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Been robbed by seller - feel like an idiot!

(61 Posts)
SimplyRedHead Fri 18-Jan-13 14:21:34

Hi all,

This is my first post.

I have been using eBay regularly for years and am probably a bit too comfortable with it which has caused me to let my guard down.

Basically, I made an offer on a pram which was accepted. The seller asked for quick payment because she was 'going on holiday'. I couldn't transfer money into my PayPal account because I have just moved and changed my name and my PayPal details don't match my bank details.

I sent an email explaining this and asking to transfer the money via bank transfer. She gave me her bank details and asked for my email and text number so she could contact me if needs be.

I didn't think anything of it and transferred the cash we she acknowledged. We then had regular email conversations about delivery.

The pram hasn't turned up, the item number is showing as 'invalid' on eBay, she's stopped responding to my emails and I've noticed all her feedback is very recent and all from her buying, not selling.

I feel sick that she has £670 of my money, my address, my email and my mobile number. I have contacted eBay and opened a case but because I didn't pay via PayPal I'm not covered. I have contacted my bank but there is nothing they can do. I plan to contact the police.

I am just about to go on maternity leave and that was all the money I has saved up so I can't afford another pram.

Can anyone offer any help or suggestions please?

(I know I was an idiot and should have used PayPal or a credit card)



BanghamTheDirtyScone Fri 18-Jan-13 14:31:41

Have you spoken to the bank? They and the police may be able to do something as it's technically unauthorised - well, it's theft.

I really hope they can help you.
I'm not sure what else to suggest, very very bad luck sad

BanghamTheDirtyScone Fri 18-Jan-13 14:34:10

Oh by the way - is it just possible she has sent it, and gone on holiday and that explains why she hasn't been in touch?

How long has it been?

OldBeanbagz Fri 18-Jan-13 14:35:44

I would speak to the bank you transfered the money to. Presumably you have the name of the bank and her name. If you type the sode code into Google you should be able to get the branch address too.

Speak to them direct and see if they are able to help. Maybe you can send a letter to them that they can forward to the her (make sure you send it Special or Recorded Delivery so you can have proof of delivery). Also the police will presumably be able find out her address from the details you have. I guess if they're not able to help you may be able to go through the small claims court.

How long is since you transfered the money? Maybe she is actually on holiday and hasn't realised the item hasn't been delivered?

The Ebay item will be invalid because she's removed it because she was completing the sale outside of Ebay. Not strictly legit but not uncommon either.

I did this recently with a high value item but made the bank transfer when it was actually delivered. In these days of internet banking, these things are generally are usually fairly instant.

McBalls Fri 18-Jan-13 14:36:59

Oh dear, poor you. I can imagine how sick I'd be feeling if I was tricked out of that amount of money.

Seems a ridiculous idea her part though, you have her bank details. Easily traceable. So unless its a very elaborate scam involving dummy bank account then perhaps there is a genuine reason for the hold up?

BanghamTheDirtyScone Fri 18-Jan-13 14:38:37

what is her feedback like - newish seller or established with a good rating?

fergoose Fri 18-Jan-13 14:53:40

bank, police then small claims court. Have you reported her to ebay?

fergoose Fri 18-Jan-13 14:56:17

if you have the seller's address you can file a small claims case - do you have their name and their area at least? Surely you can find with 192/electoral role, even Facebook or Twitter can be helpful. Also have you searched for their other items for their location?

DoodlesNoodles Fri 18-Jan-13 22:28:02

Ouch, that's gotta hurt.

I am sorry you have been defrauded. Unfortunately, there probably nothing that can be done sad

SimplyRedHead Sat 19-Jan-13 11:12:15


I'm desperately hoping she is genuinely away but all my instincts tell me she's done one with my money.

I went to the bank and they said, because I willingly sent the cash there is nothing they can do.

Delivery was only due 5 days ago so it hasn't been ages but I just know something is dodgy.

I have 'raised a case' with eBay but because it wasn't a PayPal payment I'm not covered by buyer protection.

I plan to wait and see if she responds to the eBay case and if not, contact the police.

Good ideas about small claims court and finding out her local bank branch.

Thanks for all your help - I just feel sick to my stomach to think of all the pregnant overtime I did for that money.

Let's hope karma gets her!

SimplyRedHead Sat 19-Jan-13 11:15:12

I've got her name, her partner's name, bank details, a location (not address) from eBay and her email address and eBay user name (assuming these are all true!).

