PayPal Scams Scam Technology

6 Common Paypal Scams and How to Avoid Them

paypal scams

When you’re a daily PayPal consumer, you could need to take word: Scammers are repeatedly concentrating on PayPal and its buyer base. PayPal scams can come within the type of emails, phishing websites, malicious advertisements, suspicious hyperlinks, and extra. Such scams are designed to look official so as to trick customers into giving up personal knowledge, akin to usernames and passwords, or to illegitimately acquire funds.

Quite a few PayPal scams exist, however there are a number of that you simply’re extra more likely to run into. Listed here are six widespread PayPal scams that we’ve situated, in addition to easy methods to keep away from turning into a sufferer to them

1. Superior payment rip-off

One rip-off PayPal customers must be cautious of is extra generally often known as Superior Payment Fraud. This kind of fraud, of which the notorious “Nigerian Prince” or 419 scams fall into,  are designed to trick victims into sending a relatively small sum of money with the promise of a a lot bigger return.

PayPal customers are sometimes focused with this rip-off due to the problem that exists with getting cash returned.

Superior Charge scams over PayPal may fit like this:

You obtain an e mail with a topic line in ALL CAPS claiming you’ve acquired an inheritance.

Upon opening the e-mail, you discover what seems to be an official letter from somebody in a excessive political station.

paypal scams

Subsequent, they’ll inform you that you simply’re due a slightly insane sum of money for slightly doubtful causes.

paypal scams

And eventually, you’ll be requested to offer some primary info that may open the strains of communication.

paypal scams

Finally, the rip-off collects private info from you that can be utilized in id fraud, whereas additionally grifting cash from victims. The warning indicators for this rip-off are clear, nevertheless, and avoiding such a rip-off is comparatively straightforward.

The best way to keep away from advanced-fee scams

Fortunately, your e mail service supplier filters out the overwhelming majority of some of these scams. Should you examine your e mail spam folder, chances are you’ll even be capable of discover a number of of them (we positive did).

Nevertheless, if an e mail asking you to make some sort of superior cost with a purpose to obtain a higher reward does elude your spam filter, take note of the warning indicators. The e-mail handle doubtless gained’t be from a verified or reliable enterprise or service, and certain gained’t match the identify, group, or authorities official talked about within the e-mail textual content. Moreover, there’ll possible be numerous spelling or grammar errors inside the physique of the e-mail, which is one other warning signal that it’s not from a authentic supply.

General, nevertheless, it’s greatest to not ship superior funds, particularly to people you might have by no means met or don’t know. Until you’re buying merchandise by means of a web-based buying market, donating to a trigger, or sending household or pals cash, don’t belief suspicious sources on-line requesting cash. If it appears too good to be true, it in all probability is.

2. Rip-off e mail: “An issue together with your account”

One PayPal rip-off comes within the type of an e mail that erroneously states that there’s a “drawback together with your account”. The intent right here is to get you to open the e-mail out of concern. It’s adopted by textual content designed to get you to click on on a hyperlink inside the e mail that finally results in a phishing web site.

A customer just lately forwarded us a replica of the PayPal rip-off e-mail under. We have been capable of monitor down the place the rip-off website was hosted and have it shut down inside about 5 minutes. We additionally situated the place the stolen info was being despatched from the site and notified PayPal to ensure they shut down that website and contacted any affected clients.

Easy methods to keep away from “drawback together with your account” scams

  • DO NOT reply to the e-mail or enter any private info. In the event you’ve already entered info, shortly go to our Find out how to Report a Rip-off web page.
  • Ahead the e-mail to PayPal will instantly work to close down the rip-off website.
  • Ahead the e-mail to The U.S. Federal Commerce Fee (FTC) will place your e mail in a database and use the mixed info to trace down and prosecute the scammer/spammers.
  • Don’t click on on hyperlinks in unsolicited emails.

This type of rip-off has been round for a very long time. The scammers ship an e mail to you telling you there’s an issue together with your PayPal account and that you’ll want to log in to right it. Right here’s what the e-mail seems to be like.

