent the bag to the address given to me by Paypal. In addition to wrongfully taking my money out of my account, they stopped paying me interest on the amount withheld despite the fact there was no clear and convincing evidence anything wrong had happened.

I then received ONE email from PayPal indicating that the tracking number I had provided was NOT valid and requested that I contact the post office. I immediately contacted the post office and was told that the Post Office cannot electronically track packages and that instead, the post office requires the recipient of the package to sign for the package and that signed card would then be sent to me. I then conveyed this information to PayPal that the post office did not in fact have an electronic tracking system. However, rather than respond, I recently received an email from PayPal indicating that they have "determined tha the funds I received were given to me fraudulently" and the payment of $114.00 less PayPal's fee was permanently withdrawn from my account.

As a last resort measure, I contacted the buyer to find out her side of the story. I received an email back from her today and she indicated that she had been out of the country and when she returned, she found out about the mess PayPal had created. She told me that she DID receive the bag and there was NO FRAUD that she complained about. Rather, she said PayPal told her that she used the wrong email address to make payment and as a result, PayPal erroneously concluded that the transaction was FRAUDULENT.

Based on the information PayPal provided me, it insinuated that the buyer had made a complaint, but I have since found this is NOT the case and instead, PayPal acted on its own to take money out of my account and prevent the buyer who has received my item, from paying me the money I am owed.

Ebay of course does not concern itself with these problems, but I feel they can hardly claim to be a global service when they provide so little information about how people can pay for goods sold. In an effort to overcome this, and acting on pressure from some buyers in USA, I joined PayPal late last year (2000).

Some transactions went smoothly until late March this year. I had a successful auction of some items, the largest being a rare typewriter valued at AUD$2,500. A collector in New York was the highest bidder and because I had noted in my auction details that payment could be made by PayPal, he of course wanted to use this service. He, along with three other buyers, lodged funds with PayPal. Despite my best efforts, I could not retrieve the funds from Paypal, and it was obvious to me that the methods of transferring funds had changed substantially since the last time I successfully used Paypal to transfer funds to an Australian credit card account.

Their website instructions kept asking me to lodge details of my US bank account, which of course I don't have, and probably couldn't have even if I wanted one, being an Australian citizen living half way around the world. After countless efforts by email to get some explanation from Paypal, an executive responded by saying that since early March, PayPal's ability to send funds to Australia had been taken away from them by credit card authorities.

Paypal took no steps to inform their customers of this, and had I not become rather agitated in my emails, would still to this day be sitting on funds it had withdrawn from buyers' bank accounts or credit cards, with no way of me claiming the money. It was frustrating for both buyer and seller to have funds sitting in a PayPal account, with the buyers wanting their goods, and the seller (me) being unable to transfer the money. Stalemate, with PayPal offering no advice other than "tough".

As soon as I became aware of this, I denied all payments and emailed urgently to all buyers advising them to contact PayPal and get their funds returned. I believe this has now occured, but not without a lot of anxious moments for the buyers.

Now, as a result of the continuing frustrations of being unable to send funds to Australia without huge imposts through banks, my main buyer of the AUD$2,500 item has renegged on the deal. I have reported this to Ebay who have already taken their fees from my credit card for the so-called successful sale. I am now AUD$2,500 out of pocket due to the lack of performance of PayPal and due to their lack of advice to customers about their inability to move funds to many countries. None of this is made clear on their website, which is a minefield of poor information and assumptions that everyone dealing with Ebay and PayPal are Americans. It is obvious they do not understand global trading.

As a businessman myself, I have never had such a frustrating and time consuming experience as trying to get rational information from both Ebay and Paypal. Their customer service is non-existent, with all emails being answered by either a computer with bogus Christian names. Eventually, after constant emails to every possible contact point, a human being responds, but even then, it is full of condescending platitudes and no answers. The events of the past month have severely dampened my enthusiasm for online auctions and proved conclusively to me that unless one has credit card facilities (and even then many people will not want to provide their credit card details to a private individual - why should they), international players like Ebay should place prominent warnings on their sites that explain the difficulties of sending funds from one country to another.

