Fighting flash fraud on Ebay

The authors of this blog want to elimnate flash fraud on Ebay

Paypal gives ebay victim a hard time over refund for fake Kingston

with 8 comments

The USB flash drive that was sold in this ebay listing (item number 300432471678) by warrior.3000 is a very obvious counterfeit and fake capacity Kingston DataTraveler 200 flash drive for the following reasons:

  1. Kingston do not sell the Kingston DataTraveler 200 in 256GB capacity.
  2. There are three capacities available, colour coded as folllows:
    • blue & black for 32GB.
    • yellow & black for 64.
    • all black for 128GB
  3. There is no pink and black Kingston DataTraveler 200

Despite the fact that this is well known to anyone familiar with Kingston’s product range and that paypal could easily have checked the Kingston website they are cutting up awkward about refunding the poor buyer who realised too late that what he had bought was a counterfeit and fake capacity flash drive. Here are a couple of extracts from a recent message received from PayPal by the defrauded buyer:

I have reviewed your account and I can see by reading your email the item you received is counterfeit. The buyer protection policy rules to receive this refund, you the buyer must return the item to the seller in the same condition as it was received.

Ahem! If this Paypal representative admits the item is counterfeit then why ask the buyer to break the law by sending the item back to the seller? Sending counterfeit goods through the postal service is illegal in most countries – and we did check this with the police some time back!

… as we are an internet-based business, we do not have the opportunity to review the items and evidence in question. To resolve your claim as fairly and efficiently as possible, we need to ask for documentation from an unbiased third party to validate your claim.

As paypal is an Internet based company and its employees obviously have access to the Internet (after all they couldn’t send messages to people otherwise!) is it too much to ask for them to review the listing on their parent company’s website (ebay is the parent company) and the item in question is ebay item number 300432471678.

It would have taken very little time for the PayPal representative to check the ebay item against the product description on the Kingston web site. After all, we did this in under 5 minutes – why can’t they? There should be absolutely no need for third party validation (a very onerous demand to make of a buyer) in such an obvious case. Here is what the PayPal representative asked this fake flash victim for:

To continue with our investigation, we need documentation that shows the item you received is not authentic. This document should be from an unbiased third-party, such as a dealer, appraiser, or another individual or organisation that is qualified in the area of the item in question (other than yourself).

The document should include the following information:

• Item serial number (if applicable)
• Description of the item which confirms that it is not authentic • A letterhead that includes the name, signature, address, and phone number of the individual, business, or organisation so that PayPal can contact them if necessary

You can fax supporting documentation to PayPal at +1 402 537 5760. Please include a cover sheet with your fax that includes the email address registered on your PayPal account and the ID number of the claim PP-000-982-236-181. This will allow us to attach the document to the claim as quickly as possible.

Please ensure we receive your fax documentation within 10 days of our original email request. Your claim will be cancelled if we do not receive your documentation within this time. Please note that PayPal is unable to reimburse you for any costs or fees incurred in obtaining the requested documents.

It is my pleasure to assist you. Thank you for choosing PayPal.

Yours sincerely,

It is my pleasure to assist you???

Just what did PayPal representative Sharon do to assist this victim of fake flash fraud?? Nothing as far as we can see. To the contrary, the demands made on the victim (and the timescale in which these ludicrous requirements to get a refund are to be met) suggest to us that paypal’s buyer protection claims are a load of tosh!!

To make the issue absolutely clear for ebay and PayPal employees here is the evidence that the flash drive sold by warrior.3000 in ebay listing number 300432471678 is counterfeit – published on the Internet for all the world to see!!

The screenshot below of the product details on the Kingston website proves that what we are saying is correct. The page has been reduced in size but we have superimposed the relevant details in the red boxes at full size, just in case ebay and paypal employees are a bit short-sighted as well as apparently lacking in intellgence!

We await the outcome of this case – the buyer bought an obvious counterfeit Kingston on ebay – not from Kingston and not 256GB capacity. Will ebay/Paypal live up to their buyer protection claims and refund this victim of fake flash memory immediately? Given the evidence we have presented here we cannot imagine any plausible excuse for not doing so!

We will update if we ever hear the outcome of this case. We may not as the buyer seems to be caving in to paypal’s unreasonable demands rather than taking our advice.

