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Beware: TheBoredPotato (Scammer)

WHO: TheBoredPotato

WHERE: http://theboredpotato.deviantart.com/

WHAT: It was an adoptable auction that they bid on voluntarily ($950)

WHEN: January 21, 2017 onward (has not been resolved)

PROOF: http://ninjakato.deviantart.com/art/Beast-Adopt-No-24-Auction-CLOSED-658794416 (the piece may not be visible to anyone who is not on dA but the description will show.
Proof of their AB'ing the adoptable -- https://i.gyazo.com/245494f2ce97915a214b66738f21fbfc.png
Verification -- https://i.gyazo.com/c5336bb1afa0f9bbba935a8f71268e6a.png

EXPLAIN: On January 21st I posted an adoptable auction which started with a bid of $45 and it grabbed the SB fairly quickly and kind of sat for a while. Then suddenly throughout the day there emerged a bidding war between a one TheBoredPotato and another bidder which got up to some pretty insanely high prices. I had never had anything I drew or made exceed $300 at most so needless to say I was completely floored and chuffed all the same to see this happening.
TheBoredPotato seemed to be serious about their bids as they kept going, claiming they were running out of money but then somehow had gained more money in the middle (*see the bidding chain above) and it kept going on and on and on.
When it finally hit $700 the other bidder noted me asking me when I was going to put up an AB price so they could AB it and I told them I'd cap it at $850 since I was still reeling from what was happening. By the time I went to cap the auction at $850 TheBoredPotato had already bid $900 https://i.gyazo.com/49187c9d4b8808aa886686941b09fef9.png and then bid $1,000 https://i.gyazo.com/24f334d52099b16249be4b18c043040c.png which needless to say nearly made me faint.
Anyway, I capped the auction at $950 and TheBoredPotato agreed to pay that amount and I thought everything was sorted -- the other bidder was gutted she didn't win (I know the other bidder) but accepted the loss.

After they won I noted TheBoredPotato to get the payments started and gave them my PayPal so they would know it was me when I invoiced them after finding out the amount they wanted to pay and so on -- https://i.gyazo.com/2a406eb137270d6d692268b5bb4d06b7.png
They agreed and sent $150.00 right away via the Gift option on PayPal --  https://i.gyazo.com/456e6088369a678e704698cdd8c3ab9e.png without my invoicing them but I had no reason to believe they weren't legit -- after all, they bid nearly a grand on something, I figured you'd be legit enough if you bid that much.
They also stated they were basically minted -- https://i.gyazo.com/bb502fd0a83a96da5c791f660baff926.png claiming their parents paid them 1k a week; I should have seen that as a red flag but rich people exist so... I just assumed.

Anyway, after the $150.00 I figured I'd invoice them for the next payments so I could track them but they never told me when I could invoice them so I waited, then on the 22nd I got another $100 http://sta.sh/027nzr3nsbzv which they sent again via the gift option.
At this point I was a bit uneasy about it but all the same they seemed legit and had even had a bit of a discussion with me about how much they'd wanted a piece of artwork from me and that after they paid this adopt off they'd commission me -- https://i.gyazo.com/46445f158107a091bd9958f9ebe5bdc0.png (this was the 21st still but still relevant).