I have been buying and selling over ebay for a long time and began to use Paypal. In October '00, I was running low on cash and had to sell one of my guitar gears, particularly my DigiTech RP2000 effect processor. I sold it on eBay and the buyer decided to pay it with Paypal. I thought it was reasonable because Paypal verifies every user's bank and credit card account before they allow them to do transactions. I accepted the fund and deposited it into my bank account. The buyer told me to send it to Indonesia using FedEx Intl, so I did.

Transaction completed, at least I thought. Not so. In January '01, Paypal sent me an email message saying that "The buyer of xxxx transaction used fradulent card to pay for $450 of goods, please send us the info and we'll determine whether we'll backcharge you or not." So I called FedEx and got the tracking number (which I had thrown away a long time ago) and gave all the info I had about the transaction to Paypal. The next day, Paypal told me they would reverse $450 from my account. I was outraged because it's Paypal's job to make sure everyone is credible. Now they failed to do their job and it took them 3 MONTHS(!) to figure it out and they are blaming it on me. So by their definition, I would have lost my guitar processor, and another $450 for something I already shipped?

Someone sent me $177.70 using PayPal. I have tried for 2 days to withdraw the funds. They won't let me get at it without giving them my checking a/c or credit card. I didn't want to do that. Just withdraw my funds. They wanted me to fax them my utility bill, that was inconvenient. I finally tried to send it back to the source, but that hasn't worked either.

I ordered an item from Ebay and never received it. A dozen other users had the same exact experience with the same seller. Despite following their instructions to file a complaint with Ebay/Paypal protection services they did nothing for me nor any of the other buyers. The seller was a fraud and Ebay/Paypal protected him!

Ebay And Paypal protection services are a scam and the goverment and better business services should force them to stop their claims. Ebay is risky and users should be warned before making any purchase.

Purchased Ford 360ci valve cover over the Internet. The seller wanted me to use Paypal. Forty days have transpired since transaction. We have already received the credit card bill and paid it but we have not recieved the merchandise. I filed a complaint (online) with Paypal and their response was that they do not pursue complaints filed more than thirty days after the transaction.

Damage Resulting: We will lose $65.94 in addition to not having the merchandise.

They knew seller gave me wrong pick-up tag number for a broken/damaged computer but they closed my case anyway saying seller requested tracking number and I gave wrong one. Seller requested number from Paypal knowing he gave me wrong one. Smart thief knows the rules. I don't.

Damage Resulting: Loss of $142.50 from my Social Security Disability check.

I received an empty envelope from an ebay seller (I should have recieved a 6X6X12 box). Seller disappeared so I filed for buyer protection with paypal. The first question the form asks is, "did you receive anything, click yes even if the package was empty." I clicked yes and explained. Claim was denied because it is now a "dispute of goods" issue, and not a "non-receipt" issue.

Even now that criminal charges are filed on the seller, and paypal has been subpenaed for their info, they still contend that the envelope was "something" and not a "non-receipt".

I purchased merchandise from a vendor using PayPal for protection. Vendor was dishonest, I was deprived of the product that I purchased. PayPal investigated and determined I was due a refund, but said they could not collect from the vendor. Since PayPal charges a fee for their involvement in online transactions, I feel that they should refund me and go after the vendor themselves. Instead they've essentially told me "you're out of luck".

Damage Resulting: I paid $619.00 for merchandise I do not have.

I made a payment to someone, but entered the wrong email address, which happened to be a valid paypal account. Even though the person has not claimed the payment, paypal will not refund me. Now wouldn't you think that if I originated the payment, and it's unclaimed that I should be able to cancel it? Paypal is a ripoff.

I won 2 Sony Vaio laptop from him totaling $2098. I paid for it and then never received them. I filed a complaint to paypal. Paypal came back with me by saying we admit the other person is at fault but we can't do anything about it because we do not have his permission to give you back the money. Now I owe $2098 to my credit card and so far no one is willing to do a single thing about it.

This company has had my account restricted since June 2001. Despite furnishing all requested information, they continue to restrict my account. The customer service is totally unsatisfactory and incompetent. They are slow in responding to any questions. They freeze funds without regard to the rights of the account owners.

