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Wed Aug 6 2014 12:12:54

Bad Buyer Uses Mail-Forwarding Feature to Scam eBay, Etsy Seller

By: Reader

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Dear Ina,
A new scam we have seen twice this week with our packages at eBay and Etsy. What we are seeing happens like this.

We ship the package. Customer contacts us about the time it is due for delivery and says they are wanting their package. When we check the tracking number it says "Undeliverable as Addressed Jun-23-14, 11:39 AM, COLORADO SPRINGS, CO 80920"

The next note will day one of several like "Forwarded Jun-26-14, 12:30 PM, COLORADO SPRINGS, CO," or, "Intransit."

At this point the next communication from the customer is demanding that we send a replacement order asap.

What I think is happening is that the customer is manipulating their package by forwarding their mail and bouncing it off of several addresses to delay delivery to get a second replacement order or a refund thru eBay buyer protection program and a free goods when package is delivered at alternative address

The customer can pull this scam at the www.usps.com under the tab manage your mail here a scammer can hold mail, redirect mail, intercept a package with a premium forwarding service.

We saw an Etsy order that we shipped from Indiana to California start off with the undeliverable address get forwarded to Minnesota and then to a different address in California When we would not give into the demands for a replacement order then the package was finally delivered to another CA address after about a two weeks.

I think this is a new scam that sellers are going to be seeing now and the vulnerability is from the USPS website.
C.




Comments (15) | Permalink

Readers Comments

Bad Buyer Uses Mail-Forwarding Feature to Scam eBa   Bad Buyer Uses Mail-Forwarding Feature to Scam eBa

This user has validated their user name. by: Basset

Wed Aug 6 12:27:08 2014

Mail Fraud is a federal crime. Hope they get caught!

Then I HOPE they get punished. These days you can't be sure that will happen.  

Bad Buyer Uses Mail-Forwarding Feature to Scam eBa   Bad Buyer Uses Mail-Forwarding Feature to Scam eBa

This user has validated their user name. by: iheartjacksparrow

Wed Aug 6 12:49:43 2014

@letter writer "C." - You need to file a mail fraud claim with the postmaster of your branch against the buyer. Also, the FBI has a web site devoted to internet fraud and you should see if you can file a report against the buyer detailing the scam.

Do you know that Patrick R. Donahoe is the Postmaster General? You know any company headed by a Donahoe is going to find a way to screw the sellers.

Bad Buyer Uses Mail-Forwarding Feature to Scam eBa   Bad Buyer Uses Mail-Forwarding Feature to Scam eBa

This user has validated their user name. by: Marie

Wed Aug 6 13:11:04 2014

On Ebay, if your buyer made a formal demand such as this through opening a claim, they would lose the claim if you were to fight it.  A seller's responsibility stops at the point it got forwarded.

So the only way a seller would be taken advantage of in a case like this is if the seller bent to the buyer's demands on their own.

It certainly is something for everyone to watch for.  Thank you for posting this.

Bad Buyer Uses Mail-Forwarding Feature to Scam eBa   Bad Buyer Uses Mail-Forwarding Feature to Scam eBa

This user has validated their user name. by: Rexford

Wed Aug 6 17:22:54 2014

If it was marked un-deliverable, I'm wondering if the intended addressee ever saw it.  The postal deliveryman or someone at the post office would actually have to make the un-deliverable entry, wouldn't he? I could easily see how a customer could manipulate a package delivery, but you'd have to have a postal worker cooperating if entries are made into USPS.com tracking.

Let us know how it turns out please.

Bad Buyer Uses Mail-Forwarding Feature to Scam eBa   Bad Buyer Uses Mail-Forwarding Feature to Scam eBa

by: Sunflower This user has validated their user name.

Wed Aug 6 22:30:39 2014

Can't hurt to mark your packages near the postage-Do Not Forward. Credit card companies do this all of the time. It would take time I suppose if you had a huge amount of sales, but I would think it to be worth it if you don't want to risk losing your items.

Bad Buyer Uses Mail-Forwarding Feature to Scam eBa   Bad Buyer Uses Mail-Forwarding Feature to Scam eBa

by: comet This user has validated their user name.

Wed Aug 6 23:48:35 2014

I have had TWO recent UNDELIVERABLE packages.  One to NYC and one to NJ.  

The one to NJ turned out to be an addy the buyer had moved from  AND  arranged to have mail forwarded from-and we managed to track the package down and get it delivered properly--but I had to pull my BEST Jersey Girl 'tude to DO this with the Jersey Post Office personnel.

I don't often DO that but nice to kow I haven't LOST it after being out of Jersey for 30 years!  

The NY one  showed as UNDELIEVERABLE for a few days--asked the buyer to contact THEIR PO---don't know if they ever did--on the ebay site it showed NOTHING and on the PO Web Site it showed as being RETURNED TO SENDER--then astonishingly after another WEEK it showed up at the buyers place.  I don't think this was a scam but the PO is beyond hopeless these days.

I had one a few years ago where the PO somehow got the ZIP code confused;  told me the item was Lost Missing and or Stolen;  the buyer spoke to their local PO and their mail carrier as did I---then as I was on the PHONE with the LOCAL PO where the person told me the item was NEVER at their PO and had been RETURNED to ME---the item was DELIVERED to the buyer who immed emailed me!

And I had a recent item sale that circled the drain at a SORT center for a solid MONTH.  After I sent out a replacement the item arrived the NEXT DAY and the buyer did return the replacement to me.  

I don't trust ANYTHING the PO says or does.  Sad tho.  