After a day or so no more payments came in automatically so I figured they'd let me know when they could pay more down, however I then got this in my inbox -- http://sta.sh/0m9lpl8c3er
Now, that didn't alarm me but then I got this as well -- http://sta.sh/0wk41xody9z after I replied to their initial note wishing them well (it sent a day later because it had landed in my drafts folder somehow so it didn't send).
I didn't want to seem like a skeptic because hey, things happen so I sent them and their family well wishings and then the plot thickened -- http://sta.sh/027tzh5zds7y
The part that tripped me off was that their profile says they are 15 years old -- https://i.gyazo.com/4e001cc9d09a6dd47e028364a8276514.png and I immediately wondered why a 15 year old kid would have to even think about fronting their parent's medical bills; more so if their parents were so rich they could give their kid 1k a week... It began to make little to no sense.
However, at the fault of not sounding like a douche canoe I thought it best to give them a bit of time since if something did happen they would need some time to assess their finances and life situation to see if they could continue paying.
On the 26th I finally sent them a note http://sta.sh/01q1d9mm2gsv to inquire about whether or not they could continue to pay and if they couldn't I'd refund them the $200 they'd already sent and give the adopt to the other bidder instead (the other bidder; who I later found out couldn't afford the adopt anyway since after losing they spent their money elsewhere respectfully).
They replied with http://sta.sh/01p5blmxg907, http://sta.sh/01bq6ypajaeh, http://sta.sh/02amvrfc3njl and at that point I realised I was likely being had and I had also inquired with the other bidder about taking the adopt to find out they couldn't afford it either. So, needless to say at this point I was a bit gutted that I had not only lost a $950 bid but was also being wrung out. It all felt a bit too fabricated but again, I didn't want to be a jerk about it so I just went with it as best I could.
Anyway, long story short I asked for the email they used for their PayPal to make sure it was the exact one I had on file --http://sta.sh/023iwhr0ulvu and then refunded TheBoredPotato their $200 on the 26th of January -- http://sta.sh/0t4dadlmw5b via the gift option on PayPal so they would get their full $200 back and that was that -- https://i.gyazo.com/b82b6cdd88a06fb8e9f0b6ff16b01d39.png


I thought everything was said and done only to find myself slapped with a PayPal dispute filed against me on February 1st-2nd, for a sum of $51.75 from the same name and address TheBoredPotato had used -- http://sta.sh/01vgqkdanipc so I checked it out and then called PayPal. A bit of time talking to them and then found out that I hadn't refunded them $250 which was the amount they sent. One of the $50.00 payments wasn't showing up in my activity so I was unaware of it was even sent. However, since it showed legit I figured I'd just allow that $50 to be refunded; after all it was part of their original payments they'd sent ($250) and it was my mistake for not seeing it and refunding it.
So I thought that was all said and done but then 4 more disputes open up for sums of $51.75 -- http://sta.sh/0866mp5s5xs all within 2 hours and for the amount in which TheBoredPotato had sent -- $250.
Now, I had already refunded them $200 of that $250 and it was too late at this point to call PayPal so I messaged TheBoredPotato about it https://i.gyazo.com/c0d05a5632e6f0de4516d1ac24daec2c.png and got no reply but after calling PayPal I sent them another message conceding to the $50.00 charge -- https://i.gyazo.com/454c22156bbb936324b72283603e9d72.png and offered to refund it to them once I could.
However, after the next 4 disputes opened I was livid and felt like I was being scammed; I'd refunded them $200 already and they were trying to grab another $200? Nope.
So I noted them again -- https://i.gyazo.com/9b30fc92d74d1bf1cd96cc03058c0ad6.png and got no reply.
I'd posted a dA journal about it explaining the situation to see if anyone else had had this happen only to find out some interesting information including but not limited to the fact several other people had had the same exact thing happen to them as well with TheBoredPotato.

TheBoredPotato finally commented (didn't reply to my notes mind you) on the journal -- https://i.gyazo.com/4f51ad1963a15f876e43c393d8b25f1c.png claiming it wasn't them, later claiming they were hacked.
They then asked how to shut down their PayPal and proceeded to claim they were leaving dA -- https://i.gyazo.com/e82835051ed500d485450dbdb7fd4914.png and asked how to delete a PayPal -- https://i.gyazo.com/120ebfaa1afba7a477c493b8a0c37bd3.png
I can also safely say there's several other people who had the same thing happen although I am not sure any others were as high as $200 worth of false disputes.
They went on to claim hacking and all that but it was explained to them how to fix the matter and I had already called PayPal to verify all that happened -- they also were able to tell me that they were 100% positive TheBoredPotato's account wasn't hacked. The amounts were too specific AND hackers usually clean out accounts, they don't bother with charge backs, and even then, it was their card company/bank that had filed the charge backs.
They continued to play innocent until they finally buggered off and haven't said a single word since. Meanwhile people's money is being withheld from them because of these charge backs and I myself am out another $200 because of it -- and without TheBoredPotato cancelling the disputes/charge backs I'll likely be waiting 30-75 days before that money is released back to me; if I win the case that is.

