A new twist on an old problem- ebay purchases- warning

This is vape related -sort of- because the purchase I made is to complete a project that I intend to pass around and let people try. I have an 80 year old metal lathe that just is not up to the task. I’ve struggled attempting to rebuild it and found my self in the predicament of needing a lathe to fix my lathe. I turned to eBay and made a sizeable purchase only to receive the following message from eBay:

“Your recent eBay transaction may be from a compromised account.”

May BE? WTF???

"Hello …

You were recently involved in a transaction for the following item:
2733997xxxx - Precision Metal Lathe etc.
"We’re writing to let you know that an unauthorized third party may have accessed the seller’s account to list this item. The item has been removed from the site, and the transaction was cancelled. We ask that you take the following precautions:

  • If you already paid for the item, you may be protected by eBay. Open a request with the Resolution Center and choose, “I bought an item. I haven’t received it yet.”

If the transaction doesn’t qualify for eBay’s protection, it may be because your payment isn’t claimed by the seller or has been reversed. You can request an update on the status of the transaction by contacting the payment service provider.

(my bank has been charged)

-" If you haven’t paid for your item, consider this transaction canceled and do not send payment."

I made payment by PayPal to a Chinese merchant. I can’t get anywhere with this "MAY’ shit. Either the account was compromised and hacked or it wasn’t. What about my eBay account and PayPal accounts?
I have no idea whether I will have my funds refunded and have just spent hours attempting to navigate automated systems that will not allow complaints until several days have passed. Waited 53 minutes to talk to a human only to be disconnected and put back in the que. :rage:

If eBay identities can be hacked then IMO it is no longer even remotely safe.

Anyone else ever experience something like this? I have a sizeable amount of money tied up for who knows how long or if I will ever recover it. I have contacted my bank.


Update. eBay requires purchasers to contact sellers and attempt to resolve disputes. But this begs the questions; eBay saw fit to remove the listing and warn people to not make payment if they haven’t, so what purpose would be accomplished by contacting a seller in China under these circumstances? Why would an individual engage in a dispute process conducted and decided by employees of a private corporation when those employees have nullified the transactions and removed the listings? Seems to me that common sense would mandate that they tell the seller to immediately refund or they would turn the matter over to legal authorities and institute their “buyer protection program” to protect their users. I am astonished. PayPal is requiring me to use eBay’s dispute resolution process before instituting their process. I simply clicked buy it now and sent payment immediately. There is zero chance of receiving the merchandise. What dispute???"


That sucks, I have no experience with eBay. Shipping fees to Europe are ridiculously high and defeats the purpose of buying anything cheap on the site.
Looks like I didn’t miss much.
Can’t you start a dispute at Paypal anyway and tell them you can’t go the eBay route first because they’ve removed the listing?


I had the same thing happen to me the item arrived but was a fake - i ended up having to call ebay and spend ages - i did get the coin back tho


That’s a great idea and exactly what I tried, but I then got an email from eBay saying that since I instituted a claim with PayPal, they would not respond and the issue was “closed.” Huh?

PayPal then advised me that they had sent my complaint to the seller and gave him 10 days to respond. I advised them that he was claiming that he did not list the item yet had already claimed payment from PayPal.

I will be at my bank first thing Monday but it appears that all will pass the buck and continue to lead me in circles. Beware everyone. It appears that items can be listed…payment obtained… and then claim that the seller didn’t list the item leaving the purchaser dangling by “rules” and automated conditions that simply don’t fit the situation. This seller has 4600 feedback ratings which made me feel like dealing with him was relatively safe.

You might still get your money through PP after the 10 days have passed.
It’s all a bit fishy, not a reference to you btw @anon96380778 :upside_down_face:
If the seller claims it’s not his item but has taken your money anyway you should be able to get it back.

I don’t know how banks work where you are but here you can have the money put back into your account after a payment has been made.
I don’t even have to go to the bank, I can do that online.


I sure hope you’re right. This is not just a few bucks. Its well into 4 digits which is a lot of money to me. We have trade wars and new import tariffs put in place and I have to wonder if that is behind this.This stuff may be far reaching. Who knows. No new vape gear for me for awhile. :anguished:

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I think that’s reaching a little bit, at least at this point. But I do admire the Grassy Knoll approach. I like to use it at times, too. :sunglasses:

I don’t know a lot of people that would shrug off a 4 digit purchase, so I completely understand your stomach ache, my friend. I hope this is just an alarming misunderstanding and all works out.

