Seller Beware; the possibility of a scam buyer between eBay and PayPal.

The following is a disturbing account about how US Moulton owner Ben Porter  had his NS scammed from him.


“I sold the bike on eBay, but I was scammed in a very clever way by the buyer, who managed to get a full refund from PayPal after I had shipped the bike. Despite early assurances from PayPal that the dispute would be ruled in my favor, in the end it was not.


I would like to report this bike as stolen to the Moulton community. The serial number is 100606. I bought the bike new in April 2010 from Angle Lake Cyclery in SeaTac, Washington, USA. They are an authorized Moulton dealer.


The short version of the story is:

  • the buyer made multiple payments to me via PayPal, thus taking the transaction out from under eBay’s protection;


  • before and after the PayPal transaction, the buyer directed me, via eBay messages, to ship to a California address, supposedly a Korean shipping agent (buyer is Korean), and his registered address with eBay, at that time, was at this California address;


  • buyer’s address on the PayPal transaction was in Korea;


  • while the bike was in transit, the buyer initiated a PayPal dispute claiming non-receipt of goods;


  • bike was delivered to California address two days later; and


  • after much back-and-forth with PayPal, including much evidence provided by me of the buyer’s direction to ship to that California address, PayPal fully refunded the buyer’s payments to him, since the shipping address was not the address in their (PayPal) records. Simply outrageous.


The contact number given for the delivery address is bogus. The buyer did not respond to messages left at that number, nor to repeated eBay messages and emails. I enlisted the help of another tenant in the building to try and recover the bike, but it is gone. Due to the way the buyer cleverly manipulated this gray area between eBay and PayPal, neither one of these companies is protecting me. I am sickened by the whole chain of events.


And I stupidly included an invoice marked “paid” in the shipping box, because he had paid me before I shipped it. I had no idea he could get his money back.


I reported this incident to the FBI, since it constitutes wire fraud, which is a Federal offense. However, I very much doubt the FBI will take any action to investigate a US$5500 fraud.

Ben Porter”