Union County man’s online freezer purchase goes from deal to scam

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UNION COUNTY, Tenn. (WATE) — Ordering online from an unfamiliar business can be like rolling the dice. Buyers have to know if the site is legitimate.

If not, they could be scammed.

Brandon O’Brien ordered a small freezer three months ago, it never arrived, and when he made an inquiry trying to get a refund, he almost got fleeced a second time.

O’Brien just recently purchased a small freezer locally. He and his son Jesse eat a lot of frozen food. But three months ago freezers were nowhere to be found.

“They were all gone,” O’Brien said. “So I went online, figuring I could find one. I did, and I purchased it.”

He paid for the $99 freezer using what he believed to be PayPal. Brandon said sent the money over the website to a person he had never heard and then asked about a delivery date.

“I tried to contact them there was no answer, the COVID was going on,” he said. “It said on the customer line they were only able to deal (with you) online.”

After going online he receives an email saying address not found. Apparently, the number he called was not PayPal, but someone pretending to be.

“I explained the whole thing to him,” O’Brien said. “He said, ‘Now much money do you have in your account?’ ‘In my debit card account? Excuse me? Why do you need my information, how much do I have in my account?’ “

The guy O’Brien was talking with said he was from claims adjustment. He gave Brandon instructions on how to get his money back.

“If I couldn’t deposit it into my debit card go down to Walmart or somewhere and get a Google Card, a card,” O’Brien said.

An email from PayPal won’t ask you to buy any type of gift card nor will you be asked for sensitive information like your password, bank account or credit card number.

Brandon is pleased with the freezer he bought from Lowe’s. He said it’s already paid for.

PayPal is regularly spoofed in emails. An email from PayPal will always come from paypal.com.

Regardless of what the name may say, always check the address that the email was sent from. If it originates from any domain other than paypal.com, it isn’t authentic.

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