My main fault is that I didn't refund each payment of $50 they sent me and instead just sent them the $200 back in full via the gift option. That was MY mistake. However, their avoidance tactics and lies are the main concern.
End case and point is they likely grabbed their so called grievously injured parent's card/PayPal, spent a lot of money, parents saw all the transactions happening and they called their bank to file charge backs since they hadn't bought all this art/character/etc.
The $200 I refunded them would by all rights be in their PayPal still unless TheBoredPotato spent it already and therefore their parents don't know it was refunded or even was there in the first place.
The fact that TheBoredPotato's first reaction was to 'HOW TO BAWLETE PAYPAL!?' rather than seem shocked and concerned about the situation shows they likely got caught redhanded and are now proceeding to pretend if they go away then this situation will go away and they'll get away with it. They haven't tried to resolve the situation and they didn't bother to so anything but cancel 1 of the 5 charge backs on me. I don't know if they did anything for the other people whose money was withdrawn from them.

So, my warning is DO NOT DO ANY DEALINGS WITH THIS PERSON! They are a liar and a scammer. The fact they used 'my parents are dying' as an excuse to be irresponsible is not only low but sad -- https://i.gyazo.com/4d5fc5c6426f753a1bb265d27dbe9c34.png not the most eloquent of comments to show but as you can see they still go with the parents dying thing.
If their parents were dying then I'd only assume they wouldn't be in hospital or hospice going 'what's with all these charges on my credit card/PayPal?'.

I don't know if anyone else had this happen with this person but yeah, lesson learned. NEVER let anyone just send you money on PayPal; more so via the gift option. It gives them a lot more power to file a false charge back if they so want.
I'll update if any further information comes in but at this point I am pretty sure TheBoredPotato has buggered off and will likely start anew and pretend nothing every happened.

__________________________________________________________________________________________________

UPDATE: Feb. 13, 2017 -- So... it looks like TheBoredPotato won their 5 disputes and garnished a total of $270 (the $250 plus a $20.00 charge back fee...)

I guess this means they have grabbed $470 from me since I had already refunded them $200 from their original $250 they'd sent, and unless PayPal can get their parents to refund me my original $200 that I sent them as a refund. I did call PayPal and they said they would attempt to get a refund of the original $200 that I sent them -- that's IF the person or parents respond to a PayPal email or phone call and concede to refund me that $200. However, given their history of NOT answering emails (I sent them one already) that is looking bleak.

So not only are they getting more money from me than they paid but they are also getting ME to front the fee for it.
I'm just... I can't even be mad right now. I'm just floored. Absolutely and utterly floored.

I've called and talked to PayPal and they are doing what they can to get my money back but there's only so much they and I can do with people who won't respond right now so... I'll update when I can and if I get my money back. I'm really not happy about this.

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Comments

( 29 comments — Leave a comment )
celestinaketzia
Feb. 11th, 2017 09:01 pm (UTC)
This seems to be a common misconception, so let me go ahead and talk about this.

There is no way to prevent a fraudulent chargeback issued by a credit card company. It doesn't matter if you send it as "gift", "goods and services", or as an invoice.

When Paypal gets a chargeback issued by the bank they gather information from you, and then argue your case for you to the bank.

So how do you best fight it?
1. Call Paypal. Do not email them. Do not use their web portal. Call them.
2. Gather as much evidence that you can and send it to Paypal. Call them to confirm they got it.
3. Hope for the best. Call paypal.

Even if you lose the bank chargeback, if Paypal deems that you weren't at fault they will eat the cost of the chargeback.

