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  1. #1
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    A new way to steal money using Paypal?

    On advice of the management I am placing this thread here as there seems nowhere else quite suitable.

    I have a small tale of woe which I feel compelled to share.

    We have a few servers around the place and occasionally require some outsourced help for clients and/or to deal with urgent matters eg updating kernels in a hurry etc.

    This situation arose recently, as some servers owners will recall, and I attempted to make contact with a company that I had used 12 months ago for a single client, a company known to most who have servers, R-fx networks.

    They offer various server security bundle plans from their website eg, http://www.rfxnetworks.com/linux_appsec_secbundle.php

    The first and only other time I used them they seemed to be keen and some small faltering on their part was happily ignored by us after receiving a lengthy explanation, and it was around the busy holiday/Xmas period after all.

    I have sent a couple of soft enquiries since but received no reply but wasn't concerned because the matters were trivial.

    In August it was time to upgrade security etc on a number of servers and we had the need to engage some outside help. I sent some enquires by email, telephone and through the official helpdesk at rfxnetworks.com and again received no response at all. Nothing. In hindsight, this is the time I should have moved on to other places.

    R-fx has some positive karma based on the firewall and other related freeware they provide to the hosting industry, so I decided that I would persevere. As busy people often have trouble telling the difference between those that are serious about ordering services and those that kick the tyres and waste time, I thought I would help the process along by using their Paypal Buy Now button to pay for service in advance. Money talks etc...

    Notice on their site there is also a Money Back Guarantee which goes like this;

    --------------------------
    Money Back Guarantee

    Browsing Users: 39

    All R-fx Network services are encompassed with a 30 day money back guarantee, clients however must provide a valid and verifiable reason for such a request. Refunds are granted only once per-client on each service in a non-inclusive fashion.

    All issues and disputes arising in a refund are evaluated on a case-by-case basis and R-fx Networks at its sole discretion may refund the client with either credit towards other services and/or full reimbursement when appropriate. Checks and money-orders are 100% non-refundable under any circumstances.

    Usually a client must meet the following criteria to apply for a valid refund:
    1) service was not provided as advertised and/or purchased
    2) service did not provide the level of satisfaction desired by the client at time of purchase and rendering
    3) inability to use or access service due to issues within the control of R-fx Networks
    4) service was not rendered in a timely and reasonable manner
    5) unfair or misleading advertisement that misrepresents the actual service. R-fx Networks itself always markets services as-is however resellers although not permitted sometimes use unfair marketing tactics, in such events we urge clients to both inform us of the reseller company and request a refund or adjustment of services/billing.

    This policy omits situations of outage or support degradation in services as a result of natural disaster or issues out of the control of R-fx Network such as flooding, severe storms, tornadoes, hurricanes, earth quakes, resulting in network outages and any other situation deemed an act of god and beyond our ability to control.

    We reserve the right to amend this policy or exempt its validity at anytime on any given service and to any given client. Use of R-fx Network services assumes an understanding of this refund policy/guarantee.
    --------------------------------

    Now after a week of hearing nothing from them I started to think maybe there was something wrong, and my inclination to donate to their cause was waning.

    I called [and taped] their telephone numbers, i sent many emails to all of the addresses I had available and I also placed comments in the helpdesk account.

    Still nothing. Not even 'we're busy right now, get back to you soon' from these people.

    I then took offense after several weeks and requested a refund of the money I sent as it was no longer tolerable and besides I had engaged another, very good, company to do the work.

    Still I was completely ignored. I thought maybe there had been a family disaster in the McDonald [Messrs Ryan and Daniel] family and therefore they were unable to see my messages or hear my phone calls.

    I then sent back a money request through Paypal seeking the original amount i paid and surprise, surprise it was cancelled by R-fx, so they were obviously able to log in and see what was going on with their company.

    I then raised a dispute through paypal which means they see my requests, which were polite but insistent on a refund or an explanation.

    Still nothing.

    I then escalated the dispute to a paypal claim and a couple of days before the final expiry of the deadline, when I actually believed i would recover the money, R-fx responds to Paypal and advises them in 4 words that the product/service was intangible.

    Paypal then returned and said we can't help the service was intangible.

    So basically I have lost my money to Ryan and Daniel and they took it with full knowledge that I could never get it back through Paypal.

    I further asked Paypal to enquire of their seller if they could provide some information about the alleged intangible service they provided eg show which server they logged into to perform these mythical services? Surely that isn't too much to ask? Now they are also silent. End of story.

    I am inclined to go looking for Ryan and Daniel and I may yet do that, however I am astounded that after all the scams and subsequent countermeasures in this industry after all these years that guys like this can so easily steal money and get supported by the major money movers on the planet.

    I would love for Ryan or Daniel or anyone for that matter to post here and tell me which server they worked on, if that's their reason for not giving me my money back. They can't of course.

    It isn't the amount of money, it's just that these smug ******** think they can get away with it.

