If I sent items to a buyer but have not been paid, is that fraud?

Get Legal Help Today

 Secured with SHA-256 Encryption

If I sent items to a buyer but have not been paid, is that fraud?

I was cleaning out my old video games and a friend mentioned I could sell some online and get decent cash for them. So I found a website, looked professional, checked everything out and it seemed legitimate, so I chose the games I wanted to sell to them, got a prepaid package label and sent in the games. They were received by the company I sold them to almost 3 months ago and I still

haven’t gotten the payment agreed on. I’ve emailed three times and called twice with no luck. Is this considered fraud of some kind? And, if so, what should my next steps be since I can’t get in contact with this company?

Asked on March 2, 2018 under Business Law, California

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 2 years ago | Contributor

It is fraud (lying to you about what they would do--i.e. pay you--to get you to enter into a transaction or do something) or it is theft--or both. (Stealing can be done by tricking someone into sending you money--sometimes called "theft by deception"--as well as by breaking or entering or at gunpoint.)
This is something you could in theory sue over, but a large question is: would suing be worth it? Unless they are local (your county), you can't sue in small claims court: you'd have to sue in "regular" county court and would very possibly have to sue where they are located to ensure that the court has jurisdiction (power) over them (to oversimplify: a court does not have power everywhere or over everyone--just over people in its geographic area or over people who have sufficiently strong ties, including commercial ties, to their geographic area). Unless you are talking thousands of dollars, if they are not local, you could spend more in terms of time and money on the lawsuit than you get back.
Your best bet may be to contact the police where they are located and look to file a police report and press charges: doing so may cause them to send you your money.


IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although AttorneyPages.com has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

Get Legal Help Today

Find the right lawyer for your legal issue.

 Secured with SHA-256 Encryption