I made a $500 laptop purchase online using PayPal via Walmart.com. I am glad I did (used Walmart rather than a small vendor, that is) because it arrived broken, miserably. Must have been a previous return because it was obviously not new as advertised. I returned it to the closest B&M, who accepted the return and said I should see it hit my PP account in a few days.

It never did. I contacted Walmart more than once and was told everything cleared on their end, and they processed the payment to my PP. Nope!! Since they claimed everything was through and done, they were of no further assistance. Pissed me off.

So I filed a complaint with PayPal, presented a copy of the original transaction along with the return receipt. They found in my favor and I got my money back. So I’m hopeful that with your evidence, even if this is a scam by the seller, PP will still step up and make it right. I figure, if they will stand up for me against someone like Wal-Mart, they will make it right by you, too.

What it doesn’t do is make it feel like justice, because there’s no guarantee PP will recover the funds back for themselves, which sucks.

I am not too happy with all the if’s and maybe’s coming from eBay, honestly.


A 25% tariff on Chinese machine tools went into effect July 6 and it has pissed a lot of people off. I won’t give my political viewpoint on this except to say that tensions have never been higher. There is another round of tariffs coming in Sept. and I honestly don’t know what those will cover. Hell, vaping products may even be included at some point which wouldn’t surprise me in the least. Old wisdom teaches that “the power to tax is the power to destroy.” (rant off)

I’m just speculating but I suspect that this seller was about to lose his ass and bailed but it is a bizarre situation particularly with eBay removing the listing and cancelling the transactions. If my info is correct at least 5 others made this purchase. I’ve been on eBay since 1999 and have watched it go from a really great thing to FUBAR. Buyer protection became an insurance premium paid by all sellers as part of fees which of course come from purchasers.

And LOL you very likely wouldn’t want to hear my thesis and dissertation on the “grassy knoll” and Kennedy assassination[s]. :rofl:


I’m watching and praying you come out of this ok. You’re much braver than I regarding eBay. Most expensive item I’ve ordered was the homogenizer motor an that was like 250. Even that felt like a gamble.


I’ve made more than 1K purchases on eBay but have always avoided international purchases and 'virtual stores. ’ Never again. But for some things there is (was?) no better place. For example; I have a 1957 Massey Harris farm tractor that would otherwise be impossible to find parts for. There are tons of examples. I spent 6 months watching for parts for my old metal lathe and gave up after paying a local machine shop to fabricate a part for me. What a waste that was.

I’ve had problems in the past but never anything like this. I’ll be at my bank 1st thing tomorrow and see if they can cut through the nonsense and actually speak with a human instead dealing with automated criteria which doesn’t fit the situation. Its maddening. Ebay cancelled the transaction and clearly should have taken steps to block the bank transfer instead of leaving me dangling. I’ll ask them to take that approach.


Speaking of eBay and their oddities… My daughter opened an account recently. The purpose was simply to follow some auctions of a specific item, so she could see trends and watch how the bidding went. She did not list anything, nor did she bid or attempt to purchase and back out. All she did was “Watch” about a dozen items.

About three days after she opened the account, eBay notified her that the account was suspicious and promptly closed it, with notice that her email will never be allowed to create another account. She’s not yet reached adulthood so I monitor her activity, and I saw that she actually never did bid on, back out from, or list any sale items. I have no freaking idea why eBay said that.

This is the email she got. Italics are mine:

After reviewing your eBay account, recent activity has raised serious security concerns. As a result, we’ve taken the following action on your account:

-Your eBay account has been suspended indefinitely.
-Item listings have been removed (Remember, there were none and I verified that myself)

You won’t be able to use eBay in any way. This includes using another existing account or registering a new account. Any outstanding selling fees are due immediately, and any amounts you haven’t previously disputed will be charged to the billing method currently on file. (there is no billing account on file, of course)

We’ve taken this precaution to protect our members while making sure that the activity doesn’t cause harm- however unintentionally- to the eBay community.

Previous activity? The account was created a few days prior and did NOTHING but monitor some auctions like I said. And that email was definitely never used on eBay before. That seriously pissed me off.

Oh yeah, and get this… you won’t believe it, but eBay automatically uninstalled the eBay app from her phone!


Well, my instincts caused me to attempt to sound an alarm and maybe address the larger issues of how private entities are increasingly assuming and seizing powers over people while leaving them utterly defenseless against arbitrary actions. What you describe would certainly piss me off too. In fact it does.

Really, what activity? They are not about to provide any details. In essence she is ‘guilty’ of some unknown activity and will not be given an opportunity to know or defend. It is surreal… more out there than Twilight Zone stuff. I’ll cut to the chase. based on the last 2 days of bizzare nightmarish experience I think what we are up against is A.I. (artificial intelligence) made decisions run amuck.