We did not receive merchandise from an Ebay auction but filed a claim with our credit card not paypal. We were rejected by the credit card who referred us to paypal. Paypal rejected due to the fact it was more than 30 days after the transaction. The supervisor was arrogant and no better than talking to a machine. Refused to give mailing address to the president. Paypal offers absolutely no service after the transaction. They stonewall you and hide behind policies. My worst consumer experience ever. I have an Ebay rating over 150 feedback with all positive. Buyer beware! You might as well send cash.

I have a debit card with PayPal. I have disputed charges against two companies, Paypal has done nothing about the charges except make the problems worse. PayPal is the worst bank debit card anyone can use. Any normal bank would have immediately credited back the charges and investigated the consumer's compaint.

I disputed Hotel Charges and PrePaid Legal Service charges. It appears PayPal thrives on being rude and non concerned about customers. If there are any left down the road I will be amazed.

I purchased my first item from paypal and had trouble sending it because the seller would not send products to an unconfirmed address. Finally, my address was confirmed and my payment was accepted. Recently, I checked my checking account and realized that paypal withdrew two payments of $37.10. After I wrote them about the problem, they wrote back that they only withdraw what is approved by me.

I wrote them back on August 12 stating I purchased one item for $37.10 and to please contact me immediately about this. I followed up on August 14 for a response and have not heard anything yet.

I will cancel my paypal and probably not trust any business transaction on the internet again. I just feel they were rude in their response and not very responsible in their business dealings.

Someone fraudulently used my credit card to pay themselves cash, using PayPal. I did not have a PayPal account prior to this incident. PayPal refused to give out the payee's information; not to me or the credit card investigators. They stated that they are protecting the privacy of the individual (who used my card illegally). Basically PayPal used my credit card without my permission and is taking NO responsiblity to hold those accountable for the fraud.

I may have information that can lead to the person doing this, however I can't be sure unless PayPal cooperates. Also PayPal helps perpetrate these crimes by NOT doing anything about it. Someone is using my identity and PayPal is helping them do so. I want closure, even if it is shown that the payee is a fake person or that money was delivered to a mail drop.

I recived an email form what I thought was from PayPal, a name I knew. The ad was for a camera at $19.95. All I had to do to receive this deal was to join PayPal. I did so and entered my credit card number. The ad said to allow 4 to 6 weeks or delivery.

After 7 weeks I filed a complaint with PayPal, a lengthy process. They say it takes 30 days to research a complaint. After the 30 days their response was that I should contact the seller. Well the only address I had was PayPal. After more emails they gave me an email address of This address is not a good one.

I told Paypal that the address is no good. Now they tell me that that account has a $0 balance and there is nothing they can do. If they are not invoved in this I think there is plenty they can do. Where did the money go? Who did they send it to? I would never have gone for this offer except for the ad saying it was PayPal, a name I have heard good things about. Their answer to that was that they have no control over how their name is used.

Over one month ago, I paid for a laptop computer through PayPal. The seller substituted a computer that does not match that specified in our correspondence or in the PayPal payment itself. After waiting an entire month for PayPal to investigate this transaction and issue a refund, they have denied my claim. According to their message, because an item was shipped and received, they will not get involved in disputes over the "attributes or quality of goods received."

What if the guy shipped me a box with a toaster inside? It appears that PayPal cares nothing about protecting legitimate buyers from people like this! I have a laptop computer waiting to return to a fraudulent seller and I'm out the $530.00 I could have spent on a suitable laptop. This seller is insisting on a 25% restocking fee even though I never received the item I paid for in the first place.

I made my first and what will be my last transaction using paypal yesterday. I had finalized the purchase of herbal remedies with a company in the Philippines on Monday. The company advised me to use paypal as they had used it before.

To make this story as uncomplicated and short as I can: I wanted to send a payment of $50.00 using my Mastercard debit card. My account has been debited twice but my recipient never received any funds at all. Trying to deal with paypal about rectifying the situation has become more and more infuriating. Paypal needs to be investigated or audited - something's not on the up and up with them and they distance themselves effectively by sending cold-blood e-mails saying "in response to your inquiry, please note that for security reasons..." What kind of "security" did I receive when using paypal?

