Out of the Blue Comes Barristers Bearing Money
This morning, in my email came this interesting piece of news - or hoax - hmmm lets look at it...
It seems that a legal firm in Dublin, Ohio (of all places) is contacting little ole me about suing PayPal.
The notice is informing PayPal users of a class action law suit (A lawsuit brought by one or more plaintiffs on behalf of a large group of others who have a common interest). In these days of phishing schemes and email hoaxes I became a bit skeptical upon reading this information in my inbox. (The text from the lawsuit email is below)
But after following the links back to the law firm Garden City Group, Inc. and reading the notice it seemed legitimate. The law firm site appears to be a real established website even though the age of the domain can not be determined (See comments - age determined). The site has 3400 inbound links, so it is not new to the Internet.
Then I found the case mentioned in SEC filings by eBay with the following text:
In March 2005, eBay, PayPal, and an eBay seller were sued in the Supreme Court of the State of New York, County of Kings (No. 6125/05) in a purported class action alleging that certain disclosures regarding PayPal's Buyer Protection Policy, users' chargeback rights, and the effects of users' choice of funding mechanism are deceptive and/or misleading. The complaint alleged misrepresentation on the part of eBay and PayPal, breach of contract and deceptive trade practices by PayPal, and that PayPal and eBay have jointly violated the civil RICO statute (18 U.S.C. Section 1961(4)). In April 2005, eBay and PayPal removed the case to the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York and the plaintiffs filed an amended complaint in the U.S. District Court (No. 05-CV-01720) repeating the allegations of the initial complaint but dropping the civil RICO allegations. The complaint sought injunctive relief, compensatory damages, and punitive damages. In September 2006, the parties finalized a preliminary settlement agreement.
If the settlement agreement has been finalized, how can any new parties join the class action suit?
I have repeated the information from the email below, but I suggest to any and all readers to be very careful about sending in any information to this site. It could be an elaborate hoax or phishing scam. I see several posts in forums from around the country just this morning about this email. Lets confirm the source before sending in our sensitive information.
Remember - NEVER GIVE ANYONE YOUR PAYPAL OR EBAY PASSWORDS
So what say you? Is it Real or is it Spam?
Update: Caveat Emptor - Buyer Beware
If you proceed directly to the comments section of this article you will find arguments both for an against this being a scam. Please read the comments, but also follow up with your own investigation before submitting any kind of personal information. Many comments seem reasonable on both sides of the fence, please do not make a decision to follow up on this (email about a class action Paypal lawsuit) simply on the content found in this article.
I have not verified any comments, nor have I verified the email is legitimate or not. The article is presented as a question and I appreciate everyone weighing in with comments to help answer that question.
We simply do not want to find someone either dismissed this opportunity or followed through with it, solely on the basis of this article or any comments below (from unknown, albeit quite helpful, parties).
firstname.lastname@example.org Aug-29-08 11:51 PDT
I can confirm that in September 2006, PayPal reached a settlement agreement with a proposed class of PayPal customers in an action pending in U.S. District Court in Brooklyn. The suit was filed in 2005 on behalf of a class alleging that PayPal did not clearly communicate information about its consumer protection programs related to specific types of transactions. And I can confirm that the settlement administrator (Garden City Group) was slated to send email notice to the possible claimants starting August 29, 2008. PayPal settled the case to avoid further costs of litigation and devote resources to more productive aspects of our business.
To get additional information about the settlement and whether or not you are eligible to participate in the settlement, please visit the settlement website at: http://www.steelesettlement.com.
Thanks to: Sophie for finding the PayPal Pink Confirmation on the discussion groups!
Steele et al. v. PayPal, Inc. et al., Civil Action No. 1:05-CV-01720 (ILG)(VVP)
Notice from Federal Court. Please Read.
You may be eligible to receive a benefit from a class action settlement if you funded a PayPal transaction using a source other than your credit card between February 1, 2004 and the present.
A federal court has directed that this notice be sent to inform you of a proposed class action settlement. Records show that you may be eligible to receive a benefit under the proposed settlement.
