Well, not quite 'fool me twice', since I made absolutely certain not to leave money where they can steal it. This is not my first rodeo.
Being unemployed at the moment, I've had the time and the will to clear out a whole bunch of 'things' and convert them to money. Unfortunately, the best way to get top dollar on some of these things is to auction them on Ebay, an activity something akin to dancing with a large hyena.
It also means being forced to deal with Ebay's bastard child, PayPal.... an organization of thievery, and morals so low you need a shovel to find the place they used to be before they vanished.
Having had my dance with the devil before, I entered into the fray with eyes wide open. I limited sales to items that were of low enough value not to trip PayPal's "Freeze the account suddenly and confiscate the funds" limit. This seems to be about $500 or so, although they will happily do so with smaller balances. I imagine they are only staffed enough that efficiency in ripping people off must be a priority.
So, I limited sales in number and dollar amount, and kept the PayPal account cleaned out at all times. Also, the bank account linked to the PayPal account was kept swept clean as well. The goal being to leave those jackels with nothing to steal.
This working out quite well for roughly six months, but they have finally gotten around to setting their sights on poor little me again. So be it..... I left them scorched earth.
There are presently two scams running, that I can see. One is by buyers on Ebay, and is being done with Ebay and PaPal's assistance. It runs like this:
- Buyer bids and wins an item, and pays via PayPal
- Seller ships the item to the buyer.
- Buyer files a phony 'Item not as described' case with Ebay.
- Ebay immediately locks up the sale funds in the PayPal account.
- Buyer demands money from the seller to close the case/remove feedback.
- Ebay will not respond in any way to the seller's plight, and runs the open case for at least 30 days.
PayPal institutes the second scam, which is suddenly demanding 'verification of identity' from the account holder, and once again locking up the account and confiscating the money in it for their own use. The process takes weeks, if not longer. Done to people by the tens of thousands, this process would give PayPal millions of dollars in currency float to profit from.
Since PayPal is not a 'bank', and does not operate under banking regulations, they can get away with this, as can Ebay, their parent company.
So.... they got me..... they got me.... but they didn't even make a dollar on it this time.
Luckily, I managed to run long enough before the thieves got around to me, and sold what I wished to get rid of while leaving nothing for the looters to steal.