I am out $100. I will not receive my order. My nerves are shot trying to deal with this situation while I am at work.

Account arbitrarily suspended. They held funds ($158) in my account with no way to gain access to either pay bills or get refunds despite several emails. No resolution 30 days later. Credit card on file arbitratily suspended without notice or reason. Other cards submitted to obtain funds they held in my account frozen because of system problems on their end in veryifying cards.

I checked with my credit card providers and they verified that no queries had been received from Paypal at all, let alone any refusals issued. 3 emails sent with boiler-plate responses to try another credit card. Finally managed to connect a bank account to their system and withdraw most funds and they charged over 20% for the service.

Terms of service arbitrarily changed: I am now trying to close my account for good ($8.40 remaining) but the minimum withdrawal they will accept is $25.00) and they will charge $20. for this service. Numerous other complaints about this company are starting to appear in my emails and on eBay.

I had several auctions where I had agreed to paid by or receive funds by Paypal, which is acting as a quasi-bank, and had to scramble at the last minute with much loss of face to clients. If you encourage a client to accept a method of payment that you can no longer fulfill, he figures for sure you're a deadbeat.

I have had nothing but trouble from and unfortunately for me being both a purchaser and seller on Ebay, it is very convenient for all to use. The first problem I had with Paypal was right before Christmas.

I made several transactions for purchases and a few days later, I received a statement from my bank showing overdrafts and overdraft fees of $450.00. This was because when making a transaction, Paypal took the money directly out of my bank account, but also put a hold for the same amount of money on my credit card (for their protection) which was my debit card. Because I used my debit card, there was a double hold for each transaction on my checking account.

When I went back through Paypal to see if they had indicated that this would happen, I had to go through 4 windows in order to see that they did state that a double hold would occur. If they had written out their policies on paper, the debit card info would have been so small, I would have needed a magnifying glass to read it. When I informed Paypal of this and to see if they could reimburse any of my overdraft fees (since I technically wasn't overdraft), they were not sympathetic at all and I had to call them everyday for two weeks before I finally got a live person in accounting who would tell me this.

The second problem I had with Paypal was on 12/28/00. I had a 'gift card' which is a Visa Card with a set amount in my account. I tried to make a purchase using my gift card and when I entered it into the computer, it would not allow that credit card and cancelled the transaction. No problem except that the $50 I had in my account is now on hold with Paypal for 5 days and they won't release it, even though the transaction was null and void and was never completed. I am very frustrated with them because although they do state on their website all of the info you need, it is hidden behind so many windows that unless you specifically know what you are looking for, it could take you forever to find it. By that I mean the debit card (or instant purchase) info vs. what they call an e-check.

Also, when you go to make a payment to anyone, Paypal automatically defaults to the instant purchase (which causes the double holds when you use your debit card) and you have to go manually change which type of payment you want to make. It can be tricky if you don't know what you are doing and I think that consumers should be aware of the problems.

I don't think I have to tell anyone of the emotional stress I was caused by the $450.00 overdraft fees for holds which were not taken off my account even though the transaction amounts were taken out of my checking account immediately and paid. (I had plenty of money in my account, but not enough to cover double what I charged)

I used to pay for an auction. They paid through my checking account instead of billing my Visa. In addition to billing my checking account, they put a hold on my Visa for the same amount. After the transaction went through and the money was debited from my checking account, they continued to freeze my Visa. I have sent 4 emails to their Customer Service contact information and no one has responded. They do not list a telephone contact, nor are they listed in Palo Alto, CA directory. I have received extremely poor customer service.

This event has resulted in bank finance charges and a hold on my Visa for the entire weekend (one weekend before Christmas and much shopping left to do).

On Sat. Nov. 9, 03 I received an email from Pogo with my Paypal password right on the monitor screen. Could not believe what I was seeing. I notified paypal but only got an automated response and a long distance telephone number with automated service. I changed my password and security questions. I also have closed out my credit card. Am waiting for 2 transactions to come in. One is good but not sure about the other one.

