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Customer reported an unauthorized transaction to their paypal after purchase

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I just had a customer email me stating that they received an unauthorized purchase to their PayPal from me in the amount of $3.28. However, the order they placed was for $16. I checked that they had no other orders and there are no other charges from me anywhere in Shopify or PayPal. They are now accusing me of taking their money when I have no idea what this charge is or where it came from since it's wasn't from me.


Any help is greatly appreciated!

Replies 2 (2)
Shopify Staff
Shopify Staff
912 86 140

Hi @hookedhoneybee 


Welcome to the Shopify Community  - thank you for reaching out here.


I am sorry to hear about this situation, it certainly doesn't sound ideal that you are being accused of taking money from a customer.


Have you examined the timeline for this order? You can check more information relating to the order, including payment events - perhaps this will help to clarify. To check, you can navigate to the Orders section of your admin and then click into the order in question. On the order details page, scroll to the Timeline section and click a payment event. For more details from the payment gateway, you can click Information from the gateway.


Sometimes if a customer tries to place an order and it fails, it can pre-authorize the payment and appear like a charge, but it usually disappears in a few days. Is it possible that this is a temporary charge that might fall away on its own from the customer's PayPal account? It might be worth checking your abandoned checkouts to see if there's anything there relating to this customer.


It sounds like you have already checked your own PayPal account to see if there are any charges there that would explain this? If you haven't then it would be a good idea just to double check. I would also encourage the customer to reach out to PayPal directly, as PayPal themselves may be able to provide further context on where that charge originated from on their account, and whether or not it is actually linked to your PayPal account - I am wondering if perhaps the charge is some sort of currency conversion or other type of fee from PayPal?


You can of course reach out to our own support team, and we would be happy to take a closer look at the order and try to identify a possible cause of this. Bear in mind however, that we have no access to any PayPal accounts so we would only be able to speak from a Shopify perspective. 


Lastly, its worth keeping in mind that there is a chance that the customer isn't being truthful and is attempting to obtain some sort of fraudulent refund - so please do proceed with caution in terms of refunds etc.


Rick | Shopify 
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2 0 1

Hi Rick,


Thank you so much for getting back to me! I checked the timeline of this order and it shows that everything was a success and that the customer was charged the $16. I also double checked my PayPal and the only activity I have from the customer is their payment of $16. I asked the customer for a screenshot of their PayPal, but I haven't heard back yet too. If I don't hear from them by noon I'll send them another email and let them know to reach out to PayPal directly! Though I don't think it's any conversion fee for currency as the customer is also in the US. I'll reach out to support as well just to be safe too! 🙂
Also, yes, I'm really afraid that this could be the customer trying to obtain a fraudulent refund, but I'm hoping that won't be the case. I just want to make sure I have all of my ducks in a row and all the proof I need to show this is nothing from my Shopify or PayPal.

Thank you again for all of your help! I really appreciate it!