ASK TONY: I was scammed out of £170, so why isn’t PayPal paying up?


I received texts from PayPal at 3.17am and 5.17am on August 6 about a suspicious transaction. 

It was for £170.94 to a company called Zalando SE. 

I replied at 10.21am with a ‘2’ to signify it was an unauthorised transaction. PayPal responded saying that texting was unavailable for this service! 

One reader was left out of pocket after losing £170 in a scam after both Paypal and Action Fraud refused to help

My bank account showed the payment was pending and the money was deducted on August 7. 

I contacted PayPal, which decided that the transaction was not unauthorised in its opinion, and so would not provide a refund. 

I sent the case to Action Fraud but heard nothing. 

A.M., Lancashire. 

I’m not surprised you didn’t hear back from ‘Inaction’ Fraud, but I am surprised that you have been brushed off by PayPal. 

To summarise: it thought the transaction was dodgy, you c­onfirmed it was, then PayPal washed its hands of the case.

I intervened and – surprise, surprise – it changed its mind, saying that you appeared to have fallen victim of fraud after an unauthorised payment on your PayPal account. 

PayPal has apologised and refunded your money. It also provided a statement highlighting its advanced fraud tools and risk management to keep your payments safe, and the fact that PayPal is used by millions of people every day without issue. 

No one is disputing this. It’s how it treats the small number of p­eople who encounter problems that concerns me – and its treatment of you was poor. 

*** 

My sister died in a hospice in March 2015. 

When I informed the Department for Work and Pensions of her death, it told me she had been underpaid Employment and Support Allowance and, as her next of kin, I’d be sent the extra money. 

This would be very welcome as, being her only relative, I paid £3,500 for the funeral. I’ve never heard from the DWP again. 

I have been to the benefits office, which gave me a phone number that I’ve tried numerous times but I can never get through. 

T.R., Rayleigh, Essex. 

I spoke with the DWP. It seems there was an underpayment, though no one quite seems to know what the hold-up was. 

The amount outstanding was for six days, which amounts to £150. The DWP is now arranging for this money to be sent to you. 

*** 

Last April, I realised my monthly pension of £163.67 had not been paid since November 2017. 

My pension had moved to ­ReAssure, which had paid for more than 12 months, but then stopped. 

I phoned ReAssure, which said it had no contact details for me. It then paid me £2,565.46, but I believe this should have been £2,946.06. 

I was told the difference was because of tax and I should contact HMRC, but I don’t go over the threshold to pay tax. 

HMRC ­eventually said ReAssure should remove the income from the 2018/19 tax year and put it into this tax year. ReAssure said it couldn’t do this. This is very stressful. 

P.C., Stalybridge, Cheshire. 

It seems that you moved house and didn’t tell Guardian, which previously paid your pension. 

It became aware of this when post was returned marked ‘not known at this address’ in August 2016. 

Your pension transferred to ReAssure on December 31, 2016. Unsuccessful attempts were made to trace you and, as a result, the pension payments stopped in August 2017. 

When you made contact, a backdated payment was made in May 2019. 

This was the first payment made to you in the 2019/20 tax year. At that stage, ReAssure did not have a tax code for you, so it had to apply an emergency code. 

However, you should be able to reclaim the tax, and ReAssure has written to explain how to do it. 

The letter includes details of the monthly payments you should have received during the period when your annuity was not paid. 

You can give these to HMRC so it can r­eassess your tax and make any refund you are due. 

ReAssure admits it could have c­ommunicated more clearly with you and is sending you £100 to a­pologise. 

Your letter is a reminder to us all that when we move home, we must tell all of the key financial institutions with whom we do business. This includes any firm which may be paying us a pension or annuity.    

  • We love hearing from our loyal readers, so ask that during this challenging time you write to us by email where possible, as we will not pick up letters sent to our postal address as regularly as usual. You can write to: [email protected] or, if you prefer, Ask Tony, Money Mail, Northcliffe House, 2 Derry Street, London W8 5TT — please include your daytime phone number, postal address and a separate note addressed to the offending organisation giving them permission to talk to Tony Hazell. We regret we cannot reply to individual letters. Please do not send original documents as we cannot take responsibility for them. No legal responsibility can be accepted by the Daily Mail for answers given. 

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