When you look it over, go on to see what the pretend PayPal website online seems like:

Essential Notice: Right here’s the place the scammers get tough. The hyperlink textual content says “”. It appears professional. It seems to be like you’ll be despatched to the safe PayPal website. However you gained’t.

Click on this hyperlink –

Oops! We’re not in Kansas anymore, Toto. Essential level. The textual content of a hyperlink can say something. The place it factors to may be utterly totally different. Don’t pay any consideration to the hyperlink textual content. You need to take note of the handle bar in your browser (see our check on our Scams and Fraud homepage).

Right here is the textual content from the pretend Paypal web page:

Pricey Paypal Consumer,

At this time we had some hassle with one among our pc methods. Whereas the difficulty seems to be minor, we aren’t taking any possibilities. We determined to take the troubled system offline and substitute it with a brand new system. Sadly this induced us to lose some member knowledge. Please comply with the hyperlink under and log into your account to ensure your info isn’t affected. Account balances haven’t been affected.

Due to the inconvenience this causes we’re giving all customers that restore their lacking knowledge their subsequent two incoming transfers totally free! You’ll pay no charges in your subsequent two incoming transfers*.

Thanks for utilizing PayPal!

* – If charges would usually apply, you’ll not pay something for the subsequent two incoming transfers you obtain.

PayPal Safety


NEVER give your password to anybody and ONLY log in at PayPal’s web site. If anybody asks on your password, please comply with the Safety Ideas directions on the PayPal web site.

As you possibly can see, this rip-off e-mail does the whole lot it may well do to persuade you that it’s reliable. Nevertheless, until the e-mail is coming instantly from PayPal, ignore it. And all the time verify the hyperlinks included in a rip-off e-mail to confirm that they’re the actual deal.

“Drawback together with your account” PayPal scams may be pretty refined as nicely, as famous by this rip-off highlighted by web safety firm ESET.

three. “Pleasant identify” or show identify spoofing

One other type of e mail rip-off, “pleasant identify” e-mail scams make the most of a function of e mail methods that permit the sender identify to be hidden behind a “pleasant identify” that may be made to look official.

Many e-mail providers now use a “show identify” for people, websites, or providers with which you often work together by way of e mail. As an alternative of displaying the complete e mail handle each time, you could as an alternative see a “show identify”, which is usually the identify of the person or service.

Scammers can use this technique to their benefit by creating an e-mail handle with a show identify which may exist in your handle e-book. If you get an e mail from the pretend account, not solely can it bypass spam filters, it might look utterly reputable when related to an equally respectable wanting e-mail (comparable to some “drawback together with your account” rip-off emails).

For instance, this e mail spoofing the USPS makes use of show identify spoofing:
paypal scams

With PayPal spoofing, the rip-off might change the show identify to something which may look like authentic, together with utilizing widespread phrases you may affiliate with a official enterprise, similar to “PayPal Buyer Service”.

Methods to keep away from “pleasant identify” scams

A couple of easy steps may also help you shortly determine whether or not an e-mail is definitely from PayPal or a scammer:

  • Open the suspected e-mail, however DON’T click on on any hyperlinks within the e mail
  • Hover over the show identify within the e-mail if all the e mail tackle just isn’t seen

E mail service suppliers range. In Gmail, for instance, merely opening the e-mail will reveal the complete tackle generally, to incorporate the show identify and the online handle. Your e mail app may require you to hover over the show identify to disclose the tackle, nevertheless. As a consequence of measurement constraints, cellular e mail apps typically cover the e-mail handle totally and solely present the show identify, which might be very deceptive.

Make sure that the handle utterly matches an actual net tackle for PayPal. Moreover, make it possible for your complete net handle is reputable. Any e-mail coming from PayPal could have an e-mail handle that ends in Any variation of that, akin to, is probably going a rip-off.

four. Phishing web sites or social media posts (pretend PayPal web site or social media scams)

Many common web sites get spoofed in numerous methods. When scammers create a pretend PayPal web site and attempt to gather consumer info by means of them, this is called phishing.

