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Paypal refuses to investigate fraud and theft

I wanted to donate money to a cat show so I sent $200 to a chairperson's email via Paypal, using "Send money to friends or family" since it was not a purchase for goods or services. I also used money from my balance. The chairperson, who did not know what I was going to do, sent me an email saying thank you for the donation but she could not retrieve the money; could I send it to another email account. I emailed her back and said "of course." When I went to retrieve the money and send it to another email account, I learned that the money had been claimed by someone called MST Bows. There was no email or phone number attached to this account, so I could not make contact with MST Bows to tell them to return the money. I also contacted the chairperson of the cat club to ask if she knew who MST Bows was. She did not. I was flabbergasted that someone who had no right to the money, claimed it. I must say that all my communications with the chairperson were to the email that I sent the money to in Paypal. So I know that email was hers. I called Paypal customer service to explain the situation and they gave it a cursory review as I was talking to them on the phone. They then told me that they could not open an investigation because I had used the "Sent money to friends or family." I was mortified. They didn't get what I was telling them. Someone out there has figured out a way to access people's money by hacking into email accounts. When I explained this to the person in PayPal's customer's service--obviously someone who is outsourced--they passed me on to someone else. Again, I was given the same information. They gave me the pat response that I should try to contact the person who had claimed the money and resolve it myself. I told them what they obviously could see on their end--that there was no email or phone number attached to the account. They agreed and left me furious. The following day, I contacted Paypal again, hoping to get someone at customer service who was more intelligent and could understand what I was telling them. I did. The woman was sympathetic and said she found a phone number attached to MST Bows' account. She gave it to me and said it was a Pennsylvania exchange. I told her that the cat club was located in Albuquerque, NM and it was unlikely that the two were the same. She encouraged me to contact MST Bows at that number and try to resolve it myself before Paypal did anything. I said I would. I called that number all weekend long and left my number, telling whoever owned the number that they had claimed money they should not have and they should return it. No response--of course, so on Tuesday, I called Paypal again and told them that I had tried to resolve the matter on my own. Again, I was told that because I had sent money via their Friends and Family option that they would not open an investigation. I told them that the money at this point was not the issue. It was that someone had stolen money meant for another account. They told me that MST Bow's account was valid since they had verified it when it was established. I explained that that was not sufficient explanation since the chairperson of the cat club halfway across the country owned that email that MST Bows had somehow accessed. I explained that the chairperson and I had been in contact with each other through that same email address. Again, I was told by Paypal that because I had sent money via friends and family--and used my Paypal balance (as if that mattered)--they couldn't investigate. I told them that they weren't seeing the big pictures. Someone had found a way to access money held in escrow and was stealing it. Again, this fell on deaf ears, using the excuse of the method I had sent the money in the first place for not doing again. At this point, I am resigned to the fact that my $200 is gone and will never be returned. However, the idea that Paypal will not investigate obvious fraud or theft is deplorable. It is a reflection on their integrity. The chairperson who had her email hacked is willing to provide all the correspondence she and I have had but Paypal has turned a deaf ear to us. I believe something should be done to encourage Paypal to review this case because it could be happening to other people. And since MST Bows does not have any contact information where the general public can request refunds or dispute transactions, they should be cut off from Paypal
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#1057321 Review #1057321 is a subjective opinion of poster.
Paypal Donation
  • Paypal policies
  • Fraud prevention and theft investigation
Reason of review
refused to investigate theft
Preferred solution
Full refund
  • No Protection

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