Her feedback is all positive but within the last few months and only for buying, not selling. She doesn't have anything else for sale.

I feel like such an idiot!

SimplyRedHead Sat 19-Jan-13 11:16:40

Good idea about Twitter / Facebook and using the electoral role to find her. I'll definitely give that a try!

She's in Somerset and I'm in London so it's a bit far to turn up on her doorstep but I'm happy to give details to the police/courts.

LittleFrieda Sat 19-Jan-13 11:18:35

Did you purchase the Item through eBay but send the funds via your bank?

LittleFrieda Sat 19-Jan-13 11:20:10

How was the pram going to be sent?

kilmuir Sat 19-Jan-13 11:26:46

She may be on holiday.
It was you that could not pay by Paypal, I would be more suspicious if she had declined a payment by Paypal

ChippingInNeedsSleepAndCoffee Sat 19-Jan-13 11:30:59

Good luck getting it sorted out.

(That's an awful lot of money for a used pram isn't it?)

fergoose Sat 19-Jan-13 11:54:53

use Goofbid and see if she has sold anything else - if so that may give you more info as to where she is living

If I were you I would contact the police now - I am positive she has not gone on holiday and has no intention of sending the item. I can't see any advantage in waiting any further, especially in light of the amount she has stolen from you.

Have you got her phone number from ebay and tried phoning her?

Do you want to PM her user id/the item number - will gladly do some digging for you

fergoose Sat 19-Jan-13 11:56:14

oh and leave negative feedback now - with low stars. Just state you paid and didn't receive your item, and seller refuses to refund your £600. You must warn others incase she wants to try it with someone else.

dotnet Sat 19-Jan-13 12:06:40

As well as Facebook and Twitter you could try Friends Reunited to make contact with either her partner or her. Main libraries have collections of phone directories for the whole of the UK. Could be worthwhile trawling through Somerset phone directories. I've got a feeling this woman is going to get caught, and quite right too. Ask friends for other ideas on how to find her. Best wishes.

RandallPinkFloyd Sat 19-Jan-13 12:35:11

Why didn't you just change your PayPal details so they did match your bank account?

You don't need to put money into a PayPal account anyway, if there isn't enough in it then the amount is just taken from the nominated bank account. Well that's how I've always known PayPal to work anyway.

It's all a bit odd from both sides op. And I would second that it's an awful lot of money for a second hand pram.

DoodlesNoodles Sat 19-Jan-13 13:35:07

Good point by Kilmuir. hmm

DoodlesNoodles Sat 19-Jan-13 13:36:03

Ohh sorry that hmm looks like I was trying to be sarcastic ... I wasn't, I did think it was a good point. smile

SimplyRedHead Sat 19-Jan-13 20:09:56

Thanks everyone.

I bought the item through eBay but paid via bank transfer because I disnt have enough money in my PayPal account. I didn't realise it would just take money from my bank account - now I'm evening stupid!

The pram is £1200 new and came with some extras making around £1500 worth of stuff so £670 (including courier) seemed a good price. Others I have been watching we're going for around £800-900.

I'm really hoping this is just me panicking and she is holiday and all will be fine!

When I checked with PayPal they said I had to post in evidence of my change of address and name which would have taken too long. I was a bit over-excited at winning the pram and didn't take the time to look at other PayPal options or to really think about what I was doing with such a huge amount of money.

The thing that is making me feel slightly better is that I suggest bank transfer and not her. I then feel worse again because the item number is now invalid.

Thanks for all your tips and I will pm you fergoose

SimplyRedHead Sat 19-Jan-13 20:10:41

Evening stupid ?!

Even more stupid!

LittleFrieda Sat 19-Jan-13 21:15:41

If you bought the item through ebay, how can the item now be invalid? I would open a dispute.

On the positive side, it was you who asked to do a bank transfer rather than paypal. If she had asked this then you would have no hope, but since it was you I think you have more of a chance of getting the pram.

fergoose Sat 19-Jan-13 21:28:17

a dispute cannot force a seller to refund a bank transfer though can it?

I agree, if the item number is invalid you can't open a dispute or leave feedback. Did the seller end the item early so it was unsold and you did an off ebay sale, or was the item removed as it was removed by ebay for being fraudulent/incorrect.

SimplyRedHead Sun 20-Jan-13 11:25:19


I have no idea what happened to the item listing - it's very odd.

