What's the course of action for going after an eBay/PayPal predator?
April 14, 2014 4:37 AM   Subscribe

Someone hacked a PayPal account to buy an item from me on eBay (my old iPad). PayPal resolved the claim in our favor and we both got our money back, but now I want to go after this derelict. I want justice! For me, for the person that owns the PayPal account (who I talked to and she's very nice), and for anyone he might rip off in the future.

I used signature confirmation so I know his name. He used his real home mailing address so I have that. I looked him up and have his Facebook profile URL, his Twitter account, his Instagram account -- as well as my documented claim on PayPal. Obviously he's not the sharpest tool in the tool shed.

I hate the idea of him just getting off totally free. Sure, we got our money back, but he's just going to keep ripping people off. I want him to at least get a talking to from the police.

So my question is, what's the right course of action for this? Do i just phone up the police in that town and talk to them? Would they even care? Is this in their jurisdiction?
posted by dep to Law & Government (6 answers total)
This happened to me. Look up the cops on the web -- they may have a particular point of contact for this sort of thing who will take your report and go out and interview the person, and then nothing will happen, but they'll have a file for the next time someone calls them and says that Wellington Q. Scumbag hacked someone's account, and eventually, they'll either stop or get smarter or get caught doing something worse.
posted by Etrigan at 4:41 AM on April 14, 2014 [3 favorites]

Report it to the police? Resolution of a crime does not negate the crime.
posted by chasles at 4:50 AM on April 14, 2014 [1 favorite]

Thirding making a police report.

Also, ideally, wouldn't something like this be pursued by PayPal?
posted by Tsukushi at 5:19 AM on April 14, 2014

Police report.

Are you sure you're really looking for justice, and not retribution? Everyone has their money back, after all.
posted by scruss at 6:40 AM on April 14, 2014

If I was so inclined, I would contact the police local to me and file a police report (including the person's info you found as a suspect.)

I would also ask the woman who had her account hacked to do the same.

Hopefully, one or both jurisdictions would contact the hacker's local PD to do a contact questioning, but you could always follow up once you have the Police Report number, and or receive an assigned Detective's name.

You could follow up with the local PD to the hacker, but unless you're willing to present yourself in person at the PD, it is unlikely that much will be done about it. There's really not too much you can do over the phone to firmly separate yourself from a random crank out to "get" some poor guy. If you do call, however, having a police report to reference from your own PD will greatly enhance your believability.

However, given that a personal crime / theft didn't actually occur in the end, the onus may be on PayPal and/or eBay to follow up with.

You should also keep in mind the unlikely (yet possible) alternative, that this guy is an unwitting participant in a more wide ranging scheme.

I understand the sentiment though. If it happened to me, I'd be sorely torn between letting it go, and messing with this guy's life through FB and other means on a daily basis.
posted by Debaser626 at 10:38 AM on April 14, 2014

I am active in a specific hobby group. We had a new young guy suddenly show up, very nice and polite, and we all liked him a lot. He had a tough home situation and our older, professionally established members were considering how best to help him. And then very randomly, I saw his picture on a message board, with dire warnings about conducting any type of business with him due to some serious spammy behavior. There were several names listed as his aliases, and posts by numerous people discussing how he had cheated them out of money, goods, and services. Our group discussed it privately and decided to give him the benefit of the doubt and proceed cautiously. We wrote it up to possible youthful indiscretions, lack of adult role models, etc, and decided to just be careful where any money was concerned. He did not know we had this information. Sure enough, just a few weeks later he tried to scam one of our members over a transaction involving about $500. Not a small sum and especially not to this particular member. We were all so relieved that he was not successful, but he would have easily pulled it off if I hadn't stumbled upon that information.

So I'm going to take a different approach here. I think there must be a way to get the basic information out there, and possibly save someone else a big headache in the future. I don't know the best place to do it, but it needs to be done. Preferably something google-able.

Just my two cents worth.
posted by raisingsand at 1:07 PM on April 14, 2014 [1 favorite]

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