It really burns my toast to see individuals doing this to artists. I hope that everything goes good for you, and please don't let up on Paypal!
ninjakato
Feb. 11th, 2017 09:08 pm (UTC)
Oh I did call PayPal, 3 times in fact to confirm and keep up with what was going on.
They did tell me that because the person had used the 'Gift' option it was easier for them to file a charge back because there was no goods to be presented. I couldn't really hold any grounds if I did dispute it aside from showing that I had in fact sent them back $200 as a refund (labeling it so as well).

Right now I've sent all my evidence to PayPal and discussed it with them. They told me that they are about 99% sure I'll win the case because the fact is the person DID get their money back and there's visible proof that they did.
However, if TheBoredPotato doesn't cancel the charge backs against me and others then the money will be withheld from me and anyone else they falsely charged back for anywhere up to 30-75 days; or until the card company settles.

I'll be calling PayPal on Monday again to keep up with what was going on. They told me to wait a week or so and try to keep in contact with TheBoredPotato (they called them by name but I won't share that here) and see if I could persuade them to cancel the charge backs on their own free will.
So far nothing; they seem to have disappeared so... I'll be waiting for the claim/case to be completed but I WILL be keeping tabs on it.

It wouldn't bother me if it wasn't nearly $400 they're trying to weasel out of me. They got their $200 back and would get their other $50 if they'd let go of it and give me my money back.
Anyway, thank you kindly for your advice! I do appreciate it!
celestinaketzia
Feb. 11th, 2017 09:11 pm (UTC)
You'd think given Paypal's own ToS they would have closed the case automatically due to it being a "gift", but what a mess.

I hope you're able to relist the adoptable, too. It's utterly gorgeous.
ninjakato
Feb. 11th, 2017 09:16 pm (UTC)
Yeah you'd think so but there's regulations and such that go on with card companies so they have to go through with it if it's filed from the card company -- which tells me that TheBoredPotato either spent someone else's money and they found out, or something else happened.
It is a mess...

I was able to and the other bidder who fought TheBoredPotato for it was able to AB it -- for far less but at least it found a home with someone I know and trust.
dragontripmon
Feb. 11th, 2017 09:18 pm (UTC)
Wow this is quite a major beware considering look at those comments it's seems op not the only person who got hit by a chargeback quite a lot of upset artists on her page as well.
laughsatthunder
Feb. 11th, 2017 09:21 pm (UTC)
The further I got along my heart sank, especially the dispute part. Reminds me of 3/4ths of my 2016 battling with another bewaree after I refunded them partially and sent them back the materials but they went through the bank to try and get more money out of me.

Please don't stop calling PayPal and asking for updates. I called them almost every other day when I had my claims open, it'll take 45 minutes out of your day but it's $200 you won't have taken away from you.
ninjakato
Feb. 11th, 2017 09:26 pm (UTC)
Oh man, I am sorry to hear that... It sucks that people try to do that. It's just low.

Oh I will indeed be keeping tabs on this situation as much as I can. I mean to call in for an update on Monday this week to see if there's any progress. I doubt there will be but it's worth a try.
Thankfully with the way it looks my money 'should' return to me after the 30-75 days since the card company will have to argue why that $200 I refunded on the 26th is irrelevant. Still, what a fiddle, huh?
crimsyn_gryphon
Feb. 11th, 2017 09:49 pm (UTC)
This is exactly why I won't sell or do business with anyone under the age of 18. It's just far too risky, and horror stories like this seem far too common with minors. I'd highly suggest you not take business from minors in the future, and I'm very sorry you've had to go through this mess. I wish you the best of luck in getting this resolved.
ninjakato
Feb. 11th, 2017 09:51 pm (UTC)
I have done business with many very responsible minors and younger people but in this instance it was not a good experience. I have my doubts to the legitimacy of any information they gave me sadly, so I am not 100% they are even actually 15 or if it's some kind of facade to feign innocence; as is the story about their parents dying.