Bad Buyer Uses Mail-Forwarding Feature to Scam eBa   Bad Buyer Uses Mail-Forwarding Feature to Scam eBa

This user has validated their user name. by: thehosst

Thu Aug 7 01:03:56 2014

You can open a case with the Postal Inspectors, as many as you can for all those addresses but MAKE SURE this low-life scammer knows this. You will see how quickly he stops his tricks, also make sure you report this to eBay and to Etsy and also Paypal.

ATTENTION SELLERS, when you open a case with Postal Inspectors and let buyer know you are doing it, buyers usually "find" or "get" package.  

Bad Buyer Uses Mail-Forwarding Feature to Scam eBa   Bad Buyer Uses Mail-Forwarding Feature to Scam eBa

by: Watching the Wheels This user has validated their user name.

Thu Aug 7 03:16:39 2014

With so many of the postal facilities being automated, packages can wind up bouncing in a bizarre twilight zone postal loop.

You need to get your post office involved to make phone calls, and to send emails to the destination end and do some actual work.

It might not be a scam; it might be automation.

To date I've  had 4 packages wind up in these rotations of not reaching the buyer, but not getting sent back to me either.

Bad Buyer Uses Mail-Forwarding Feature to Scam eBa   Bad Buyer Uses Mail-Forwarding Feature to Scam eBa

by: felyne This user has validated their user name.

Thu Aug 7 06:22:10 2014

I had something similar happen with an int'l shipment to India. Never again. They didn't push after I said I wouldn't do a bank transfer refund which would have cost more than the item. I also found out PayPal banned them preventing me from doing a refund thru them. Scam all over it.

Bad Buyer Uses Mail-Forwarding Feature to Scam eBa   Bad Buyer Uses Mail-Forwarding Feature to Scam eBa

by: cosqueen This user has validated their user name.

Thu Aug 7 06:50:41 2014

This happened to me at least 3 times on Amazon.  The customer writes to me saying they live in (state) and the parcel was delivered to (state).  I will persistently call every post office until I speak to someone in person and ask them if the customer has a forwarding address.  All 3 times they did!!  So I confronted the customer.  Two times I never heard back from them; the third customer was surprised her mail was being forwarded (shocking).  Buyers are getting extremely creative in ways to invent scams.  I will pursue every means available to stop criminal behavior.  EVERY seller should take the time to report internet theft.  It is a sad realization shoppers no longer have to enter a store and risk being caught on camera when they can accomplish the same thing without leaving their home.  I report any suspicious behavior to the marketplaces I sell and file claims with the USPS in every instance.  

Bad Buyer Uses Mail-Forwarding Feature to Scam eBa   Bad Buyer Uses Mail-Forwarding Feature to Scam eBa

by: umeone This user has validated their user name.
Web Site

Thu Aug 7 07:34:13 2014

Thank you so much for the heads up on this new scam!

Bad Buyer Uses Mail-Forwarding Feature to Scam eBa   Bad Buyer Uses Mail-Forwarding Feature to Scam eBa

by: Tornad0sRul This user has validated their user name.

Thu Aug 7 14:12:40 2014

The quicker that we identify the scams and tricks the harder it will be for the crooks to get by with their stealing.  That is why it is crucial to have sites like this where sellers can warn other sellers and "nip it in the bud" before they rip off too many other innocent sellers.

I tried to find a way to add "DO NOT FORWARD" in the address line of each shipping label being printed on EBay but could not find one. I also called EBay and asked if there was a way to add that and they said no.  That option may be available with 3rd party applications that print shipping labels, but EBay's does not have that capability.  There are rubber ink stamps available for purchase that say "DO NOT FORWARD" and I think that I may invest in one.

Bad Buyer Uses Mail-Forwarding Feature to Scam eBa   Bad Buyer Uses Mail-Forwarding Feature to Scam eBa

by: Ebay's Slow Death This user has validated their user name.

Fri Aug 8 02:36:18 2014

Why not use your printer to print off ''Do Not Forward'' labels?  Then stick one on the front of every package.

I think I will do that!

Bad Buyer Uses Mail-Forwarding Feature to Scam eBa   Bad Buyer Uses Mail-Forwarding Feature to Scam eBa

by: Tornad0sRul This user has validated their user name.

Fri Aug 8 09:44:50 2014

I had a buyer cut open the bottom of the box and open the package (therefore the shipping label on top of the box was intact and the package appeared unopened), taped it back shut, wrote "REFUSED" on the box, and gave it to the postman to return to me.  That way the buyer didn't have to pay for return shipping in order to get a refund.

The crooks will always be out there and we must always be vigilant. Don't roll over and play dead with those losers.  So many sellers simply give a refund because they are afraid of losing Top Rated Seller status or they are afraid of receiving negative feedback, but that just enables the thieves.

If they wanted to I am sure that the crooks could simply use permanent marker to white-out the "do not forward."  They seem to always be one step ahead of us.

Bad Buyer Uses Mail-Forwarding Feature to Scam eBa   Bad Buyer Uses Mail-Forwarding Feature to Scam eBa

by: darkflux This user has validated their user name.

Thu Jul 14 17:08:36 2016

actually, it may not be the buyer's fault. i bought something a while back, and i watched the tracking info for a bit. it had been sent to the capital of my state's Post Office, so I figured it would get to me within a day or two. a week later and it was still not here, so i checked the tracking again, and it had been forwarded to Minnesota! back in the opposite direction about 1000 miles! i was going to talk to the seller the next day, but i thought i should call the USPS first. after walking through their steps, they said it had been delivered. i went and checked my PO Box and sure enough there it was!
checked tracing again, and it said it was UAA at Minnesota, and got forwarded back to me. never figured out exactly what happened, but my dad used to be a Postmaster, and you have to remember that a lot of these sorters are still only human. the computer can TELL them it goes in mail truck 269, but if the person puts it in 296, then there ya go.



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