Selling How to Handle Scammers This guide will help you:...

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    How to Handle Scammers This guide will help you: 1. Get money back. 2. Get accounts back. 3. Involve and assist the justice system. GETTING YOUR MONEY BACK Most scamming happens through paypal. Knowing what to say in a dispute is important. If you are the buyer 1. If the payment was sent within the last twenty days, you can log into paypal, locate the payment, click on details, and then use the 'report a problem with this transaction' link to start a payment dispute. When you do this, you will be asked to categorize your dispute or problem. Select nondelivery and Do NOT select any option that reveals that this is virtual goods. If you do, Paypal will AUTOMATICALLY close your dispute and you lose, instantly. From the time that you start the dispute, you will have about twenty days maximum to escalate it to a claim. Do not immediately escalate it to a claim. The dispute interface will let you send messages to the other party. Begin by sending a message that states your problem, be very generic. "I sent you money and did not receive what I paid for." Wait a day, send another message, "Please respond." Wait a day, send another message, "You need to respond." Wait a day, send another message, "I am concerned that you are committing fraud, you are avoiding communication, please respond." Each of these messages get stored, and they help you build a case because it shows that the other party is not interested in helping you resolve problems. Send another message. "You have not responded, I send you money and have not received anything, I want a refund." - This will be a good message to use when you escalate the case to a claim. Initiating a dispute will sieze the balance of the paypal transaction so that they can not access those funds. If the funds are already removed, or the ballance is less than those funds, their paypal account will go into a negative amount. The dispute phase lets a buyer and seller talk it out by sending messages to each other. That's pretty much all a dispute is. It siezes funds, and it lets you communicate. When you escalate to a claim, you can nolonger communicate in this fashion by sending documented emails to each other through paypal. Escalating to a claim tells Paypal that the buyer and seller can not work out an agreement and the buyer wants a refund. Paypal will wait for about three days for the seller to respond to the claim. If the seller does not respond, that makes your case stronger. If they do respond, that's ok too. Paypal will send their respone to you in an email and basically tell you, "Ok guys, the seller responded with this, we are not going to investigate anything yet. Talk to each other, sort it out. If you leave the claim open because you can't sort it out on your own, then we will begin investigating in three days." Paypal really makes you wait a long time because they don't want to have to investigate anything or spend human resources. Paypal will take a look at the correspondence sent back and forth so far, and other information. If the payment notes included any disclaimers about the goods being nonrefundable, nondisputabe, or virtual, that can assist your case. Many cases are won by experiennced sellers by writing to paypal and saying, "Hey, look at the notes or the description of the item. Right there, it says no refunds." or "Look at the notes or item description, he knew these were virtual goods before he paid and Paypal does not offer buyer protection for that. I warned him about that before he paid and I did provide what he paid for, he's just trying to scam me." Only draw attention to or admit that the goods were virtual as a final resort. Paypal doesn't protect sellers either when it comes to virtual goods. Their general policy and behavior is to reward sellers if the seller can provide proof of delivery. Beause of this, intangible goods or services usually result in denied disputes and denied judgements. Having a paypal account with a strong history is beneficial and can affect Paypal's judgment. It may be beneficial to be paypal verified as well. Some scammers use hacked paypal accounts, but that's usually when buying instead of selling. When selling, their tactic relies on using a newly created paypal account that is usually tied to a disposable email address. Seller paypal fraud - how it works 1. Provide stolen goods, or provide real goods that they can steal back later, or get you to pay first and then provide anything but excuses so that they have enough time to do step two. 2. Request a payment from paypal so that if you file a dispute, the account is empty and they have a check from paypal. OR - use the funds in their paypal balance to buy stuff. 3. Steal back what they sold if it actually belonged to them. The vulerability of a scammer using this technique is that in order to be paid by paypal, paypal needs your name and address. In order to cash a check, you need to have a bank account or at least photo ID at the bank. To receive a check, you need a real address where you can receive mail. That means they just identified themselves to Paypal. If they didn't identify themselves to paypal and they used the funds in their paypal account to buy stuff from other people, then those other people will have, at the very least, an address where they would have shipped the stuff. Even if your dispute is denied, Paypl and others may have information that can help. Law enforcement investogators should be able to fill out an information request form to ask for the information of the other person and the contact info for anyone else that they dealt with. Buyer paypal fraud - how it works 1. If they're a hacker, they do things like hack forums to get email addresses and passwords, then try those out with Paypal. Most paypal fraud for virtual goods is not from hacked accounts. Hackers are better off buying real goods that they can sell on the street out the back end of a van. 2. They send payment and receive goods. 