Local photographer Chris Ibbotson has been caught up in Paypal money laundering scam which has put his business on hold in terms of processing online transactions.
Police have been warning the public over the last few weeks regarding online scams.
In a social media post an emotional Chris said this evening “Regret to say I’ve been a victim of a complex money laundering scam & I must warn you all.
A friend contacted me late last night through FB Messenger enquiring about PayPal. I do use PayPal for my business. The claim was they were due some payments but he’d been waiting 4 days for PayPal to authorise his linked bank account. The ‘friend’ asked if anyway his buyer could send payment to my own PayPal, I then transfer this balance to my own bank account then transfer to his account. He was all jovial and thankful that I was helping and as I was not moving my own cash there was no loss to me. 3 further payments came in quickly and a cash incentive to keep £50 for my trouble. We are talking a LOT of money.
My real friend messaged this morning saying hope I didn’t send money as Facebook hacked. The fraudster has done a chargeback on Paypal for 1 payment so far …money I no longer have as it’s been sent back to him via my bank. PayPal have debited £460 so far from my balance and paid it back to this b*****d.
Further chargeback may follow totalling £1800 and it appears PayPal can do bug*er all because the buyer has credit card protection. I’ve spent whole day on phone to PayPal, my bank, Action Fraud and the Police who will all investigate it.
As PayPal refuse to lock my account, I have no choice but to disable all commerce from my website. No online orders at all for prints, frames, canvases or calendars. Please contact me privately if you wish to order.
I feel physically sick!”
Speaking to Causeway Coast Community, Chris said – “Today has been a gut wrenching upsetting one. I was chatting for sometime with my ‘friend’ unknowing his account had been completely hacked and this fraudster had full control of his Messenger.
I was not aware that money could then be reclaimed by him back from Paypal after I effectively transferred the original 4 payments back to his bank account instead of my friends. I came so close to physically being sick and passing out when I discovered this news this morning. The real friend’s sister has also had money taken from her too!!”