Thank you though, I hope so too. It's not been a fun ride thus far, but I am hoping the outcome will be favourable nonetheless.
spartanwerewolf
Feb. 11th, 2017 11:10 pm (UTC)
Def sounds like a kid who went ham with mom and dad's credit card/paypal account, got caught and had to hastily fabricate reasons why they couldn't pay/money was getting chargebacked. The constant "my mom is dying/if they live" honestly seems like an attempt at guilt-tripping to me- like they thought maybe you'd take pity and give them the design.

Sucks man, I'd be gutted if I thought I had $950 comin in only to wind up with zip. That's a gorgeous bit of art though, I hope it went to someone!
gatekat
Feb. 11th, 2017 11:17 pm (UTC)
Unfortunately this stunt seems to be pulled every few years. It's old enough I don't remember the names, but this pattern of buying a ton of art and then charge backs/claiming stolen accounts is one I've seen a couple times.

They always claim to be kids, but sometimes I wonder if that's just an excuse to make them seem less guilty.
wuvvumsoc
Feb. 12th, 2017 01:46 am (UTC)
That's wicked lame. I hope you can run another auction on the adoptable and keep your money. I don't even get the whole point of the guy scamming, it's not like he can really keep that art and use it elsewhere without giving himself away. Good luck!
jakkal
Feb. 15th, 2017 12:13 am (UTC)
Can you do a chargeback of your "gift" of $200 to them?
ninjakato
Feb. 15th, 2017 02:13 am (UTC)
I plan to at this point. At least I might be able to get that back.
jakkal
Feb. 15th, 2017 02:14 am (UTC)
I hope so, good luck.
ninjakato
Feb. 15th, 2017 02:32 am (UTC)
I did just call them to see if it's possible and apparently it's not. They are, however, going to keep fighting these claims on my behalf since they have seen the evidence and can see the PayPal account TheBoredPotato has used has likely been reported several times for the same reason.
I have no idea when it'll be settled completely but hopefully soon.
kell0x
Feb. 15th, 2017 12:42 pm (UTC)
Thats a major let down when you think someone is willing to pay over 900 for your art only to turn out to be some kid who probably used their parents money without permission, and also a shame the other bidder couldn't afford it either
Derek Jay
Feb. 16th, 2017 02:46 am (UTC)
I read through everything, so sorry to hear this is happening to you. Hope you manage to get the money back.

I commend you for being nice and giving the benefit of a doubt even though their story about the parents' accident sounds really fishy. Using sad face emoticon after saying "hope my parents live" sure makes the story a lot more convincing #sarcasm

Aah and the plot thickens. I just read in one of the comment chains on their profile that they told their friend the dad had passed away. The friend said they had a way of contacting TheBoredPotato though so perhaps you can try talking to them? http://comments.deviantart.com/62/6901370/4330473321
lackoflollies
Feb. 17th, 2017 04:35 pm (UTC)
Jesus that edit. Is there any updates after that?
ninjakato
Feb. 17th, 2017 05:11 pm (UTC)
Unfortunately no =/ The only thing I got is http://comments.deviantart.com/62/6901370/4330825323 which led me to nowhere -- and even then, there's debate on whether or not these 'friends' are legit friends and not sockpuppets.

Essentially TheBoredPotato isn't showing their face or speaking to anyone at all on this issue; more so the people who were scammed.
lackoflollies
Feb. 17th, 2017 06:10 pm (UTC)
Oh she's absolutely sock puppeting, but I don't have enough proof to say which account specifically. She's around. I really REALLY hope Paypal comes through for you in some way.. Do you have a legal name you can use to TRY and find her actual parents and talk to them yourself?
ninjakato
Feb. 17th, 2017 06:13 pm (UTC)
Yeah it seems oddly ironic that a bunch of 'friends' would show up without being aware of the situation. You'd think being friends they'd know or she'd tell them... Realistically it's her just trying to pretend.
The only name I have is the one connected to the PayPal which I have emailed the email address connected to that name. No reply. PayPal emailed and notified them as well and when I asked they said they hadn't had any replies either.
So, either she's deleting emails so her parents don't see or she's just ignoring them.
Either way, without her parent's consent or their card company's consent there's little to no chance of seeing my money return to me.
There's a small chance but it is very very slim.
bunraygma
Feb. 17th, 2017 08:57 pm (UTC)
Have you tried Googling (or your search engine of choice) the email address? You'd be amazed at how much information you can get from one.