I will never, ever use Paypal again. Only use money orders and cashiers checks. I did not become verified with my bank account. So glad of that. I have heard of other happenings, but never thought it would happen to me. Paypal had to give out my password, no one else had it anywhere. I have nothing godd to say about Paypal. More like dirt-pal to me.

Still haven't received a reply other than they are investigating this. Right, take a number and wait!

From the end of September 2002 until October 22, 2002, someone withdrew $2900 from my checking account through the PayPal service. As soon as I received my monthly checking statement my husband called PayPal to report the fraud. The money was taken in increments of $50, $100, $200, $500 over several days during that month. PayPal changed our password right away once we called them. Since then, no other unauthorized money was taken out of our checking account.

My husband has called PayPal every Monday since we found the fraud asking for the status. Each time they say they are checking into it and will let us know. After over four months, I feel I should be reimbursed for the $2900 minus my $50 liable. According to their website, they are suppose to resolve all fraud complaints within 45 days. Obviously this is not the case since I have yet to see any of the $2900.

Because I am out $2900, this has been an economic impact as it would be to anyone when you are talking about this kind of money. I can't understand why they don't know where the money was transferred to. Don't they keep records of their transactions?

Someone hacked in the Paypal account, stole over $5,000 dollars from my bank account, in several amounts like $1,000, $800 and $500. Thank God my bank was quick enough to let me know about those unauthorized transactions. Called Paypal, they told me to change my password and security questions but did not do anything else, the hacker was still able to access my account. Paypal treated me like I was a criminal when I am the victim here.

I do not know if that person or persons who hack into the account did any further damage yet, hopefully it did not but I am considering legal action against Paypal, because they violated my privacy and information.

Good luck, Miguel. You can't take legal action against PayPayl because their 25-page service agreement requires you to submit to binding arbitration in lieu of legal action.

I was defrauded in an Ebay transaction, $1130. I was notified shortly after I paid by paypal by another victim of this thief that I was also probably a victim. I notified paypal, ebay, the ifcc, my credit card, all to no avail. Paypal told me at first to wait, and that they had "special ways" of getting my money back. I never got it back, and all I get is a runaround from Paypal and ebay. They will not tell me if they used their "special ways" to get my money back, they may have it, but I never see it. It is also notable that after I notified Paypal and ebay, the same seller sold the same item again under his own name, and then under another name -- all while Paypal and ebay were playing with my comlaints. There must be a half dozen victims of this fraud at least.

I lost $1130 and will never do business with ebay or Paypal again, and suggest that others be warned. I wish I had read this column and prior to doing business with them. A hard lesson learned. I will, however, take them to Small Claims Court and see what happens.

I have recently received payment on my PayPal account from the Philippines. Once payment had arrived on my PayPal account I shipped my laptop to the Philippines (which I had auctioned) and transferred the proceeds to my local bank account. PayPal has now reversed the payment because it came from a fraudulent source. Now PayPal wants me to balance my PayPal account which is obviously deep in the minus because of the reversed transaction (was at 0 before the transaction reversal).

My argument:

  1. PayPal should not have cleared the funds onto my account before they actually were drawn to the relevant bank. No major fin. institute does it that way, which is the reason for the longer processing time. PayPal knows that most clients use PayPal to find out if funds have been transferred. Declaring transactions as completed without verifying their legitimacy and reserving the right to withdraw the funds at a later stage is deceptive and not usual business practice. As a result their business conditions are not enforceable.
  2. PayPal is not in accordance with the electronic funds transfer act which requires that a fraud victim be provided with all available information about the fraudulent transaction within 10 days. I still do not know who, how, what bank, what kind of fraud etc. As a result PayPal has no claim on my funds (as described by the EFT act).
  3. I qualify for the protection policy PayPal has. First PayPal claimed I did use non traceable delivery (express mail). When I proved them wrong, they changed strategy and told me that the reason I do not qualify is that the payment I received had no confirmed address. I could find neither of the conditions mentioned on their web site, although they might be there somewhere. Their argument: I checked the box "I agree".

