Could a cash app mistake eventually escalate to violence? Based on some of the emotionally charged pleas for help our team has received lately, it seems possible. And after you hear the details of Brian Yu’s recent money transfer fiasco, I think you’ll agree. “This is how a cash app mistake could easily turn deadly!”
Lee Smith believes she just had the worst Airbnb experience ever. And after you hear — and see — what she (and her cat) endured during the past month, I think you might agree.
Her tale is a harsh reminder of the risky nature of shared-space rentals. Smith assumed the Airbnb host had properly vetted the man with whom she would be sharing an apartment. Unfortunately, that doesn’t appear to be the case. (Reprint) “Is this the worst Airbnb experience ever?!”
Maria Witbrod wanted to add a new puppy to her family during the pandemic. But instead, a well-organized criminal operation led her into a costly and increasingly common pet scam.
Now $4,000 later and with no dog to show for it, she’s asking if the Elliott Advocacy team can help her.
But how? That’s the $4,000 question for today. “A pet scam cost this victim $4,000. Could you fall for it?”
If your vacation rental host asks you to pretend not to be a guest during your stay, would you?
That’s the odd situation that confronted Josephine Avina last July when her family planned a short trip during the pandemic. But pretending not to be guests wasn’t the only thing the host wanted the Avinas to do. She also expected them to be OK with living in the remnants of a bachelorette party held the night before.
As you’ve probably already guessed, the Avinas with their two small children in tow weren’t OK with any of it. They promptly asked for a refund and took off for a hotel. And although the owner agreed to return their rental payment, it’s eight months later and the Avinas are still waiting.
Now, after a failed credit card dispute over the missing refund, the Elliott Advocacy team is the family’s last hope. (Reprint) “If a worried host asks you to pretend not to be a guest, it’s time to go”
Before you do any more online shopping, you’ll want to read about the scam that just ensnared Susan Leipholtz. She paid an online “merchant” $129 through PayPal and received absolutely nothing in return. But getting blindsided by the internet thief wasn’t nearly as shocking as what happened next. That’s when Capital One sided with the scammer in her credit card dispute.
Now a shell-shocked Leipholtz is asking us to retrieve the money stolen from her in this online shopping scam.
But can we do it? “How did I lose the credit card dispute over this online shopping scam?”
Paul Trosclair says he just spent nearly two grand on a vacation rental that does not exist. To make matters worse, Vrbo sided with the person he believes is a thief disguised as a host.
Now Trosclair hopes the Elliott Advocacy team can prove this vacation rental is nonexistent and get his money back.
But can we do it? (Reprint) “I wasted $2,000 on a vacation rental that does not exist!”
A boatload of disgruntled cruise passengers has contacted the Elliott Advocacy team during the pandemic. Their question? How to get a refund instead of future credits after a cruise line canceled their voyage — more than once.
Unfortunately, the answer to that question is not what most want to hear. But the tide has recently started to turn, and there is some good news on the horizon. (Updated April 24) “Can you get a refund instead of cruise credits for your canceled voyage?”
Just days into Joe Vandetta’s recent Florida family vacation, a drunk driver crashed head-on into his rental car. Luckily, the hit-and-run accident didn’t cause serious injuries, and the Vandettas — bruised but otherwise unharmed — completed their trip as planned.
But the shock of getting smashed by an intoxicated motorist was nothing compared to the jolt Vandetta received a month later. That’s when Budget Rental Car sent a $22,158 bill — the cost of the vehicle damaged by the drunk driver. “A drunk driver smashed into my car rental! Why did I get a $22,158 bill?”
Can you fly without a mask at this stage of the pandemic if you have a doctor’s note? Since late last summer, the blunt answer from most airlines is no. Katheryn Stueckle’s son can’t physically tolerate a face covering, but she has no problem with American Airlines’ updated mask requirements. However, she would like a refund for the flight she purchased before the airline changed the policy.
American Airlines says she purchased the flight after it eliminated medical exemptions to the mask requirement. As a result, it denied the refund.
Can we help? (Last updated April 22) “Can you fly without a mask if you have a doctor’s note?”
If a stranger sends you money by accident, do you have any obligation to give it back? If so, how do you do it without exposing yourself to a scam? And if you transfer money to the wrong person, is there any possible way to fix your mistake?
These are not uncommon dilemmas faced by users of cash apps like Zelle and Venmo in 2021. Along with the increasing popularity and convenience of instant money transfer services came a dramatic rise in pricey user errors. Unfortunately, our attempts to investigate and resolve many of these cases have exposed some disturbing flaws in the programs.
Minh Tran is just one of the many desperate Zelle users who’ve recently asked our team for help. In his case, a stranger’s mistake set off a frustrating and confusing chain of events that almost cost him $360.