PSA, New Scam Alert!

We had a buyer try to pull a fast one on us today, and I know that while most of you fine people that read these posts are yourself customers, I'm sure plenty of you sell online too, so I wanted to take a moment to let you all know how to avoid future problems that may arise as the result of this new scam. 

Quick backstory, we sold a comic book earlier this month to a buyer in Maine. It was delivered back on the 10th of January, tracking confirmed it's delivery, and positive feedback was left for us by the buyer over a week ago. 

Then today, I got an email that we had a new "significantly not as described" claim that was opened through paypal. 

I went into paypal's resolution center to see what the problem was. I read the buyer's notes and to summarize, it said something like this. "The book is fine, and I'm very happy with it, but I won't be able to pay Paypal until the 30th of January so I need to get this money back until the end of the month." 

I don't know about you guys, but I was pretty perplexed by that message as it honestly didn't make a ton of sense to me. Right off the bat, it felt like some type of fraud, but this wasn't something that I'd ever seen before, so I called Paypal to get to the bottom of it. 

Quick aside about paypal, they've gotten a LOT better about lowering hold times, quickly assessing the situation at hand and having general common sense while handling disputes. I've had to call in 3 times in the past couple of months, and all 3 times I had a good experience, so cu-dos to them for upping their customer service level.

Back to the story, I called paypal and once I was connected to an agent, I attempted to explain the situation to the account rep. But because I didn't really understand exactly what the buyer was trying to pull, I kind of just told the agent that I was confused, but that as far as I could tell, we did nothing wrong, & the buyer was happy with the purchase. But that for some reason, they had created a dispute claim. 

Luckily the agent knew exactly what was going on. Apparently the buyer had paid through paypal with something they call "deferred payment", I wasn't familiar with this feature, but I guess it allows buyers to defer payment for a purchase for up to 14 days. I guess the buyer wasn't able to get the actual money to cover the purchase within the 2 weeks, so they figured they'd just open a dispute to avoid paying for the item and get their money back, even though we did nothing wrong, and they had the item. 

WELL, that is considered fraud according to paypal (and anyone with a brain). So they credited back the money to us that they'd temporarily held in our account, and flagged the buyer so they couldn't do this again. 

So be on the lookout for this little wrinkle if you sell online, and know that if you catch it, Paypal will make it right for you in about 5 minutes.

Now you know,