Ask For Evidence With Claims


Asking For Evidence During & After The Claim's Assessment

As a social engineer yourself, who's been In the scene for many years to date and operate on an Intermediate or advanced level, you'd know exactly what It takes to hit online stores to the likes of Zalando, John Lewis, Amazon, Argos, GoPro, ASOS etc, and deceive their representatives for refunds and replacement Items. The need to know the Ins and outs of how they manage and process claims, as well as their carrier partners who service their deliveries, Is of the utmost Importance to give the SE the best opportunity to succeed without raising suspicion before and after the claim's evaluation.

You'd also be aware of how critical It Is to Implement "Item & method formulation", by sifting through all the traditional methods such as the DNA, wrong Item received, EB/missing Item, boxing, the faulty Item method and an array of others, and choosing one that's best suited to the nature of the product you're planning to SE. After the Information gathering session (i.e.,"research") against the company/carrier Is complete and the method has been flawlessly prepared, the attack vector can be launched - with peace of mind that you've done everything on your end to help ensure It flows In the right direction and with minimal disruptions.

However, social engineering Isn't all sunshine and rainbows. Even though you put together the perfect Ingredients for an SE that has the capacity to achieve Its objective a lot more often than not, the fact Is, when It leaves your local environment, you have little to no control of how It's handled by a given rep/agent. For example, have you received an email stating an "Investigation" was opened, and after a few days/weeks, the rep replied saying your claim was declined without providing a reason for his decision? 

Or perhaps you filed a PayPal dispute to have the transaction reversed on your account, only to find It was rejected based on some ridiculous event "that was not relevant to your claim?". Or something like the tracking marked the package as delivered to the right address (which Is DNA related), when the missing Item method was used? I'd say your answer Is "Yes" to at least one of those scenarios and It's probably safe to assume the majority of times, you took the representative's word for It, hence didn't bother to directly query the outcome, yes? I thought as much. 

Just because a customer service rep finalized the claim In favor of the company, by no means does It conclude It was the correct decision. How so, you ask? Well, who's to say the rep didn't make the whole thing up and lied about the entire situation? Or the claim was disapproved due to poor judgement and/or lack of common sense? Unless It's questioned, you will never know whether the claim was declined for all the right reasons - which Is what prompted me to write this article, namely "asking for evidence during and after the claim's assessment"

What you will learn today, Is why a number of events Inevitably take place (with most claims) while the SE Is In motion - specifically "company Investigations", "claims being escalated" and "PayPal disputes/claims" and most Importantly, how to "ask for evidence" upon receiving a negative reply from the company - when your claim has either been rejected, or Is heading down that path. To finish off, I've discussed "method specific responses", meaning typical replies generated by reps against various methods, and how to efficiently and effectively tackle their questions and demands. Enough talk, time to rip Into It with a company Investigation.   

Company Investigation

When companies process claims from customers who request refunds or replacement Items, they have certain guidelines that they must follow, which ultimately determines If the claim Is approved or declined. While some are pretty straightforward and do not require additional Information, there are times when representatives need to collect details from Internal (company) and/or external (carrier) sources In order to come to a decision with the claim. That's when they open what's called an "Investigation", whereby as Its name Implies, the rep Investigates the matter at hand to clarify why things don't add up with what the SE'er has said, against their very own records.

Due to the complexity of some Investigations, at the worst-case scenario, It can take up to a few months to resolve discrepancies. There are many reasons why It takes so long, such as police reports asked to be filed and returned, liaising with the carrier company and cross-checking their consignment, or perhaps tracing the movements of their warehouse picking & packing activities. From a social engineering standpoint, this can be rather frustrating, but what I want you to understand, Is that an Investigation Is simply part of protocol to move forward with your claim, so be patient from start to finish.

Although the majority of Investigations work to the SE'ers advantage by crediting their account for the cost of the purchase product, or dispatching a replacement Item at the company's expense, there are occasions when you'll receive a message via email to the effect of: "We have fully Investigated this matter and based on the results of our Investigation, we won't be able to provide a refund or replacement for this order at this time". Can you see what the problem Is? If you're an advanced SE'er, you should Immediately Identify why the context of their Investigation Is worthless!

If you haven't worked It out as yet, I've made It easy by highlighting the operative words In blue - namely "the results of our Investigation". What results are they referring to? What are the results based on? What Information was used to finalize the results? Of course, other Investigations contain a few specific details but In terms of the one above, It's blatantly obvious that their assessment Is Inconclusive. Whatever the case may be with yours, "ask for evidence" that fully supports their findings. To help you along the way, I've created a list below that applies to every type of Investigation, so pick and choose those that're relative to your circumstances.     

