Online Buyers Potential Scam List. Report Item Not Received Fraud here.

When you are an online seller, you are going to get stiffed now and again by a small percentage of your buyers – that’s a given. A small margin needs to be built into your prices to self-indemnify against this.

If you are an eBay seller, and/or a Paypal user, then you are guaranteed to get stiffed more often as their rules are stacked entirely against the seller. And buyers know that, hence those mediums attract many dishonest buyers.

With Paypal users, all they need to do is claim the item didn’t arrive – and they get free money as Paypal will refund them from your account. Simple as that. The seller will always be in the wrong.

You will have sent the item and Paypal will gleefully refund the buyer as well. Nice huh? Yes, it is unfair and maybe corrupt, but that’s the price of using Paypal.

This is called item not received fraud. Yes, its fraud. But, its hard to prove. So many of them get away with it time and time again.

If you are a seller that uses eBay and/or Paypal, unless you send the item tracked, the buyer can claim non-receipt. If you are selling low value items you have good markup on, you may choose to take the risk.

If the seller uses a credit or debit card (with the exception of transactions processed by Nochex that doesn’t allow chargebacks), they can also claim non receipt of goods and chargeback the payment without difficulty.

Certainly, in the USA, chargeback is often used instead of customer service it seems. Many Americans are too lazy to contact you in the event of a genuine problem, they just call their bank and do a chargeback.

If an item you sold, erm…. doesn’t arrive, you may take the view that sending another doesn’t cost you much (assuming that is the case). Most of the time, this will be item not received fraud, and the buyer simply wants two for the price of one.

You may alternatively choose to wash your hands of the buyer and choose to refund them for a quiet life. This way they simply get a free item. Either way, the buyer wins.

So here’s the thing: How many people are there out there enjoying free stuff and/or free refunds for their online shopping this way? And more to the point, what can honest online sellers do about it apart from document them somewhere for others to find?

We know that the amount of items delivered incorrectly and/or lost by the Post Office is minuscule compared to the volumes they handle. In the real world, as a volume online seller, you might expect two or three genuine item not received claims a year. If that.

Some small firms and online sellers get three a week! Gee, there are some unlucky people out there for whom Royal Mail doesn’t appear to work properly, eh?

Our websites take debit/credit cards and Paypal. Don’t you think it odd that almost ALL the item not received stuff we get is from Paypal users? People who know if you don’t cave in, they will get a refund anyway?


What NOT to do with Paypal Transactions: 

  • Never allow an item to be collected. You cant prove delivery so they get free money – kerching!

  • Never send anything you cant afford to give away untracked. If they claim the item is not received, they get free money – kerching!

  • Never send to any address that isn’t the one documented on the Paypal transaction. If you do, they get free money – kerching! If they want delivery to another address, refund it and ask them to order/pay again using the correct address.

  • Never write on an item something like “If out, leave at number 29”. Ignore any requests to do so.

  • Never not send an item tracked because of buyer excuses about being at work and nobody to sign, etc. That is their problem – not yours.


Risk Profiling: 

What we do now is send items tracked or not according to an informal risk profile we have developed.

If we think there may be risk attached to the transaction, and it is over a certain value, it goes by some kind of tracked service.

In reality, this means addresses in known shit holes like Salford, some parts of Newcastle, Manchester and London, and anywhere else most people wouldn’t want to live, is more likely to get sent Recorded Delivery or similar. Simply because we get a lot of item not received fraud from poor areas. Which stands to reason I suppose.

The name and type of address we also look at.

Mr N Nbokumogo, 15 Nelson Mandella Towers, Craptown, East London will have his order sent Recorded Delivery.

Mable Higginthorpe, Butterscotch Cottage, Twee Village, The Cotswolds, will have her order sent by normal mail.

This isn’t foolproof, as the squeezed middle class are now getting in on item not received fraud. Certainly the Quidco, Wowcher and brigade. They like something for nothing.

Risk Profiling on International Sales: 

It goes without saying that you will be wasting your time selling to the third world – so forget Africa, India, most of South America and such places. Set up your shopping cart to exclude buyers from these locations.

Americans love to charge back, especially on foreigners, and usually before the item will have arrived from an international location anyway. Tracking is standard and cheap to do within the States. They understand no other method. So when they ask for a tracking number, and you haven’t got one, many chargeback fearing scam. Send to the US tracked if you cant afford to give it away.

Ireland (that is southern, not Northern) we seem to get more than our fair share of item not received fraud from. We set up our shopping cart to charge them higher shipping rates now to cover us to send everything there tracked.

Spain we also seem to get a few item not received claims from. Again, send stuff tracked there unless you can afford to give it away.

Heading Off Potential Item Not Received Fraud:

When we get one of these, we ask them to contact their local sorting office in case “a card wasn’t left”.  We know they usually are, but it gives them a face-saving get out for the next bit.

We also ask for the location of their local sorting office so we can contact them directly, and perhaps ask them to start an investigation for theft in transit.

At the same time, we ask that they check with neighbours, look in bins, porches, sheds, etc. in case it was left there.

In over 50% of cases, that’s the last we hear of them!

Of course, they don’t want an investigation at their local sorting office in case the postie remembers the big brown box from last week, or someone there says “What again?” down there. These are serial item not received fraudsters who don’t want attention. They will back off from a seller who doesn’t immediately cave in and wants to investigate instead of refund without questions.