The disputed sum is $537 (leftover of initial $560 transfer after they took 4% commission)

Yesterday I found my checking account cleaned out by numerous Paypal transactions totaling over $7000. I have not used my Paypal account since November, nor have I purchased anything over the internet. I spent all day trying to get the charges reversed by Paypal and Paypal has done this for now. Then I had to dispute the charges with my bank and to credit me for the overdraft charges $203. I only had a balance of around $9 in Paypal and luckily only $134 in my checking account. My husband's paycheck will be deposited tomorrow and I'm afraid all these charges will leave me with no money. I was unable to stop the direct deposit of the pay for this week, but have done so for next paycheck, and will probably have to cancel my checking accounts.

I won an Ebay auction for a fancy camera, and immediately got two DIFFERENT e-mails from two diffrent people asking for payment. Each e-mail had these exact same words: "i am seller of camera on ebay. pay only by paypal". One e-mail had the total $494. The other e-mail had the total $497. Confused, I responded to BOTH e-mails that I would pay directly with Paypal, but asked WHICH was the amount. I recieved no answers at all for two days from either party. I wrote again. No answers.

Frustrated, I went back to Ebay and pressed the "Pay Now" with Paypal button. There was only one request for payment there. In the same broken english were the same words: "i am seller of camera on ebay" with the amount of $494. It seemed okay. So, I TRUSTED Ebay and Paypal and followed their directions. $494 was taken out of my charge card account. I waited two days and went back to the auction site which showed that "Buyer has Checked out". Again I sent lengthy e-mails to the two e-mail addresses provided, asking about the camera shipment. I got one brief response. "No payment received." But I thought I HAD paid!

I went back to Paypal's site and found ANOTHER request for payment in the EXACT same wording: "i am seller of camera on ebay" with the amount of $497! Above it was the now PAID item for $494, paid to an unverified unknown female party OVERSEAS. At this moment it struck me like a ton of bricks: Was I was a victim of a transaction interception? My funds had been given to a woman OUTSIDE of the auction, and outside of the country! I had to do the right thing. I went back to Ebay and found the real seller's ID (a man) and e-mailed him immediately, and paid him his funds of $497.

Within hours I got a brief e-mail with the words: "Camera has been shipped". I then wrote the man two more e-mails asking about the lady overseas who got the previously sent $494. No answer in four days. I was still suspicious. I contacted Paypal and Ebay, and requested they get my funds back for the fraudulent first payment, and that I was very suspicious about the two identical wordings and their timing. It was possible that those two parties were working together to scam me out of more funds. I suspected this because of the terse answers and the identical wordings in poor english. Ebay answered with a form letter, stating it was a Paypal issue. But I HAD pressed the Ebay button to pay, TRUSTING this was the way it was done. Two more e-mails were ignored.

I contacted Paypal and they said they would "investigate" for ten to thirty days! I called my bank and their comment was that it "looked very much like the parties were working together". SUMMARY: My trust in Ebay and Paypal is gone. They together allowed unverified parties to recieve $494 in funds taken from my charge card. I hold them mutually and legally responsible; but my funds are gone. This is not right.

I have used PayPal three times, and two out of three I lost my money to sellers running an obvious scam (total of more than $500). Everytime, Paypal has washed its hands clean of all of my troubles, and quite frankly, they should not be allowed to facilitate online payments if the buyers have no recourse. It is impossible to get hold of their customer service, and when you do, they are rude, unprofessional, and not helpful at all.

In the latest interaction, I paid for a discontinued perfume from a vendor in Italy via PayPal. It was my sick mother's wish to have one last bottle of this perfume because it reminded her of the good old days when my father was still alive. I had wanted so badly to give my ailing mother what could be her last wish, it would have made her and me so happy. I never received the perfume and seller refused to refund or to reship (claims he has no more of the perfume I wanted). PayPal, of course, is the one that "facilitated" this theft and then stood by the sidelines smelling like a rotten sewer.

