Paid a scammer money via PayPal. What can I do?

I left a comment under an answer that was probably deleted under "not nice" policy - assuming this as other comments were kept. My comment definitely wasn't "mean" or degrading - it was just blunt truth in as nice of a way as I could say it:

Completely disagree. Should feel ultra embarrassed. One fake payment was already reversed. And then why would you pay a "sugar daddy". You have some intelligence issues if you think someone is going to send you some money and you have never met them. Basically this user is trying to scam someone for money - to pay off their credit card and is now complaining about getting scammed. If anything this is deserved.

So why is it OK for a scammer to come on the site and leave the question above, but if someone calls out the scammer they are "not nice" and comment deleted? Shouldn't the moderation work both ways?

(It is very clear this person was looking to scam the person that she was talking to in giving her money. You can say she wanted a sugar-daddy or was just being nice or giving the person another person to talk to, but any point you make for her could also be made for the person that supposedly scammed her.)

  • 1
    What was your comment?
    – Flux
    Aug 22, 2020 at 5:34
  • 2
    "You have some intelligence issues " This is just an insult. Also, the question asked wasn't the scam, the asker was the victim of a scam. Feb 2, 2021 at 15:34

1 Answer 1


In general we don't allow questions asking for help on how to commit crimes in the future. If you've done something stupid in the past and want help resolving the situation it's different, even if it was potentially criminal. Such a question is not "not nice", if you'll excuse the double negative.

I deleted your comment responding to a flag, and I did it for two main reasons (although I took about 2 seconds to do it so much of the reasons were subconscious or only being fleshed out now!):

Firstly, comments on answers are to ask for more information or to suggest improvements. I guess you can argue that fundamental disagreements are a suggestion for improvement even if there's no way the answerer will change their post, and sometimes such comments do survive for the benefit of future readers. But getting into an argument about a subjective and sensitive point of view is unlikely to survive regardless of how politely it's expressed.

Secondly, it was rightly flagged as "rude and abusive". At the very least "You have some intelligence issues" is inappropriate. Accusing them of trying to scam someone is also not actually justified by the question; they say they naively thought the money was coming from the "sugar daddy" and you have no evidence to the contrary, just opinion.

You've also posted an answer. Those get much more respect than comments but they still have to answer the question and they still have to be nice. Your answer does a decent job of explaining the hurdles to fixing the problem, but I thought "you are again just as bad as the scammer" crossed the line and I've edited it to "you are also culpable". Moderating your answer was a more finely balanced decision than your comment.

Finally, bear in mind that we generally moderate things that are flagged or that we come across. We often won't have time to review absolutely everything on a question at the same time and sometimes even if we see something borderline in normal browsing we might not touch it until someone flags. So just because one thing is removed but another survives is not automatic evidence that the latter is ok. However in this case as I outlined above, I think the question is acceptable for the site.

  • "You have some intelligence issues" was said sarcastically to let the OP understand that they can't play dumb - obviously they know what is going on both ways. Maybe I could have rephrased it but it was meant to not let the OP have an out on scamming someone.
    – blankip
    Aug 23, 2020 at 17:46

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