Phishing is a type of rip-off during which criminals impersonate trusted entities to trick victims into giving up info. They arrange fraudulent web sites and e-mail addresses which are designed to look authentic. The hope is that you simply’ll work together with the pretend product, and finally hand over personal info, together with usernames, passwords, monetary account info, or anything that can be utilized to steal cash or your id.

There are various phishing web sites on the market, and actually, in line with Google’s Transparency Report, phishing websites at the moment are a much more widespread sort of fraudulent exercise on the internet than malware websites. Actually, phishing websites outnumber malware websites eight to 1, which means you’re much more more likely to encounter a phishing website designed to look actual and steal your info than you’re to run right into a website trying to put in malicious software program onto your pc.

Right here’s what a pretend PayPal web site might appear to be:

paypal scams

You’ll notice shortly that this rip-off website seems to be precisely like an previous model of PayPal’s web site. With out wanting on the particulars, it’s straightforward to get fooled into considering this website is actual. However there are a number of methods to keep away from falling for phishing website traps like this one.

You’ll moreover must be looking out for phishing scams within the type of promoted or shared social media posts. TNW reported on one such rip-off that Twitter allowed to propagate, the place the scammer purchased advert area and pretended to be an official (though unverified) Twitter worker providing customers an opportunity to win a Twitter-sponsored sweepstakes.

paypal scams

The rip-off pushed people to a phishing web site which was designed to seem like an actual twitter web page. The last word objective was to get customers to enter their username and password into the shape, which might not truly log into PayPal, however as an alternative gather personal info.

Tips on how to keep away from PayPal phishing website scams and social media posts

First, the simplest approach to decide when you’re on the right PayPal web site is to verify the online handle within the URL handle bar:

paypal scams

Observe that the online tackle reads “”. This isn’t an actual PayPal handle. The official PayPal tackle is “”. Another model is probably going a rip-off. Moreover, PayPal doesn’t use distinctive region-based domains, akin to “” for the UK, or “” for Japan. All different variations will mechanically reroute to URL that begins with “”.

Subsequent, examine the certification standing of the web site. Within the above instance, you’ll discover that there isn’t any lock image subsequent to the URL. This means that the web site doesn’t have an HTTPS (or SSL) certificates. At current, most respectable web sites and companies have SSL certificates and HTTPS encryption.

If the PayPal website you’re on doesn’t have a lock image, don’t belief it. It’s possible a phishing website. Whereas PayPal at present doesn’t have the simplest guard towards phishing websites, an Prolonged Validation certificates (which reveals the identify of the group alongside the lock image), you possibly can nonetheless examine the certification to confirm that it’s legitimately owned by

  • Click on on the lock image
  • Click on on Certificates
  • Click on on the Particulars tab
  • Beneath Areaclick on on Topic

Verify the small print listed right here. You must see the next info, or one thing comparable:

paypal scams

If the knowledge seems vastly totally different, or there isn’t any info obtainable, you’re possible on a phishing website and will shut the tab instantly.

four. Pretend hyperlink rip-off

Pretend net tackle scams can seem as a part of different varieties of scams, together with inside e mail scams, and fairly clearly as part of a phishing web site. Nevertheless, it’s potential you could discover some web thieves will create pretend hyperlinks designed to seem respectable within the textual content, however the precise URL is pretend.

As mentioned earlier, a hyperlink textual content can say something we would like it to.

The right way to keep away from hyperlink scams

Hyperlink scams are comparatively straightforward to keep away from, and there’s one easy step: On a private pc or desktop, hover over a suspected hyperlink earlier than clicking on it. Doing so will convey up the precise hyperlink URL in your net browser window.

paypal scams

On a cellular system, lengthy press on the hyperlink to disclose the URL it’s truly sending you to.

If the hyperlink goes someplace aside from the said goal or is clearly not a hyperlink to PayPal, don’t click on on it.