I bid through eBay using the BIN or best offer option and she accepted my offer through eBay. She then messaged me through eBay and we had a brief discussion there before switching to email conversations.

The item is showing in my bought history with the amount in green but when I click on it I get a message saying 'item number invalid'. Luckily the messages I have had from her include her eBay name and item number so I have been able to raise a case.

It's very odd!

SavoyCabbage Sun 20-Jan-13 11:33:51

I don't think there's a need to totally panic just yet. Do you know how she was sending it? Through which company.

Is it marked as sent on the listing and if so when or did she say when she was sending it. It could be delayed or even lost and she doesn't know.

SimplyRedHead Sun 20-Jan-13 11:35:46

Ooooo and Fergoose thanks so much for the link to get her phone number from eBay.

I've sent a request and fingers crossed she'll answer her phone and this will all be a misunderstanding!

fergoose Sun 20-Jan-13 12:17:08

try googling her phone number - it may get you her address

have you been to the police yet?

SimplyRedHead Sun 20-Jan-13 13:22:45

Thanks again for all your help.

eBay sent me her number which goes straight to answer phone but if she's on holiday, that wouldn't be unusual.

I have also found her on Facebook and she has posted a recent holiday photo so I'm starting to calm down now.

There are still lots of things that don't add up but I now have so much information I'm confident I'll be able to do something!

Unfortunately, I can't open the listing to see if it's showing as sent.

Thanks again for all your advice, I really hope this is a storm in a teacup and she will email in a couple of days to say she's back from holiday and is sorting it all out.

*wildly optimistic but fingers crossed!

Flickstix Sun 20-Jan-13 18:28:58

I'm a powerseller on ebay and have been running the business for about 7 years so have a bit of experience with this kind of thing.

You need to go to the police. For that amount of money they will get involved, you can call them on 101.

Has her ebay account been closed down? This could be why the item isn't showing up.

If you speak to ebay they will likely advise you you do this, often all it takes is the threat of getting the police involved to prompt the seller into action,

Best of luck

Flickstix Sun 20-Jan-13 18:31:01

Sorry just noticed your most recent post, I would leave it a few days in that case!

It will show up on paypal as 'sent', not just ebay, have a look there.

SimplyRedHead Sun 20-Jan-13 18:50:51

Hi Flickstick

Thanks for the advice. I've checked her out via the website Fergoose suggested (can't remember the name of it) and it says her eBay account is closed but then eBay is showing it as open.

It's all very odd.

I'm very 50/50 about seeing my money or the pram again!

fergoose Sun 20-Jan-13 18:51:40

I would go to the police now too - I wouldn't wait a few days with that amount of money involved

It won't show up in paypal Flickstix, it was a bank transfer.

PoohBearsHole Tue 22-Jan-13 12:11:18

OP, where are you up to now? Any news? Have you been to the police? or heard from the ebayer?

SimplyRedHead Wed 23-Jan-13 22:27:09

Hi there,

I'm still waiting her hear back from her. The eBay case finishes this week and I plan to send a last and final email on that day threatening legal action if I don't get my money or the pram within 3 days.

I've managed to dig around and get quite a lot of information about her from various online sources which I will share with the police.

I've been so busy I decided to give her the benefit of the doubt and wait for a reply but I will start kicking butt this week!

Hell hath no fury like a pregnant woman scorned!

SimplyRedHead Fri 25-Jan-13 10:44:13

Hi again,

I've sent her an email saying that if I don't have my money, or the pram, by 5pm on Monday I will be contacting the police and starting legal proceedings.

I've had enough now!

Thanks again for all your advice.

SimplyRedHead Wed 30-Jan-13 18:05:07

Just incaase anyone still cares .........I have now reported the crime to the police who have basically said they'll use the information as a 'jigsaw piece' to help build up a picture of Internet crime but that they can't investigate it directly due to lack of staff!!

I'm now trying to get her address to start a small claims court case.

HousewifeFromHeaven Wed 30-Jan-13 18:11:52

Send the sherrifs!! I watch too much daytime tv.

Joking aside, good for you. Hope you get the result you want.

dobby2001 Wed 30-Jan-13 18:13:28

Hope it gets sorted Simply. Anychance she is still on holiday and genuinely has no idea?? (ever hopeful me...)

badgeroncaffeine Wed 30-Jan-13 18:22:41

Sorry to hear you've been scammed. Bank transfers are nearly always a bad idea.

