Strange scam on bike part purchase


Gold Trader
GT Fan
So, I walked into this one with my eyes open, so was always protected but I can't figure out what the end game could be.

I bought a groupset at a good price (alarm bells were ringing at this early stage). Paid via standard PayPal so covered.

Seller refunded me and said there was a problem with their PayPal account and sent me another one.

Paid by PayPal again, similar story, though this time they said they couldn't issue a refund and to request one from PayPal, which I did, and got.

Third time I was issued a PayPal invoice, paid that and seller seemed ok. Chased for postage info, strung along for a bit, then they blocked me from messaging them

Went through the refund process and got my money back straight away.

So aside from a bit of hassle, nothing lost as I've got my money back.

What's the purpose of such a scam? I can't figure this out. Any ideas?

Will my refunds get disputed in the future? All a bit odd.
Last edited:
You were refunded by Paypal but the dodgy seller probably managed to run away with the money first. Any Paypal account must be linked to a bank account so they have the right to take money from you as necessary. Scammers just need to take the money away before anybody reports anything or the algorithms flag up a risk.
They likely had a hold put on the first two transactions so couldn’t withdraw. So just kept trying until it could be withdrawn and then ran. PayPal will have refunded you and will attempt to chase them (unlikely)
That's what I thought, doing a bunk leaving PayPal to foot the bill, but why refund me, that's the bit I don't get?
As they wanted you to keep doing it. The first ones will have had a hold placed so they couldn’t withdraw.
Possibly there are a couple of options here.

Perhaps they were hoping you'd choose friends & family by mistake. I've had a Facebook seller near instantly refund a goods & services payment so I could pay via friends & family to their "husband" as they were selling for their husband. I chose not to. Too many red flags at this point.

eBay/Paypal used to put holds on certain kinds of transactions eg bullion until the buyer confirmed they'd received it and was happy. Perhaps there was something going on here. In any case, at least you didn't get shafted.

It's one of the things I have to keep stressing with my missus as she regularly gets caught up with scams, and then has to detangle it all with PayPal/bank/credit card company. It may be a good saving, but the potential hassle isn't worth it.
As greencat says is probably the reason, but by refunding you it also makes it seem they are trying to resolve the supposed issue
Paypal is in massive danger to "lose all their customers" over time with their platform being very open to scamming.

They simply protect their members by paying and refunding in most cases without hassle - as long as the customer can present a valid story. They then try to resolve the issues with scamming in the background themselves. Also, they will have huge insurances for that. There are plenty of interesting youtube videos about it.

The only thing Paypal can not afford is users walking away from them one by one because of scamming even when the insurance option had been chosen.
Your initial instinct was right it seems. I've had similar issues in the past, so now either follow my instinct/experience and don't buy in the first place, and certainly don't pursue the purchase after the first refund. At least you used PayPal goods/services and got some protection, so many people don't, and then lose their money when the seller disappears.