Ask For Evidence
  • What exactly did their findings establish?
  • Depending on their response, any of the following details may be required:
  • If an "Internal" Investigation was the reason for the declined claim, ask for a report
  • If an "external" Investigation was the reason, ask for the carrier's report
  • If CCTV cameras was responsible for their decision, ask for a copy of the footage 
  • If the decision was made at the rep's discretion, ask him/her to clearly justify It
  • If GPS/tracking Info was Involved, It's useless (refer to the final topic of this article)
  • If a signature (which you obviously faked) was the deciding factor, request a copy
  • If the package weight was used to decline the claim, ask for a breakdown from the carrier
  • If the POP was rejected (but you used the corrupted file method), ask for a clear copy of the receipt.

Claims Being Escalated 

If you're reading this from a beginner's standpoint, whereby you've been social engineering for a very short period of time and limited to performing a few SEs here and there, the chances are you're only familiar with dealing directly with the representative who declined your claim. Furthermore, It's safe to say you're under the Impression that his decision Is final and no further action can be taken, but I can assure you It's not the case at all.  Just because the rep/agent terminated your claim, It doesn't mean that nothing more can be done about It.

Unbeknownst to many SE'ers, Inclusive of those who operate on an Intermediate and probably some on an advanced level, every company to the likes of Logitech, SteelSeries, Lenovo and Amazon, have what's called a "complaints department" or something similar. It's dedicatedly setup to handle customers who're unhappy with the way they've been treated, and the lack of service they've been provided by reps/agents. Companies pride themselves on fulfilling their customer's needs and as such, they're obligated to sort out any Issues that come to their attention.

In other words and put simply, when you've been told your claim has been rejected, don't leave It at that, but rather "tell" (and not "ask") the rep that you're not happy with the way It's been dealt with, and you want your "claim to be escalated". What this means, Is that you're essentially filing a complaint against the rep/agent who put an end to your claim, and It's then forwarded (escalated) to a senior level, where It will be managed and reviewed by another rep of a higher rank In an Impartial and unbiased manner. Well, that's what most companies state In their terms but the fact Is, you never know what happens behind closed doors!

The objective of escalating a claim, Is to have It approved by overturning the Initial decision that was used to decline It but unfortunately, It's not always smooth sailing. It can be a long process from the time It's escalated, to when a reply Is received from one of the team members. And to make matters worse, It may not be the response you're expecting - such as a message: "We understand your concern regarding the refund of your order number xxx-xxxxx-xx-xxxx, however we're unable to assist you further. Thank you for your time and patience". Of course, that's just a generic message, but no doubt you get the gist of what It's saying. Evidently, you will not accept defeat, thus push the reps to their absolute limit by "escalating the claim with supported evidence" as per the subtopic below.    

How To Escalate A Claim & Ask For Evidence
  • Get the details of why the original claim was declined 
  • Request the claim be escalated by emailing, calling, or opening a ticket
  • Forward the details (of the declined claim) to the escalation team
  • Confirm the escalation, and take note of the estimated time of completion (eg: 5 business days)
  • If you haven't received a response within the said time frame, contact the company again
  • If need be, keep repeating the above step until a decision has been made on your claim.
  • If It's disapproved, ask for evidence that clearly justifies their decision to decline It
  • Review the evidence, and extract the details that are Irrelevant to your claim
  • Request the claim be "re-escalated" and reviewed by another team member
  • If need be, keep repeating the above step to have your claim approved

PayPal Disputes/Claims

If you've exhausted all the above measures and the company refused to reverse their decision, you still have another alternative at your disposal - namely filing what's called a PayPal "dispute" which will then get escalated to a "claim", with the Intention to have your funds reimbursed Into your bank account or credit card. More on this In a minute. Firstly, I would like you to understand the basics of how PayPal operates, and why "It's Imperative to create an account, and Include the service as part of your social engineering toolkit".

Okay, the main reason why SE'ers use PayPal as their preferred payment system, Is because It protects their purchases by offering "Buyer Protection". This means that If something goes wrong with the purchase (which It seemingly will!), such as "the package did not arrive" or a "different product was received", PayPal will try and correct It. Both of those quoted terms are listed on their website as "INR" (Item Not Received) and "SNAD" (Significantly Not As Described) - which Is equivalent to the DNA, (sometimes) the missing Item method and the wrong Item received method respectively.

When putting In a claim, they're the only two things you can use to get a refund - the "INR" (DNA, missing Item) or the "SNAD" (wrong Item received). Makes sense? Good. Upon navigating to PayPal's User Agreement, you'll see that It's quite complex and covers a lot of details that can be overwhelming and difficult to comprehend - most of which are Irrelevant from an SEing perspective, so I'll cut to the chase and simplify It for you as follows. When your SE has failed, you'd file a "dispute" through PayPal's Resolution Center and what generally happens, Is the buyer (yourself) and the seller attempt to resolve the matter between themselves.

If an agreement cannot be reached (which It obviously won't), the dispute gets escalated to a "claim". At this point, PayPal steps In and takes over by contacting the company and grabs everything relative to your claim. If you've formulated and executed your SE In a manner that did not raise suspicion, or perhaps the company's representative made an error In judgement when finalizing your claim, It's very likely that PayPal will agree with you and refund your account. However, there are circumstances when It doesn't work In your favor. Either way, a dispute/claim must be filed with PayPal to start proceedings, so check out my step-by-step list In the following subtopic. 

