Ridin' the Rapids - Dec. 16
December 16, 2021 | View PDF
You’ve probably seen some pretty far-fetched online deals. Some say, “New Honda generators for $99,” or mobile phones, video game consoles, laptops, and jewelry “that was over-ordered and has to be sold because of a lack of storage space.”
Those ads have always intrigued me so I thought I’d give this one a try and see what happened - a Canon XA50 video recorder for $49.
When it didn’t arrive I contacted the seller who claimed it had been delivered. They even gave me a U.S. Postal Service tracking number to prove their claim. That stumped me when the Post Office confirmed the tracking info was correct and it was delivered.
What I’d forgotten was the unusual padded envelope that came in the same time frame. Inside was a cheap cloth purse suitable for holding credit cards. Newspapers often get unsolicited samples but I couldn’t figure this one’s appeal. Luckily I hadn’t yet gone to the dump and still had the envelope. The return address was for an individual in San Francisco I didn’t know.
An online search showed the address matched a citrus fruit distributor, not a residential address.
Anticipating such shenanigans, I’d used Paypal because of their Purchase Protection service. A surprise came when they ruled that I’d received the shipment. When I sent images of what was ordered and what was delivered, Paypal said the case was closed because “This transaction is ineligible for Paypal Purchase Protection.”
People who read the “Advice” section of the River Reflections website can likely predict my next move - contact Chris Elliott, who writes the “Problem Solved” column.
Within a week he’d convinced Paypal it made better sense to honor their protection plan and issue my refund, rather than generate negative publicity.
I’ve since looked at the FBI’s “30 Common Scams & Crimes.” Yes, this was one of them.