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Is internet auction fraud a federal or state punishable offense ?

Baltimore, MD |

I bought some items on Ebay worth $200 . I paid with Paypal but never got my items.

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Filed under: Fraud Internet law
Attorney answers 2

Best Answer

Paypal has a dispute resolution function, use that. You should get your money refunded, and the seller may have their account suspended. As for your question, its both fraud in the state of Maryland as well as internet fraud, but proving it can be difficult, so dispute resolution is better.

The author is a Maryland attorney; however no answer given on Avvo is intended as legal advice or intended to create an attorney-client relationship. Dan's expertise lies in the electronic entertainment (video game) industry, as well as complex internet law issues, electronic free speech, entertainment law, copyright and trademark law, and computer fraud. He primarily represents game developers and founders of emergent internet technologies.


Begin your attempt at resolution within EBay and PayPal. If it is not resolved, report it to the local police. The feds usually look at only the larger issues.

We do not have a client/attorney relationship until you make an appointment, we discuss your case face to face, I accept a retainer, and we explictly agree to enter into representation.



i tried to resolve with Ebay but Their Buyers Protection is only valid within 45 days of the auctions close. I found about 5 others who bought items totaling over $1000. Does the value affect whether it's state or federal ?

Barry Franklin Poulson

Barry Franklin Poulson


Just see a lawyer and quit worrying about jurisdiction. The feds are looking for Jimmy Hoffa. If there are criminal charges to be brought, your attorney can advise you as to the report.

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