Example: I found a USB drive in a parking lot a couple years ago. One of the files had the owner's email, in case of the drive being lost. I went to Google and looked it up (to make sure I wasn't about to email a serial killer, basically. LOL, can't be too careful.) The various forum accounts and such I found from the search results led me to the owner's real name, where they worked, phone number, kids' names and schools, even a good estimate of their income level...and all of that led me to their home address. (None of which I revealed I knew when I finally decided it was safe to email them. Not sure how they'd have reacted even if I was just warning them about putting too much info online. :P~)

You may have to play Sherlock a bit with the clues and do some cross-Googling, but it might turn something up if you need to pursue the matter further to get your money back. I used to work for a lawyer so I had to play Internet Detective a lot, but anyone can do it with practice. :)
ninjakato
Feb. 17th, 2017 09:49 pm (UTC)
I never thought to do that!

Well, I did try googling it just now and the first result out of 4 was um... not something I'd care to look into lol The only other one is to look up a hotmail email address which looks a bit like a questionable site.
I hadn't found the email being used anywhere else through the search so I think it is a legit email, but again it's likely their parent(s) email for their PayPal. If their parent/guardian didn't have any money in their account it would have taken any payments from their bank and if they saw a bunch of random transactions going on they'd of likely wondered, asked, and then filed the chargebacks.

If you have any input on how to contact someone who isn't responding on one site, I'd be open to it. Nothing illegal though, haha! I trust working for a lawyer would lead to that conclusion anyway, but can't be too careful.
celestinaketzia
Feb. 17th, 2017 09:50 pm (UTC)
Paypal may release the address on file to you, and you can send a snail mail to it.
ninjakato
Feb. 17th, 2017 09:53 pm (UTC)
They might if pressed to it but when asked they said they couldn't reveal any personal information that a client didn't already reveal in their information. I thought that was a bit bupkis to be honest since it would stand to reason that if I decided to send a copy of a piece of artwork to verify I sent a product -- I'd need an address, no?

Still, I'll be calling them tomorrow morning to review how the cases are going and hopefully they can give me a bit more than 'slowly' since it's obvious there's no hurry from TheBoredPotato to remedy this situation.
bunraygma
Feb. 18th, 2017 09:04 am (UTC)
EDIT: Forgot how to LJ code for a sec! Hope I got it right this time, 'cause I'm gonna stop so I don't spam people with emails.

Doing a search for whatever info you have on them is all I can suggest for legal stuff if you're not going to the police or a lawyer, really! (Not that I'd be able to suggest illegal stuff anyways...it wasn't part of my pay grade to track people in that way, haha. XD)

Sucks that you didn't find anything new on this Potato, but keep alert if you really need to find them and Paypal can't help like celestinaketzia suggested. Though Paypal's your best bet for right now. But definitely hold onto all their usernames/email/etc. that you have in case it can lead you to them later, if things go further south.

Edited at 2017-02-18 09:06 am (UTC)
celestinaketzia
Feb. 17th, 2017 04:37 pm (UTC)
Oh wow, I just saw your edit. What an utter nightmare.
ninjakato
Feb. 17th, 2017 05:14 pm (UTC)
It has been... I did ask one of their 'friends' if they could contact them and ask if they could return my original $200 voluntarily -- http://comments.deviantart.com/62/6901370/4330825323 but so far have gotten no reply.
TheBoredPotato seems to have all but disappeared and as far as I know hasn't spoken to anyone about the matter -- particularly the people who were scammed.
Two of the 5 cases are still 'pending' apparently but 3 (or $150 of the $250 ($450 if you include my original refund which was pointless) are already processed. That leaves $100 that is pending still and not a single word from TheBoredPotato.

It isn't looking good sadly.
( 29 comments — Leave a comment )

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