UPDATE 09.03.15: A credit hit my PayPal account this morning, I got all my money back.
Well holy crap has my day/week ever turned around.
I just got off the phone with Adam from PayPal’s Executive Escalations team, who apologized quite profusely about how things went down in this case, and PayPal is going to be crediting me the full $500 that I paid, and is actually investigating the seller (they couldn’t tell me more about that part obviously).
This is amazing and awesome. I had already written it off and just wanted to make this into a learning experience for others, but instead my case is probably going to end up as a learning experience for PayPal! My video showing how easy it is to fabricate a screenshot has apparently been making the rounds within PayPal already and they may even use it as a teaching aid within the company – which would be pretty dang cool if I do say so.
Prior to the commenter named “A” on my earlier post, I didn’t even know there was an Executive Escalations team. I hadn’t gotten around to trying to locate them yet but they found me first. Kudos to them for acknowledging a weakness in their policies and procedures, and for wanting to educate their people better on issues such as this. I’m psyched that I’ll get my money back and even more psyched that the scammer won’t be getting it.
PayPal, you’ve redeemed yourself quite a bit in my eyes!