3. They dispute payment as unauthorized, undelivered, or not as described. If they're a hacker and are in possession of a stolen paypal account, you will have no recourse and it will be virtually impossible to track them down. The person that got hacked may or may not be interested in volunteering their computer to an investigator to try tracking the hacker down. The vulerability of a scammer using this technique is pretty much the same as seller based fraud. If they claim unauthorized transaction, then they are basically claiming that they were hacked. You can challenge that by providing any emails received from them. Most emails have a timestamp and an IP address unless they are from a free email service that strips that information. Show paypal the timestamp and IP, get a geek to help you get this from the email header if necessary. Paypal logs IP addresses and timestamps on each payment. If this information tracks back to the owner of the paypal account, then it becomes clear that the account was never hacked, the other person is just a scammer. Paypal may not investigate information like this if you do not provide it. So be sure to provide it. If you have a name, telephone, address, etc., that can also be used to help. If they claim not as described, or undelivered, you know what to say already from reading up to this point. Some scam artists are cocky, or will tell you lies when they should have stopped communicating. You can use that against them. Communicate with them and try to get a response. Don't drop any accusations when you begin communication. If you can get them to start feeding you a cover story, then you're getting IP addresses with time stamps. If they don't respond, then try accusing them. "Hey, you stole my stuff!" If they are cocky, they might write back and gloat about it or say, "Buyer beware, dumbass!" - That too, gives you an IP address and timestamp. If you can get a phone number from them, that's very valuable. If it's a cellphone, you can get their personal information by doing an information search on that number. This costs $25. RECOVERING STOLEN ACCOUNTS If the account is still in your email address, request a password reset. If not, then contact the gaming company and say that you suddenly can not log in and that you are concerned that someone may have stolen your account. They will ask very basic questions, no tricks, nothing to be worried about. If they authenticate you over the phone, they'll just set your account back and email you a new password. If they authenticate you using other methods, then they will change the password and not realease it to anyone until someone provides proof of ID such as a scan of a driver's license. The scammer does not have your telephone, the scammer does not have your ID. Because of that, it's virtually impossible to steal an account from an original owner. Blizzard does offline authentication checks by having you go to a notary. Due to this, even if the scammer has your ID, they can't authenticate because they do not have your face. Only you look like you, and the notary is going to ask to see ID. Never tell the gaming company that you sold your account and the deal went bad, they will ban you for that. GETTING ACCOUNTS BANNED If you bought an account and then it was recalled. Contact the gaming company and give them all the information that you have on the account and on the person that sold it. Gaming companies do not support the sale of their accounts, and they also don't want them to be involved in scams. The account will be banned. Encourage the game company to check access logs for IP addresses. "On June 9th to June 13th, I had the account, and you will see that the IP address is in Minnesotta instead of where it normally is. You can also check the IP range of this email that I am sending, you will see that I was connecting from my internet service provider that I'm on right now as I email this. On June 13th, the password was changed, and the original owner stole it back. I would not know this information if I was not given access to the account and then later had that access taken away. If you check custome service logs, you may find that the owner reported their account stolen. It was not stolen, it was sold. The only thief is the owner. I have lost money due to this and am in the process fo pressing charges. Please ban this account so that it can not be used for online fraud." - Say something like that and the account will be investigated and banned. If you have information about the owner such as their email, name, phone, etc., give that as well, it lends credibility to the accusation that the account was sold. A letter like this is also a great way to get your own account banned if a scammer is in possession of it and you are unable to recover it. The benefit of banning accounts is that it removes the profit from theft. Why steal something that the other person can remotely destroy any time they want? WHAT IF PAYPAL CAN'T RETURN MY MONEY? If you can identify them, sue them in small claims court. Think Judge Judy from television. When sued, a person is summoned to defend themselves in the juristiction of the country where the proceedings were filed. For most cases, this means they have to travel hundreds of miles. If they can't make it, you will probably win the case by default.2 Get printouts of everything. Print out the paypal page, correspondence with paypal and correspondence with the scammer, any information on the scammer, the webpage which you used to sell your stuff. Print out every single piece of information that you have wheter you think it is important or not. Judges like documentation. Think of all the cases judge Judy throws out because one party had paper and the other party did not. Don't worry about a judge not hearing your case or thinking that virtual goods are stupid. They've seen it all. Online fraud is nothing new and you will have a good chance of winning (IF you have some paper.) MAKING THEM PAY Start out by reporting them. If you have email from them, you can get forensics from the email that can be used to determine their true identity through their internet service provider. Specificly, the IP and timestamp. If you are unfamiliar with viewing email headers, then ask your nearest geek for help. If you had their telephone number, even a cellphone number, you can use that to track them down. Go to, look it up, and then follow the links for more information. This will cost about $25. Most tracking will have to be done yourself. Small crimes are usually ignored by authorities because they're too busy and they have bigger fish to fry. Most account fraud isn't by professionals, it's teenagers that think they can get away with it. Simply getting their info and writing a letter or getting their parents involved can be powerful. Sending them a google map to their address is especially intimidating. Some instant messenger programs reveal the IP address of the other user when they are sending messages. use a computer with no other software or open windows, make a new chat name, say hello to them. type netstat -n at the command prompt. Practice with a friend first to get used to it. Don't forget social engineering - keep them talking, in as many ways as possible, as long as possible to help you gather more information. Again, consult someone that's familiar with computers. Google them. Name, email, phone, screen names, every single piece of information that you can think of. If you get too many results, reverse search ther IP address to get the locality of their internet service provider, then re-run your search, adding state and or city to the query. Resources to use for reporting and tracking: Traceroute, Ping, Domain Name Server (DNS) Lookup, WHOIS, Email Verification Tools[/url]

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    #1 WoW Account and Character, 3/7/13
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