I haven't read it all but:

Leave a negative if you haven't already and 1 star for everything.
I see you've contacted the police. Tell them you expect them to investigate (it's not hard, you have her bank details..almost certainly) and if they make excuses, make a complaint for "neglect of duty". The police will often avoid investigating things if they can. Apart from if you have a tiny defect on your car or go 1mph over the speed limit.
Contact eBay.
Start civil action.

Good luck.

badgeroncaffeine Wed 30-Jan-13 18:25:45

Another piece of advice, start a thread on the eBay "Buyer Central" forum page

While people on Mumsnet are great, the people there are extremely knowledgeable.

JakeBullet Wed 30-Jan-13 18:50:54

..sad That is awful.....really hope the police will take this up for you. Surely they can't refuse to investigate what is basically a theft.

AllOverIt Wed 30-Jan-13 21:52:07

I hope you have results OP. A similar thing happened to me, but thankfully I paid through PayPal so it was sorted.

I think EBay offer some protection, not everyone pays through Paypal. angry

Ninjaforever Fri 01-Feb-13 09:27:49

I think you should name and shame if you have indeed been ripped off. Similar thing happened to me a few years ago, my very first baby purchase for my first child. I was gutted. Turns out the person was a known 'offender'.

MissAnglia Sun 03-Feb-13 20:28:27

Any news?

SimplyRedHead Wed 13-Mar-13 23:07:08

Hi everyone

I reported the crime to the police and they've been excellent!

Luckily I have everything in writing because it all happened online. Both people involved have been interviewed and the girl has admitted taking my money and not delivering the pram whilst her boyfriend has denied all knowledge.

They are now both on bail. Looks like I may get my money back but it'll probably be £1,50 a week for the next 10 years or something similar!

Thanks again for all your help, it was invaluable.

fergoose Thu 14-Mar-13 10:47:59

so do you need to take them to small claims court to recover your money?
Terrible, am glad you went to the police.

INeverSaidThat Thu 14-Mar-13 14:51:52

Thanks for the update. It is a shame you have to be so cautious with this type of thing. Hopefully you will get some of your money back. Do you know what she has done with the pram or did it never exist?

I guess it won't hurt to remind everyone to NEVER EVER pay for EBay items by bank transfer.

BuggedByJake Thu 14-Mar-13 15:01:49

You could get her address by contacting buyers she has bought from. Look on her feedback & contact a few of them, they might not want to help but its worth a try.

BuggedByJake Thu 14-Mar-13 15:06:10

Sorry missed the bit about them being interviewed.Glad its getting sorted.

SimplyRedHead Thu 14-Mar-13 18:21:48

Yep - they've both been arrested for alleged fraud.

She claims to have bought the pram from
Another website and then listed it straight onto eBay without having it in her possession. The original seller was then supposed to send it to me to save the fraudulent seller postage costs.

The money was paid into her boyfriend's bank ac hence why he's been arrested too.

The whole thing is dodgy as hell! Apparently she was very remorseful and wants to pay me back in full but we'll have to see what happens!

SetFiretotheRain Thu 14-Mar-13 21:17:52

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

SimplyRedHead Thu 14-Mar-13 21:51:59

Her initials are NM and his are SB.

FannyFifer Thu 14-Mar-13 21:59:13

What a nightmare, hope you get your money back.

SetFiretotheRain Thu 14-Mar-13 22:03:31

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

fergoose Thu 14-Mar-13 22:04:51

Setfire - did you go to the police, get your money back?

SetFiretotheRain Thu 14-Mar-13 22:29:07

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

HotShotLin Sat 16-Mar-13 20:02:25

Hi there SimplyRedHead.

I am so sorry to hear about that and it would seem like this con artist has in-fact ripped you off and probably others.

I am not actually sure if you would be covered or not. I know not through PayPal but I think there is an option for buyers to open a dispute via eBay when they have paid by such as postal order and cheque. But by bank transfer I honestly do not know. It might be worth checking out though..

Under your "Purchase History" but you said the item number is now showing as invalid so it might not be there at all.. But eBay will still have a history of the item and you should report the seller anyway.

Also if I were you I would do as you said and contact the police. It would be a good idea for you to print out every conversation you had with her and E-Mails sent automatically from eBay confirming you had won the item as there might be a picture of the pram she was "selling". You know though, any details and ANYTHING that will help you.

I really hope you can get it sorted out.
I am sorry I can't be of any more help.

Take care.

HSL xx

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