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Expensive Mistake: Mother accidentally sends $1,200 to wrong PayPal account

moms talking while sons are in batting cages
Posted at 6:05 AM, Mar 27, 2019
and last updated 2019-03-28 14:06:37-04

Did you know, if you accidentally transfer money to the wrong PayPal account, using your bank account funds, PayPal will not help you get that back? Neither will your bank. Neither will the police. Some local baseball moms are sharing their story so it doesn’t happen to anyone else.

The Muskego Warriors U-12 baseball team is traveling to Cooperstown, New York this summer for a tournament. Warriors player Jake Ralston said the whole team is getting excited.

Vince Vitrano interviews muskego warriors U-12

“It’s this big baseball trip,” he said. “We get to play baseball at these really nice turf fields.”

The players, and the parents have been fundraising for years.

Jake’s mom, Jenny Ralston, and some other parents are renting a house out there. She needed to transfer money to another parent, Jennifer Leto.

“I was paying the balance on the house,” Ralston explained, “and I asked if I could PayPal it to her. She said yes, so she sent me her email address.”

Only it was the wrong address. Off by a couple characters.

Ralston’s payment did go through to a J. Leto, just not Jennifer Leto as she intended.

woman sends money to wrong paypal account

“I asked Jen a couple days later if she received the payment and she said no.”

“When I saw her and she asked me that,” Leto admits, “we both just didn’t know what to say. We were all of a sudden fearing the worst.”

The payment of more than $1,200 went through to the wrong person. Because it wasn’t a scam, neither PayPal, Ralston’s bank, nor the police said there was anything they could do. PayPal suggested contacting the guy who did get the money.

“I continually tried to contact the person that I sent the money to,” Ralston explained. “I sent several emails. I tried calling him…He had a twitter account, so I tried tweeting him and he ignores everything I send to him.”

Leto claims she even found the guy’s parents on Facebook and reached out, with no response.

“It’s too bad,” she lamented. “I kind of lost a little faith in humanity there.”

TODAY’S TMJ4 reached out to J. Leto as well and did not hear back. PayPal said it would look into the matter further, even requesting more information, but at the time of this post had not responded to specific questions.

UPDATE: After this story posted on, PayPal did reach out with additional communication. The company pointed out transactions which draw funds directly from a customer's bank account cannot be recovered by PayPal, and the decision to approve the claim and reimbursement is with the customer's bank. PayPal did advise our local customer as to how she might work to get her money back. Here is the statement the company issues this afternoon:

"Customer service and the positive resolution of buyer and seller issues are an important focus for PayPal. We recommend that customers carefully review who they are sending money to and, as an additional safeguard, use the Goods and Services option that provides buyer protection. Additionally, when a customer uses funds from their bank account for a PayPal transaction, and would like to file a claim for a transaction, the decision to approve the claim and reimbursement is with their bank. Once the bank informs PayPal of the claim outcome, we’ll be happy to issue a reimbursement through their bank. Our customer service team is always available to help buyers with understanding their options for sending payments and our buyer protection policies. "