Ever bought something from eBay only to find it’s a scam and Paypal have failed to get your money back? Read on, there’s still a chance you can get that money…

Paypal is probably the most popular way to purchase items on eBay or to transfer money; in fact eBay actively promotes Paypal as its preferred payment method.
Now Paypal is not a bank and as such is unregulated, if something goes wrong you are totally at the mercy of their procedures and staff.

Last year I purchased an item from eBay, I duly paid with Paypal believing I was safe and secure, if something went wrong I could depend on Paypal to return my money. I was wrong.

Something did go wrong, I never received the item and the seller ceased all contact once they had my money. I followed the eBay and Paypal guidelines to get the matter resolved but eventually I had to file a complaint about the transaction with Paypal. After the allotted time I was awarded the claim and I duly expected a refund to hit my account within days. It never happened. Paypal notified me that there weren’t any cleared funds in the scammers account, not much of a surprise there, and I would have to wait until there were some before I could get my money. They helpfully informed me that they had been able to recover £0.00 of the money I was owed.

I waited patiently. And waited some more. After a month or two I sent an email asking for a status update and if there was anything I could do to help. I was informed that there wasn’t and there was nothing Paypal could do until cleared funds entered the scammers Paypal account. Clearly this wasn’t going to happen and Paypal had effectively washed their hands of it.

Now here’s the bit you’ve been waiting for, how to get your money back from Paypal.

The money used to pay for the goods was taken directly from my bank account via my credit/debit card and then transferred to the scammers Paypal account from mine. Because of this I was able to take print outs of the Paypal pages covering my dispute, along with the email Paypal sent me, to my bank and ask for the money to be refunded. The bank spoke to their claims department on my behalf and warned me that I may have to fill in a claim form and helpfully made me copies of the documentation I had taken in should I need to post them off.

Today I received a letter from my bank confirming a deposit into my account of the money Paypal owe me. A Chargeback Analyst had investigated my claim and awarded it without any further questioning, a top service and exactly what I had expected.

Here’s the crucial part: Make sure all your Paypal purchases require Paypal to load the money from your bank account via your credit or debit card. This gives you the option of taking the matter to the bank if Paypal cannot claim your money back for you after you win a dispute. Your bank takes online fraud very seriously, more seriously than Paypal and should happily investigate any claim where Paypal has failed to reimburse you as long as the money was taken via debit or credit card.

So in future, if you want extra protection that Paypal cannot offer, clear your Paypal funds into your bank account and only then make the purchase so that money is taken from your card. It may cost you a small amount to do this each time but it’ll be worth it if you ever have a dispute and Paypal is unable to get your money back.

Be aware that Paypal may well fight your bank, especially in cases involving large sums of money, but if you’ve followed Paypals procedures and still haven’t had any success then talking to your bank is a good step to take.