5. Pretend charities and funding alternatives

Scammers are likely to give attention to making an attempt to play to every victims’ feelings. In some instances, this could embrace emotions of pity or greed. Both may cause some victims to stroll proper into PayPal scams with out contemplating the results.

Pretend charities sometimes pop up following a tragedy, or as soon as scammers pay money for sufficient details about a sufferer to attempt to goal them with a pretend charity rip-off. In these conditions, the pretend charity might have an internet site, or just ship info over the online, and can ask for cost via PayPal or different means.

In the meantime, pretend funding alternatives just like 419 or Nigerian Prince-style scams attempt to persuade potential victims that a seemingly small funding can reap an enormous reward.

The way to keep away from pretend charities and funding alternatives

Keep in mind the previous phrase, “too good to be true”? It will all the time apply to funding alternatives. Anybody promising a excessive reward for seemingly little funding ought to increase your alarms.

In the event you obtain a suspicious-looking, “too good to be true” funding alternative asking you to ship PayPal cost, do the next:

  • Use the BBB (Higher Enterprise Bureau) to lookup the corporate. Dangerous scores, or a non-existent firm, are a purple flag.
  • In case you can’t discover the existence of an organization by way of the BBB, do a primary Google seek for it by identify, and search for any boards or different places the place it’s talked about. A ignorance can also be a pink flag, and naturally, damaging info must be your signal that it’s not a reliable funding alternative

For charities, PayPal itself recommends utilizing one of many following web sites:

Word that any charity you could’t confirm the existence of by means of any of those choices is probably going not an actual charity. Charities have to be registered with the federal government, so should you can’t discover details about it, it’s greatest to keep away from donating cash. Likelihood is, loads of official and trusted charities might be amassing cash for a similar trigger.

6. Overpayment rip-off and hacked PayPal account rip-off)

This can be a rip-off that PayPal distributors must be involved about. The overpayment rip-off works like this:

  • You promote a services or products to a person or “enterprise”
  • The customer sends cost however sends an excessive amount of
  • The customer then asks you to return the distinction to them, typically requesting that you simply return to the cash to a unique account

This appears innocuous sufficient, however it’s probably that the customer is a rip-off artist trying to get you to pay them cash from a stolen cost account. It’s potential the customer was utilizing a stolen bank card or different financial institution info to make the phony buy after which asking you to return a part of that cash. On this case, not solely does the customer get a services or products obtained illegitimately, however he additionally will get a few of that cash again, deposited into a unique account that may possible be untraceable later.

Right here’s the key drawback for sellers: If the actual account holder studies fraudulent exercise, PayPal might cancel the cost you acquired and return the cash to the rightful proprietor. If that occurs, you’ll be out each the cash and the product you bought.

One other subset of that is the hacked account rip-off. On this state of affairs, the customer is paying with a PayPal account that has been hacked. The customer receives the merchandise, however chances are you’ll be pressured to refund cost to the precise account holder. On this case, you’ll lose out on each the merchandise and the cash you paid.

Tips on how to keep away from overpayment scams

Official consumers not often overpay, so in case you do obtain an overpayment, it’s probably a rip-off. If that occurs, as an alternative of returning the cash, cancel the order altogether and don’t ship the merchandise. Moreover, by no means return a cost to an account totally different from the one which initially made the cost.  

The way to keep away from hacked account scams

It’s virtually inconceivable to inform when a purchaser has hacked an account. There’s additionally little you are able to do to assist forestall this or keep away from this example. A mismatch in purchaser account info and the place merchandise are getting shipped is regular.

The best choice is to contact PayPal immediately. PayPal presents service provider fraud safety for all sellers who make the most of PayPal. In case you consider a mismatch in cost account info and the requested delivery handle appears suspicious, contact PayPal. The corporate will examine the difficulty, and get in touch with the customer to confirm info. It’s additionally greatest to delay delivery any gadgets till the difficulty is resolved.

You might also need to contact the customer instantly by way of the e-mail handle related to the PayPal account to assist confirm the account and purchaser match.

PayPal additionally gives recommendation and knowledge on different kinds of scams and easy methods to keep away from them, right here and right here.

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