The settlement will resolve a lawsuit against eBay Inc. and PayPal, Inc. (collectively, "Defendants") involving claims arising out of representations in the PayPal User Agreement regarding PayPal's policies and practices for responding to refund requests from those customers who pay for transactions through PayPal using funds from funding sources other than credit cards. Under the settlement, Defendants have agreed to establish a settlement fund of $3.5 million to pay claims to potential class members. The proposed Class is defined as:
all U.S. based PayPal account holders who funded a PayPal transaction after February 1, 2004, using a source other than a credit card: (i) who subsequently requested a reversal of the transaction through PayPal's prevailing Buyer Complaint Policy and/or Buyer Protection Policy (collectively, "Policies"); (ii) who did not receive a refund equal to 100% of their transaction payment in response to such request from PayPal or their bank; and (iii) who, through the timely submission of a Claim Form under oath, attest to a reasonable and good faith belief that they would have received a full reversal of such payment had they used a valid credit card in their possession at the time of the subject transaction to fund the payment and filed a timely chargeback request with their credit card issuing bank. Excluded from the Class are any judicial officer to whom this Litigation is assigned; PayPal, eBay and any of its affiliates; any current or former employees, officers, or directors of PayPal or eBay; any Persons currently residing outside of the United States; and, all Persons who timely and validly request exclusion from the Class pursuant to the Notice.
To see if you are a Class Member and to obtain full notice of the Settlement, the required procedures, the deadlines, your obligations, and your options, you must visit www.steelesettlement.com. This email is only a brief summary of the full notice that is posted on the website.
If you are an eligible Settlement Class Member, you have rights, obligations, and options under the proposed settlement. You have untilto file your Claim Form and Certification Form. Your legal rights are affected whether you act or not.
1. Submit The Claim Form And The Certification Form By Mail
This is the only way to get a settlement payment. You must: (1) print and fill out the Claim Form and return it by mail to the address provided on the Claim Form; and (2) print the Certification Page of your Claim Form, sign it, and return it by mail to the address provided on the Claim Form. Your Claim Form and signed Certification Page must be mailed and postmarked no later than December 14, 2008. For more information on these deadlines, the Effective Date of the settlement, the Claim Form procedures, and the settlement benefit, you must visit www.steelesettlement.com.
2. Exclude Yourself – Opt Out of the Settlement
If you do not want to remain a member of the Class and participate in the Amended Settlement, then you may exclude yourself (opt-out) from the Class by mailing or delivering (email is not permitted) your written request. Your original, signed request for exclusion must be RECEIVED on or before and mailed to the following address:
PayPal/Steele Class Action Settlement
c/o The Garden City Group, Inc.
P.O. Box 9309
Dublin, OH 43017-4209
Your request for exclusion must contain your name and address, be signed by you, and include the reference "Steele et al. v. PayPal, Inc. et al., Civil Action No. 1:05-CV-01720." If you exclude yourself from the Class, you will not participate in the Amended Settlement and will not receive any payment from the Amended Settlement.
Write to the Court about why you do not like the settlement. Your objection must be filed with the Clerk of the United States District Court for the Eastern District of New York, Brooklyn Main Office, Pursuant to the Court's Order, you may not be heard on or entitled to contest the Court's decision unless you have filed written objections no later than October 31, 2008. A hearing ("Settlement Hearing") shall be held before Hon. I Leo Glasser . at the United States District Court for the Eastern District of New York, Courtroom 8B South, 225 Cadman Plaza East, Brooklyn, New York 11201.11201, no later than October 31, 2008.
4. Do Nothing
You will automatically be included in the Settlement Class and give up your right to be part of any other lawsuit about the claims in this case, but you will not be eligible to receive a settlement benefit unless you submit a Claim Form.
To get complete information about the proposed Settlement, the required procedures, the deadlines, your obligations, and your options, you must visit www.steelesettlement.com.
Please do not contact PayPal, or PayPal's customer support about this Notice, or the Settlement. Instead, you must visit www.steelesettlement.com for complete information about the proposed Settlement, the required procedures, the deadlines, your obligations, and your options.
Please do not reply to this message. We are unable to respond to inquiries sent in reply to this email. To contact us, please access the official settlement website at www.steelesettlement.com.
Read More Here: Steele Settlement