    I did try to check up on Ryan after the event and saw disturbing things like this, but not much else other than info about APF, SIM etc.. [did they really create those?]

    http://lists.grok.org.uk/pipermail/f...ry/016896.html

    http://forums.ev1servers.net/showthread.php?t=63694


    For anyone who wants to sail into me and tell me I didn't try hard enough or used wrong contact info or some other lame smokescreen inducing comments, be told that I have done the whole thing completely, efficiently, thoroughly and correctly and have copies/recordings/screen shots of the whole deal. I am happy to provide them under controlled circumstances if anyone thinks it would help.

    So, if you have had a happy experience with, or are in regular contact with Ryan and his team of alleged brainiacs, please do me a favour and ask him to put up his hand and let me in on the level of income he generates from ripping people off like this?

    Bah!

  2. #2
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    wow, that doesnt sound like Ryan at all. Hopefully he will respond to this post and refund the money when he see's it.

  3. #3
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    I don't know Ryan, but as for the PayPal incident. It's not a new thing. PayPal has always been known to not approve disputes for non-tangible items, and with good reason. There's virtually no way to securely ascertain whether a service was delivered or not.

    Emails, IM logs, Server logs etc are no proof at all as they can all be freely edited.

    Just keep it in the back of your mind and you'll be ok.

    There's one step further you can go. Use Paypal but have it charge your debit/credit card for your purchases. Then if this happens you can dispute it through your bank, which is about a thousand times more likely to award the decision in your favor.
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  4. #4
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    Hi nox,

    I don't know either of them, but they sound like a couple of greedy scumbags. I Hope you beat them down if you see them in person.
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  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jeff Smith
    Hi nox,

    I don't know either of them, but they sound like a couple of greedy scumbags. I Hope you beat them down if you see them in person.
    If you don't know them then don't make comments like that. Ryan would clear this up, he is a good guy and has done alot for server security.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by adam
    wow, that doesnt sound like Ryan at all. Hopefully he will respond to this post and refund the money when he see's it.

    Well I agree that it doesn't fit the global perception of these guys, but the facts speak for themselves.. the thing is I would, and have, donated more than I paid him to other similar OS people, in a small way to support the scene.

    Neither do I flippantly make public this type of thing as a fairly firm rule, but this one severely pissed me off as it was obvious they were aware of what was happening. Patient and tolerant as I am it's hard not to draw the conclusion that this is a money scamming exercise at this point in time.

    There is no room at all for misunderstanding from my point of view, none at all. It makes me begin to wonder if those 'engrish' words that pop up in their security software don't point to the original author being other than the current claims.

    I hope you are right and this is just some bizarre set of coincidences.

    If anyone has paid them in the last 1 day to 1 month I'd be grateful to hear that you received the service you ordered in a timely fashion.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by nox
    Well I agree that it doesn't fit the global perception of these guys, but the facts speak for themselves.. the thing is I would, and have, donated more than I paid him to other similar OS people, in a small way to support the scene.

    Neither do I flippantly make public this type of thing as a fairly firm rule, but this one severely pissed me off as it was obvious they were aware of what was happening. Patient and tolerant as I am it's hard not to draw the conclusion that this is a money scamming exercise at this point in time.

    There is no room at all for misunderstanding from my point of view, none at all. It makes me begin to wonder if those 'engrish' words that pop up in their security software don't point to the original author being other than the current claims.

    I hope you are right and this is just some bizarre set of coincidences.

    If anyone has paid them in the last 1 day to 1 month I'd be grateful to hear that you received the service you ordered in a timely fashion.
    Ya I totally understand. I hope Ryan does come and clear this up.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by e-places
    I don't know Ryan, but as for the PayPal incident. It's not a new thing. PayPal has always been known to not approve disputes for non-tangible items, and with good reason. There's virtually no way to securely ascertain whether a service was delivered or not.

    Emails, IM logs, Server logs etc are no proof at all as they can all be freely edited.

    Just keep it in the back of your mind and you'll be ok.

    There's one step further you can go. Use Paypal but have it charge your debit/credit card for your purchases. Then if this happens you can dispute it through your bank, which is about a thousand times more likely to award the decision in your favor.
    Yep, all that is true and I consider myself a veteran of these issues, however, if you had taken money from me to do some work on a server, then you should be able to tell me the IP, the password, the hostname etc.. mainly the IP. So if you didn't do the work, but claimed you had, it wouldn't be too hard to show who had control of the IP at the time and even if there was a server attached at the other end.. ? It could be done i guess with explicit layered collusion, but surely no one would be bothered with that to snip a hundred bucks from someone??

    I hope I'm wrong, and I'll be sympathetic if there was a true crisis being faced that led to this situation.

  9. #9
    Maybe there's a sea-change with RFXN. We'd hope not, but we can't ignore what's happening.

  10. #10
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    It caught me off-guard that there forums have been down for so long too..I wonder whats going on over there.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by nox
    Yep, all that is true and I consider myself a veteran of these issues, however, if you had taken money from me to do some work on a server, then you should be able to tell me the IP, the password, the hostname etc.. mainly the IP. So if you didn't do the work, but claimed you had, it wouldn't be too hard to show who had control of the IP at the time and even if there was a server attached at the other end.. ? It could be done i guess with explicit layered collusion, but surely no one would be bothered with that to snip a hundred bucks from someone??