I sold something on eBay, the customer paid through PayPal. The item was damaged in transit, so I refunded the money through PayPal. A month passes and PayPal allowed a credit card chargeback from the customer's bank to hit my account. The amount in question is roughly $2300.00. Even after providing PayPal with proof from their own site (this makes no sense to me, its their company, they have records, look at my account and see that the refund was sent), they still keep telling me "It could be up to 75 days while we investigate this matter".

What is there to investigate? Paypal processed both the original payment and the refund to the customer. Contact his bank and give them the information of the transaction you processed. My account balance is -$2300.00, so any payments that come in while they "investigate" never make it to me, they just reduce the negative balance.

My business has come to a standstill. I cannot ship items sold or do anything. What is the point of being honest and refunding a customer if companies like PayPal don't recognize the refund they issued and take another $2300.00 from your account?

I refunded a buyer who had paid me, due to a problem with my merchandise. However, PayPal deducted the money from my account twice instead of just once. I received a payment for another item which WAS delivered and the buyer left positive feedback for me. However, Paypal said that I never "collected" my funds within 30 days so they deducted it. However, I did collect the funds. They answered one of my emails saying that they would look into it but never got back to me and never answered any other emails. This has been going on since last year.

Banks are required to follow strict guidelines when issuing such payment devices and those rights afforded to consumers through the Electronic Funds Transfer Act include:

  1. That a dispute will be acknowledged in writing within ten business days;
  2. that customers that contact the number on the back of the card be allowed to dispute or report a card stolen through that contact;
  3. that funds will be provisionally credited to the customer�s account within a specific timeframe; and
  4. that the results of the investigation by the bank will be sent to the cardholder in writing and the bank must provide some sort of proof if the customer requests it.

PayPal followed none of these rules in my situation.

If one calls the number on the back of the PayPal Debit Card, they can expect to be put on hold for a lengthy period of time before ultimately being told that they must dispute the charge via PayPal's website. This is an expensive call if made from New York as PayPal provides only a toll number on my debit card and it is in San Jose, California. And it doesn't stop there! Assuming they have access to a computer, once this poor soul goes to PayPal's website, they will never find a place to dispute such a debit card transaction.

Consumers who are not proficient on the computer will only find information on how to apply for the card. It even gets worse believe it or not. If the customer decides to email them at the other contact method on the back of the PayPal Debit Card,, they are sure to get an auto-response electronic message requiring them once again to return to the website and submit the concern. That's it, no more information than that.

I submitted three messages to this email address before I finally received a response that provided me with a link to an affidavit to dispute a Debit Card Charge. At this point the customer can assume that they MUST HAVE A COMPUTER in order to use the PayPal Debit Card and at the same time be protected from unauthorized charges. PayPal seems to have interpreted the Electronic Funds Transfer Act to indicate that every single human being on the face of the earth is born with a computer attached to their chest and has unlimited and free web access; so they figure an email is the same thing as "in writing" when it benefits them, and of course, the company is not a bank and is protected from lawsuits through its arbitration clause can do that.

Normal people generally give up at this point and PayPal literally banks on that.

For those persistent people like myself, the ride is still not over. PayPal has decided that when you finally find the secret affidavit you must then check one or all of the boxe(s) on it which include six different scenarios and offer no other box that states �other.� This is confusing to me, maybe cause I grew up in the hills and possibly the city folks can help me on this one, but doesn�t it seem that there are more than six reasons that one might have to dispute an unauthorized charge?

The reason I get stuck on this part is because at the top of the form I was told "Incomplete forms will be returned." And I could not tell you what this statement means. It seems to suggest that PayPal will refuse to acknowledge this very time sensitive contact that the EFT Act affords only if I limit my reason for the dispute to six different scenarios all of which require me to submit yet another document to prove it. But it is anyone�s guess and only PayPal knows the meaning of it and I am sure the meaning of this statement flips and flops to suit the company�s needs. What the heck is an affidavit anyway�. (Hint: a written declaration made under oath before a notary public or other authorized officer).

All right, so I have to swear and I have to prove that I�m swearing or else PayPal will not acknowledge my dispute. Makes sense to me cause like I said, I grew up in the hills. Of course, my mother was born in Brooklyn so that gave me the ability to take a step back and see what is going on here.