That may be the most paranoid statement I have ever made but there has been nothing I can do to penetrate pre conditioned barriers while attempting to find a way to communicate with a live human i.e. automatic responses by both eBay and PayPal that regardless of the circumstances continue to declare that I have to first communicate with this Chinese seller before any action can occur. But they removed the listing and cancelled the transaction based on claims that some unauthorized person listed the machinery.

If that is possible, then it is also possible that they hacked into my personal and financial information.

And the larger issue is that all of us have conducted international transactions with most of us using PayPal for “safety.”


I am in your corner here. I am fully convinced humans are being replaced by AI for high volume work, such as account monitoring and customer service chats. No one knows what flags she raised (honestly, there were none, just a poor arbitrary decision). While we are all but forced to use the internet for monetary transactions, we’re also increasingly subjected to the imperfect whims of AI.

I’m sure you are aware of the FakeBook issue with the robots creating their own language that the humans and designers themselves could not understand. Along your lines of so-called paranoia, I would like to see all AI advancements stop and actually legislate an end to it. All those silly science fiction movies and books actually will come to pass after all. I don’t think I’m weird for believing that either.


A.I. is scary shit and if it does run amok I don’t think there’s anything we can do to stop it.
Terminator springs to mind.
I know some people will laugh at that but hell, things are being created that no human really understands and you can’t fix what you don’t understand. So when it fucks up we’re screwed.



I am:


We could be an AI experiment gone wrong, who really knows?

I know this goes off into wild tangents and taboos, and I fully appreciate those who think they’ve just seen the final evidence that shows I’m a looney toon. I get that. I’m not slamming religion, I’m not intending to use it in any way here, nor do I intend for this to be political in any way at all.

All I do actually know, that does not delve into faith, is that I am here, you are here, and we are all muddling along here for some reason or another. I believe that we were created… that does not mean I profess any sort of faith. I just don’t see, in my little mind, how we all just happened. Nor do I see a reasonable explanation for how human intelligence is absolutely light years ahead of all other known life forms. To me, that didn’t just happen. Who did it, and how it happened- now that’s a sure debate point. Ever watch Ancient Aliens? Again, no tinfoil hat here, but there are some true oddities we can’t reasonably explain. Amazing coincidences, many yet to be discovered even.

Need a new thread?

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No. I brought up AI and it seems very clear that is what we are dealing with. As to the rest of it I describe myself as a disinterested agnostic all the way to radical anti theist depending on the circumstances. Some where along the lines people have been conditioned to avoid discussing politics and religion and I have to exercise a lot of self control when IMO damned near every breath we take and everything we do is influenced by politics and/or their control mechanisms aka religions. Intelligent thoughts- free thinking , observation, and free expression are not something to be shunned.

Your kids and my granddaughters are being indoctrinated into submission to totalitarianism under the guise of goodness. Bullshit.

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I don’t think that destroying your habitat for profit is a sign of intelligence. We have hands and can make tools and we have rational thought and we highly value that.
But it is those same tools we create that destroy us.

It is not the tools that are the problem but the people behind the tools. We pride ourselves on our technology but we’ve failed to evolve beyond the caveman mentality of grabbing what you can while you can and damn the consequences.

I believe that all life is intelligent and most lifeforms manage to live in harmony with their surroundings because they are very much aware that they are depended on their habitat for sustenance. I call that true intelligence.

We have a bunch of scientists with big heads who are only interested in what is possible.
When questioned about the ethics of what they do they say that’s not their field but should be handled by the legislators.

The legislators are another bunch of bigheaded assholes, totally clueless about everything and only looking for ways to fill their pockets and use the latest development to control the population.
Doesn’t matter which party, they’re all the same.

Those are the people that have to step up when things go terribly wrong :scream:

Nah, I think it’s on topic, a new twist on an old problem. It’s about not being able to speak to a real person but getting a machine instead, isn’t it?

A very large Amen to that :sweat:


Obviously I did not intend to bring religion into it. And obviously I knew that was nothing more than a futile disclaimer. I won’t tip my hand on my views on politics, or faith. That’s not relevant and I’ve no horn to honk in support of anything. Besides, it’s clearly quite incendiary, as witnessed by both your responses. So to avoid any possible damage, I recuse myself from that line. Yes, I know, I brought it up. Sue me.

The matters at hand- large corporate mishandling of consumers and the risk-infested use of AI- merit further vetting in my opinion. So let’s keep bashing Alexa and eBay!!! That I’m all for…