    I hope I'm wrong, and I'll be sympathetic if there was a true crisis being faced that led to this situation.
    I completely agree about the IP thing, unfortunately that's a non-issue with paypal becaues if it's a service, it's flatly declined. there isn't even an option to enter miscellaneous stuff like that. Which is bad in my opinion, but one of those necessary evils.
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  12. #12
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    Firstly, this is hardly new. Paypal has always had this clause in their system. Payments made for non tangible goods are in no way refundable. This is something that paypal has stood by for years, despite individuals claiming they were "ripped off" by paypal for doing so, and honestly, a good decision.

    Why a "good" decision? Simple, really, very simple:

    When shipping products, or tangible goods, you've got proof that said good was delivered. If you don't, then you don't need to be shipping it . For services, however, there is more often than not no proof that said product was delivered.

    Should paypal automatically side with the customer on this one, as do the CC companies, or should they take no stance at all? The proper attitude is taking the second action. This prevents them from getting involved with legal battles over monies held or "stolen" from provider's accounts who actually DID provide the service that was paid for.

    Paypal isn't taking a "side" here, either way, they're simply saying "Our refund policies don't cover non tangible items". They do note on the individual's account that the instance occurred, and, I'm sure if repetitive requests came through, the account would be closed, BUT, they don't do anything for non tangible items.

    In this situation, it's simply a he said/she said thing. Maybe RFX DID mail you back, but it got caught in some sort fo spam trap or RBL? Who knows. I probably wouldn't have paid for anything if they weren't going to respond to non paying mails, but, I'm silly like that.

    This is hardly "new", unfortunately, there's no way to protect either side, so PP has to stay in the middle here.
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  13. #13
    Very interesting but I hope we'll be hearing Ryan's side of the story on this.
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  14. #14
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  15. #15
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    hasnt' posted here in over 3 months. And whoever the dipwad was making excuses and trying to throw back the blame has one post.

    Whatever the case, if you'll operate paypal through your own credit card/debit card you'll eliminate this kind of crap, because you file disputes through the credit card company, not paypal.

    Just reminding everyone, even though that guy THINKS it's soley his option, he's wrong. very wrong.
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  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by e-places
    because you file disputes through the credit card company, not paypal
    Then PayPal closes your account. Read the user agreement.
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  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nick H
    Then PayPal closes your account. Read the user agreement.
    Isn't THAT the truth!

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nick H
    Then PayPal closes your account. Read the user agreement.
    Wrong
    You may legally (according to paypal's rules) file a complaint with BOTH paypal AND the provider. Directly from paypal's help page

    A buyer who wishes to reverse a payment can file a claim with PayPal or, if they used a credit or debit card, a chargeback with their card issuer.
    Even better, directly from their terms
    If you cancel your dispute or your PayPal Buyer Protection claim or it is denied, you may still be able to pursue credit card chargeback rights. Check with your credit card issuer to learn about its deadlines for filing a chargeback.
    If you used a credit card to fund a purchase of goods or services through PayPal, you may have chargeback rights granted by your credit card issuer. Credit card chargebacks, if they apply, often cannot be filed more than 60 days after the transaction.
    Nowhere , ever, in there does it say "You may not file a charge with the company". It DOES say that you MAY have rights to do so.

    Of course, paypal WANTS you to abide by their resolutions and policies, but hey, that doesn't mean you HAVE to here. In this case? You're definitely going to want to launch that bank chargeback IF you can, because paypal disputes won't help at all.
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  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by e-places
    I don't know Ryan, but as for the PayPal incident. It's not a new thing. PayPal has always been known to not approve disputes for non-tangible items, and with good reason. There's virtually no way to securely ascertain whether a service was delivered or not.

    Emails, IM logs, Server logs etc are no proof at all as they can all be freely edited.

    Just keep it in the back of your mind and you'll be ok.

    There's one step further you can go. Use Paypal but have it charge your debit/credit card for your purchases. Then if this happens you can dispute it through your bank, which is about a thousand times more likely to award the decision in your favor.

    ah - finally an admission - this is an excellent point why as a seller you need to get all the ids and information of a paypal buyer - because they could be running a fraud through paypal on a credit card and as you point out the chargeback is hard to fight on an intangible - unfortunatly there are dishonest people out there that try to take advantage of this and then wine when the host protects themselves through this method. sorry to be a little off topic - but this is important to sellers out there.
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  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nick H
    Then PayPal closes your account. Read the user agreement.

    As linux-tech said.
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  21. #21
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    I'd like to expand on something.

    I'm not talking about abusing your paypal account to not pay someone. I see that kind of garbage here often and it irritates me. I'm talking about protecting yourself from arrogant jerks that tell you it's their sole option. It's not. You can still protect yourself. worms like that hide under the rules and sooner or later won't be there.. Regardless of how good someone is, things change (as can be seen). Protecting yourself against people like this can be important. What if you paid 5 or 600 for work and the seller pulled that?
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