This whole affidavit thing is just another stall tactic on PayPals part to confuse the everyday Joe into giving up. Finally, the completed affidavit must be mailed to PayPal's Nebraska address (not by fax or email, mind you). Oh, and I almost forgot, they must receive your signed and completed affidavit within 60 days of the transaction (I have no idea where they got that from, but it contradicts the 120 days that really persistent and inpatient people like me learn when they finally call MasterCard).

For those of you who forget to send your �swearing your showing proof� form certified mail, go back to step one except move the calendar up another 15 days cause there is something wrong with the mailman on this particular route. PayPal will swear to it! If you have not figured the game out, PayPal is so arrogant that they will stall you until you have no right to dispute the charges because the time-frames for handling such disputes will have expired.

That is fine with PayPal because the worse thing that can happen to the company is that one might sue them. Wrong, again! Remember the 24,000+ word user agreement? It contains an arbitration clause that makes this so expensive and requires one to travel to San Jose, California -- simply impossible for most customers.

The livid cardholder at this point has no choice but to file a complaint to the bank regulators that regulate such payment instruments and search for them depending on which state they live in. Wrong again! PayPal isn't a bank so they have no regulatory authority over PayPal. Or do they?

If there exists any satisfaction for me and my $1,010.75 �Not A Bank 101" lesson, it would be that this may be the straw that breaks the back of PayPal in that the issuer of the card, Bank One NA, as well as Wells Fargo are beginning to feel the heat of bank regulators as a result of PayPal�s poor and unfair methods of handling these disputes. These banks are sure to distance themselves from PayPal as this issue makes it way into the public and legal forums we all enjoy as American consumers.

Not only has PayPal disrupted my life as they placed their profits over the fair business practices and unwritten rules that consumers call reputation. The company has also tarnished the reputations of both Bank One NA and MasterCard in its unfair and misleading practices and has exposed these institutions to regulatory action at both State and Federal levels. If the past portends to be anything of the future, it will be an interesting saga to watch PayPal insulate itself from the consequences of it own actions as they hear the slap upon the faces of Bank One NA and MasterCard by regulators, which the force of logic would conclude is destined.

The very least we might hope for is that the banking industry might move to banish PayPal�s debit card as it holds an unfair advantage in the market. And one final note: Why do I have to sign an affidavit form and mail it to Nebraska in order to stop the time clock for reporting such disputes when all I have to do is click three buttons to enter into a 24,000 word contract with PayPal to instantly use the service?

Damage Resulting: Police contacted me and required me to make restituion for the money Paypal has frozen in my account; The merchant claims and has provided credit card documents to prove he never received funds initally, so PayPal has kept the money all along. I don't make much money so imagine what kind of economic damage one has when $1,010.75 diappears all the sudden. Ebay account is ruined after four years of excellent ratings. Wife's mad at me for trusting that "stupid computer bank thing" in the first place!

I paid a bill using Paypal and meant to put it on my credit card. When I came to the end of the transaction I forgot. As there was no way to cancel the transaction at their site and Paypal would not cancel it I wrote the person I had sent the money to and asked if he would cancel it. He did and yet Paypal themselves did not cancel the transaction so my bank acount was overdrawn and I received a $25 charge from my bank. Paypal refiled this with my bank again and I was charged another $25.So far they have cost me $50 for a transaction that was actually cancelled by the person I was sending the money to.

I just want to add my complaint about PayPal to the many already collected. Mine is not a large amount of money, but I was double charged a $1.95 fee to my bank checking account (I used my debit card) with two separate PayPal ID numbers on the same day. I have tried 3 times now to ask why via on-line customer sevice forms, with unhelpful automatic responses. My concern is that, though it is only $1.95, if they do this to enough customers, it can add up to a lot of money. It also concerns me that there is no way to speak with anyone in customer service, though I have asked also how to do that.

I still have not had a clear response or a way of discussing the charge by phone. The economic damage is obviously minimal. I am irritated to see them get away with this and wonder how often they have done this to others with no way of getting the charge reversed.



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