KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) — A Tennessee woman whose PayPal account was hacked has hired a lawyer to help her get her money back.

In June of 2022, hackers stole $2,000 from Shelby Dobbs’ account, she contacted PayPal, but the online payment system didn’t immediately close her account or give her access to it. Dobbs said as soon as she noticed her PayPal account had been hacked, she contacted the company to close her account.

However PayPal questioned her identity, so her account remained open as the would-be thieves continued their unlawful activity. She has yet to get her stolen money back and has hired a lawyer to fight for her.

Knoxville Attorney Bennett Hirschhorn has been hired by Dobbs. In the lawsuit, she is suing the giant payment platform company for Breach of Contract, Breach of Fiduciary Responsibility and Constructive Trust. It’s over a $2,000 transfer payment to PayPal from Dobb’s checking account in mid-June of 2022 after her account had been hacked.

“I noticed there was some suspicious activity so, I called PayPal to let them know something was going on and to request help,” said Dobbs. “I asked them to shut down the account.”

Dobbs shared that PayPal said they weren’t sure if that was her account or not.

“They doubted who I was. Basically, they doubted my identity,” she said. “Well I requested the ability to get into the account so I could remove any personal information on my own and they had locked me out of it. “

“What Shelby experienced was when some fraud was committed on her account and she called PayPal. According to the terms of the agreement with PayPal, you can call them and provide them with identification. So, when she called PayPal, they did nothing,” said Hirschorn.

A record of her cell phone calls was admitted into evidence, showing her efforts in reaching PayPal regarding the stolen funds from her account.

“She proved who she was, she authenticated on the phone. She provided her identification at their request. She made many, many phone calls, like over 50 phone calls. 50 phone calls and they have done nothing,” said Hirschorn. “I don’t know why they do or don’t do anything. But I can say they have policies and they do their best to follow the policies. The problem is it is very easy for a fraudster to defeat PayPal’s policies and PayPal probably knows that.”

Almost immediately after her PayPal account was compromised last year, according to documents, the scammer started selling stuff in Dobbs’ name. She reported it as fraud stating she doesn’t sell things online. She’s also received calls from people asking why hasn’t their purchase been delivered.

“Over 150 people were defrauded by the fraudster who took over her bank account. They used another service to collect the money because they were doing fake sales. Then PayPal just processed the fees,” said Hirschorn.

“I trusted them like I trust a bank,” said Dobbs.

WATE reached out to PayPal to hear their side, but there’s been no response. However, PayPal has told Dobbs’s attorney, they want to try to settle through arbitration instead of going to court. While confident she’ll get her money back, Dobbs wants to see PayPal’s system of handling situations like hers changed.

“There is a serious flaw that impacted my life. Luckily, I could handle it. There are families that cannot handle a $2,000 deficit,” said Dobbs.

This isn’t the first time, Hirschhorn has taken on PayPal. In December of 2021, he successfully sued the company and was able to retrieve a $4400 unemployment payment that has been frozen in Sheena Small’s PayPal account. He then went on to seek answers from PayPal as to why her account had been frozen for more than a year.

His new case with Dobbs will likely take several months to resolve.