I lost £450 after a PayPal scammer took my Xbox – how I got my money back | The Sun

A LOOPHOLE in the PayPal delivery rules meant student Sam Davies nearly lost £450 – and his Xbox – after a scammer tricked him.

Sam, 19, who is studying sociology at the University of Essex, needed a new computer to work on for his studies – so he decided to sell his Xbox on Facebook Marketplace to raise some extra cash.

He soon found a buyer who offered him over £450 for the console, which cost £500 when Sam's parents bought it for him in November last year.

"I was happy I found a buyer so quickly -I needed money to buy a computer which would help me with my studies, and I'm trying to set up a tutoring business too," Sam said.

The buyer transferred the cash through Paypal and Sam posted off the console as promised.

But the next day, Sam received a notifcation from PayPal that his funds had been frozen because of an "unauthorised transaction".

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The buyer had requested a chargeback claim through his bank.

A chargeback is something you can request from your bank if you've paid for goods but there's a problem with the purchase – for example, if the delivery doesn't arrive or the company goes bust.

Sam messaged the buyer through Facebook asking why he had issued the chargeback.

As he had paid for the parcel to be tracked by Royal Mail, Sam knew it had arrived safely at the buyer's address – he had confirmation that the package had been signed for.

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Sam offered the buyer a refund but said the Xbox would need to be returned.

But the buyer never replied – and Sam feared he had lost £450 and his Xbox.

Panicked, Sam called PayPal to report his concerns.

"I knew I was being scammed – he was filing an unjust chargeback to try and get my Xbox and his money back," Sam said.

Sam provided details about the transaction to PayPal but he was missing a crucial bit of information.

Usually, when you buy through PayPal, your delivery address is automatically logged – but Sam's buyer had managed to swerve this and not put his address through the system.

This is because when you are paying for goods and services over PayPal, there is an option you can click on to say that providing an address isn't applicable.

For example, if you were paying for a cleaner through PayPal or a taxi to the airport, you don't need to supply a delivery address – as no actual goods need to be sent.

Instead, Sam's buyer sent him his address through Facebook. And while this was convenient, it meant there was no official record of it on PayPal.

When PayPal investigated Sam's complaint and found there was no address logged that he had sent his Xbox to, it ruled against him and said he wouldn't get his money back.

PayPal investigated and told Sam he would not get his money back.

"I was gutted – I couldn't believe it," Sam said.

"It’s so frustrating – it feels like this person has manipulated the system, and it makes me wonder if there are others like me who have lost out.

"PayPal told me to contact the buyer, but it's not helpful advice – the buyer is ignoring me."

In a last-ditch attempt to get his money back, Sam got in touch with The Sun's money team – and we asked PayPal to look at his case again.

A spokesperson said: "We were sorry to hear about Sam’s experience with the sale of his Xbox.

"If your buyer does not provide a shipping address at the time of payment, we recommend that you issue a refund and ask the buyer to resend the payment complete with the shipping address.

"If they only provide a shipping address later, you may not be eligible for a refund under PayPal’s Seller Protection programme."

PayPay said it had given Sam a full refund as a gesture of goodwill.

What you need to know before selling through PayPal

If you're selling items and using PayPal, make sure you have all the key details about the transaction.

You'll need proof about the purchase if something goes wrong.

If you find yourself in a similar position to Sam, you should be able to get your money back under PayPal's seller protection programme.

But you must provide proof of shipment or delivery, otherwise you won't be covered.

That means you need to provide the address details of where you've sent the package to – you'll find these in your PayPal account, where transactions are logged.

But sometimes you might be paying for a service where you don't need to input a delivery address – for example, if you paid for a service, like a taxi or a cleaner.

To be safe, it's always better to arrange delivery yourself and make a note of the buyer's address. Send the parcel by tracked delivery if you can.

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