The Hard Nosed Ones: 

From time to time, despite proof of delivery being available, some claim that they didn’t sign for it (the signature will always be an unintelligible squiggle or the name wont be the same). Others will claim an empty box was received. These are the ones who are narked you sent something tracked unexpectedly.

Invariably, these addresses will be flats or council estates. Often in areas with high immigration. We fight those claims and usually win.

So What to Do? 

We routinely Google email addresses, names and addresses of people who claim items haven’t arrived in case they have been named and shamed somewhere. Occasionally they have, and a simple link to that content makes them go away duly rumbled. However, most of that type of content out there is about eBay, not private websites. So lets put that right.

If you have been shafted by someone on eBay, we have a name and shame article for that here: Name and Shame Bad eBayers where you can document the reprobate. There is more information and articles for eBayers also in this section: eBay information. Only document someone below if it is an item not received claim.

However, if you have suffered an item not received claim, or other spurious claim when selling online via any medium (especially your own site), these are the ones that we need to document for the benefit of each other. 

If you get a claim and Google brings you here to read your buyer did it to someone else, that is highly unlikely to be a genuine claim. Rather, that is evidence you have encountered a serial fraudster you can then report to eBay, the bank or Paypal. Better still, link the miscreant.

It is important to note that if we begin to list such people in the comments section below here, not all of them will be scammers and fraudsters. Some will be innocent people whose item genuinely didn’t arrive. For them, it should be no more onerous than being in a telephone directory. We accept that they may simply be the victim of bad luck.

However, if we build up a list below, and Google brings you here for an item not received claim being made against you, and that name and address is here – publish it again! 

Do NOT link people here after you have published their information. Let them find out the hard way lest they change their buying data. 

This can build to be an excellent list of exactly who these people are who don’t receive stuff so often.

Use the comment box below. You want name, address, email address, eBay name (if applicable) and brief outline of the circumstances.

About time online sellers fought back.

10 Responses to “Online Buyers Potential Scam List. Report Item Not Received Fraud here.”

  1. Two of ours from this month who mysteriously don’t receive stuff:

    Roland Fryer
    306 Micklefield Rd
    High Wycombe
    HP13 7HX

    Paul Hunter
    Minster Law
    Alexander House
    Hospital Fields Rd
    YO10 4DZ

    Online sellers, recorded delivery only to these guys or you will be doing the buy one, get one free like we did.

  2. An American scammer who started howling “item not received” before it was even due to land:

    Brian Kingwill
    6985 Highway 56 # 4
    Pauline SC 29374-3132
    United States

    Phone number
    864 346 7170

    He was buying a book on how to date Russian women.

    The guy wants a Russian woman, but is unable to think outside of his American insular box. *sigh*

    He is suffering from what we in England call “The American Condition”. Terrified of being scammed, scared of eBay, doesn’t understand the delays associated with international mail. Uses chargeback and complaint instead of customer service. These people are incapable – because of inherent American stupidity – to grasp the concept of delays due to international mail. Equally incapable to grasp that the bogus “war on terror” and the slow US customs cause mail delays from Europe in the “land of the free”. Instead, these idiots do not read vital delivery information and scream “scam” at the first opportunity.

    We have even had stupid Americans howling about non-delivery after one day. From Europe. I mean really, how stupid are these people? Are they really that dim? Or do they just like stiffing European sellers and shopping for free with Paypal chargebacks?

  3. Brian Kingwill of Pauline, South Carolina runs a driving school called Woodruff Driving School.

    He has three BBB complaints against him:

    He also has negative eBay feedback:

    The guy is a known scammer.

  4. There is now a forum topic on this if anyone wants to join in: Americans/Canadians and Paypal Chargebacks

    We are thinking now to close our shopping carts to the USA and Canada this happens so much. 🙁

  5. A buy one get one free situation for us here:

    Mark Silk
    2 Marconi Drive
    PE7 3ZR

    Might be for real, but the Post Office always seems to work for me……..

  6. Another from Australia this time:

    Christopher Adami
    Deb Benson
    8 CB Fisher Drive
    South Australia

    We dont usually get this lark from Aussies. Looks like Oz is on the tracking only list like America now.

  7. Donald Peppiatt
    72 Deerswood Avenue
    AL10 8SA

    Bad luck or fraudster? We don’t know. What we do know that we had to send two due to “item not received”. Signed-for only to this one folks!

  8. Another one:

    Richard Watson
    13 Theakston Grove
    Stockton on Tees
    TS18 5PG
    07981 553658

  9. Another buy one get one free situation here. 🙁

    Darran West
    15 Ascot Gardens
    RM12 6SP

  10. Here is one to flag up in your databases:

    Christine Bell
    7 Gorsedene Road,
    Whitley Bay,
    NE26 4AH


    This is one of those that wants to shaft you on returns. Probably narked the order went out Recorded Delivery [as risk profile suggested being Tyneside]. The return lark starts then. Claimed misrepresentation, when that was debunked and proved false, argued about having to pay restocking/original outbound postage @ £6. Next step: arguing about return terms, when she learned they were Trading Standards approved, she gets in touch with them to check.

    Mad as a box of frogs. Happy costing sellers and the public purse money. These people drive prices up. Block her at database level unless you want her shafting you too.

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