How To File A Dispute/Claim & Ask For Evidence
  • Collect all Information In support of your claim and keep It on hand In case of need
  • Log In to your PayPal account, and open a dispute In the Resolution Centre by choosing "Item Dispute"
  • The dispute will ask you to resolve the problem with the seller, which obviously won't happen
  • After the above step fails, escalate the dispute to a claim by selecting "File a Claim"
  • PayPal now takes over by contacting the company you're social engineering
  • Some companies do not respond to PayPal, thus the claim Is finalized In the SE'ers favor
  • If the company responds, PayPal collects all details relevant to your claim and starts their assessment
  • If you've flawlessly prepared your SE, there's every chance PayPal will side with yourself as the buyer
  • If for any reason PayPal declines your claim, their decision Is not final - you can appeal It
  • Before appealing the claim, ask PayPal to provide evidence as to why It was rejected
  • To appeal It, click "All Closed Cases" (In your account) and then the "Appeal" button next to your claim
  • Use the Information (you collected In the first step above) as evidence to support the appeal
  • Keep pushing PayPal with as much evidence as possible to get them to refund your account

Method Specific Responses

Every traditional method used, will predominantly trigger one or more events that will have a negative Impact on your SE and as a result, the rep/agent will reply with a few details of their assessment - with some responses "stating the reason(s) why the claim was declined". Given you've reached this point of the article and on the grounds you have read every topic In full, you'd be well and truly aware that just because the rep has disapproved the claim, It doesn't necessarily mean the correct decision was made, nor does It suggest that you cannot take further action.

What I'm referring to of course, Is analyzing and questioning responses, and asking the representative to justify how and why he came to the conclusion of rejecting the claim. In simple terms, don't just take the rep's word for It - do some serious checking and (where applicable) "ask for evidence" with each and every aspect of the reply. Don't worry, this will make perfect sense In a minute or so. Given It's way beyond the scope of this topic to cater for all methods, I've focused on two of the most popular ones among every SE'er - the "missing Item" and the "DNA", so let's begin with the former. 

Missing Item Method Evidence And Events

This article has exceeded Its reading time by a lot more than what I Initially anticipated, hence to avoid congestion, I will not elaborate on the "missing Item method", but rather reference my tutorial here, so be sure to read It thoroughly before moving forward with the rest of this topic. Okay, assuming you've fully familiarized yourself with the missing Item method, I've created a small list below of common happenings and events. Depending on the company you're SEing, you may experience the lot, or only a few here and there. 

  • If the claim was declined based on the weight of the consignment, request a copy of their findings
  • If CCTV cameras confirmed the goods were picked & packed correctly, ask for a copy of the footage
  • If the manufacturer confirmed the Item was In the box prior to dispatch, ask for evidence clearly demonstrating It
  • If the company said they checked the contents of the box when packed, ask for evidence of the event
  • If an Investigation declined the claim, ask for evidence of their assessment
  • If the claim was declined for not providing a police report, tell them that a PR Is not relevant to your claim
  • If It's an International shipment and customs confirmed the product was In the box, get their report

The DNA Method Evidence And Events

As with the topic above, Instead of writing about the Ins and outs of what the DNA method entails, simply refer to my guide and make sure to absorb every word you read. Now what I've done with the list below, Is not only highlight the evidence that must be requested on your end, but have also written about a few events that will be experienced when hitting many DNAs against companies on every scale - obviously those that utilize a carrier to service their deliveries.         

  • If GPS/Tracking Info was used to decline the claim, remain adamant that "you did not personally receive the package"
  • If a signature was used to decline the claim (which you faked!), ask them to email you a copy
  • If the driver has said the package was delivered, his word holds no value to verify consignments
  • If the package was left unattended at your doorstep or otherwise, It's assumed stolen, hence easily DNA'd
  • If the driver calls or visits your home asking questions, you are not obligated to attend to his needs
  • If photos were taken of your home, read my guide on how to circumvent It.
  • If photographic evidence was used to decline the claim, ask the rep to send you copies
  • If you're told to wait x-amount of days to see If the package arrives, do so - the DNA will most likely succeed
  • If you're asked to file a police report, go ahead and do It at your local police station or (If available) online
  • If you're asked to sign a statutory declaration, It's only part of company protocol, so sign & return It
  • If an Investigation has declined the claim, ask for evidence that supports their decision

In Conclusion   

The main objective of this article, Is to outline the Importance of "always asking for evidence" when your claim has been rejected by the company's representative, or any other entity such as PayPal and other services that operate In a similar fashion. As mentioned a number of times, just because the rep has put an end to your claim, who's to say he made the correct decision? 

The Information he has on hand, may be totally Irrelevant and If you don't challenge It by asking for justification, your claim could've been declined for all the wrong reasons. In closing, make It a habit to analyze every detail, and obtain evidence with all questions and concerns - It can make all the difference to have the claim re-assessed and approved In your favor.