I’m afraid we get rather exasperated with buyers who lie down and take it rather than fighting back – this ebayer has not even left a neg about this obvious fake! We almost begin to feel that such buyers deserve all they get.

Written by fightflashfraud

June 13, 2010 at 6:04 AM

8 Responses

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  1. Hi Ananda,

    Paypal sometimes make things very difficult for defrauded buyers – no doubt you were asked for third party documentation on headed notepaper, which we cannot provide; but you may find that your local computer store might. Otherwise you could try Kingston customer service – they have occasionally helped buyers.

    These suggestions are as much as we can do to help in this situation; especially as you didn’t give us details of your purchase , sorry.


    October 14, 2010 at 6:02 PM

  2. I also have received a fake 128GB datatraveller 200. Paypal asked me so send that third party deocument.

    Please give me evidences on diferences real kingston data traveller and faked one. in writing to forward to paypal guys.


    October 14, 2010 at 5:29 PM

  3. Bojo,

    All the evidence PayPal need that the item is counterfeit is in the article we wrote. If they want proof to attach to your claim they could simply print that out.

    We have all had nonsense about faxing things – simply a way of trying to wriggle out of responsibility.

    We have found in the past that pursuing it up the chain of command both with PayPal and ebay by talking with supervisors has resulted in a full refund.


    June 14, 2010 at 6:37 AM

  4. “Where I am coming from”? I do not deserve attention because of that??? This was stupid.
    Check again may comment there

    I am software developer from Bulgaria.
    The seller is probably Chinese, living in UK.
    He have sold 2 fake drives before mine so he knew, mine arrived opened so he knew and have tested it itself so its intentional – he just lies. The reason that he want it back is to return it to his seller.
    But the problem is not with him but with eBay and PayPal and their lack of policy to resolve such cases. It needed a lot of emails till they “find out” that an unbiased third party can confirm this. They need something to attach to the case to not take the responsibility itself…
    Give me email where to send the entire conversation if its of interest for you.


    June 13, 2010 at 10:04 PM

  5. Hi Bojo,
    It would have been helpful if you had provided this info in the first place! Now that we see where you are coming from we feel somewhat sheepish about negative comments we made about your approach. We’ve all been through the mill with stupid responses from PayPal (we have a few rather rude names for both them and the parent company, ebay) – good luck with your attempt to make them see sense!!


    June 13, 2010 at 9:24 PM

  6. The seller confirmed that “may be its fake” – there was same problem with previous _two_ that he sold. He offered partial refund and the rest when I return it to him that I obviously denied. After the claim he confirmed that he only wants the item back. So there is response and there is no denial to refund. He is not important now, the quest now is only with PayPal but there is improvement after every mail – already fourth 🙂
    We will see how it will end…


    June 13, 2010 at 8:32 PM

  7. To Bojo:
    It seems you didn’t even take the first step in ensuring you get a refund for an obvious fake – leaving a neg for the seller if they don’t offer a refund quickly when you point out that it’s fake (or even if they do!) You are on a losing trail here by caving in.

    At least Paypal has now acknowledged that a counterfeit should not be returned but destroyed – so that is a small step forward.

    If you want to get anywhere then you need to be much more pro-active.


    June 13, 2010 at 7:07 PM

  8. Thanks! Unfortunately didn’t work… I am trying to contact Kingston and local dealers to make up some document.
    Here PayPal’s response about yours statement

    Mr. Alexandrov, I apologise for the difficulties you are experiencing and understand your frustration at this situation. I also understand that it may seem that our dispute procedure for counterfeit items is difficult to follow for the buyers. Unfortunately, we are obliged to remain objective to all parties and must have a legal basis for accepting a counterfeit claim.
    For this reason, we must receive written statement from a third party to confirm this claim.

    Once we receive this document, we will be able to issue a refund and you will not be asked to send the item back to the seller. Instead, you will be requested to destroy the item.

    Mr. Alexandrov, we kindly ask you to complete the claim procedure and provide the necessary document to help us fight the sale of counterfeit goods through our system.

    We appreciate your patience and understanding regarding this matter.

    Yours sincerely,


    June 13, 2010 at 6:42 PM

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