How To Scam Money On Paypal – Digital payment systems like PayPal are more popular than ever, and scammers are after the money. Here’s what you can do to protect them.
With over 400 million users and counting, PayPal is an attractive target for scammers. Many online scams involving payment applications-including Cash App, Venmo, OfferUp, and Zelle fraud-bank on the fact that users do not know how to use these services or use them carelessly, leaving users vulnerable to bad actors looking to steal money. , financial information and more.
How To Scam Money On Paypal
But that doesn’t mean you have to delete your PayPal account. You can still take advantage of all the features PayPal has to offer by using it wisely and knowing how to recognize the signs of fraud. To help you do this, we got the scoop from cybersecurity experts on which PayPal scams to watch out for and how to avoid them.
How To Spot A Scam Paypal Email
PayPal is an all-in-one digital payment platform that offers an alternative to traditional banking methods. To create a PayPal account, users must link their bank account or credit card to the system. From there, they can log in with their computer or smart device and buy from third-party retailers, receive payments and deposits, or transfer money or cryptocurrency between accounts.
Unfortunately, it is very easy for scammers to steal money or financial information through PayPal. “There are a variety of scams and fraud attempts by identity criminals trying to steal money, financial information and more” on the PayPal platform, according to Eva Velasquez, president and CEO of the Identity Theft Resource Center.
But remember that PayPal isn’t the only place you can get scammed. “It’s important to note that you can be scammed by any website or service,” says Alex Hamerstone, director of TrustedSec, an ethical hacking company. Other common scams to watch out for include Amazon scams, Facebook Marketplace scams, phone scams and donation scams.
While scammers can be cunning and convincing, scams also tend to have some common themes that make them easy to spot. Here are some of the most common.
Beware Of Paypal Email Scams
In the majority of PayPal-related scams, scammers use phishing emails to impersonate PayPal. Here’s how it works: Criminals will create a fake or “spoofed” email address that appears to be from PayPal. Then they will send you an email that looks like a new confirmation for a new purchase. You will be asked to check the status of your order by logging into your account using the link included in the message.
These phishing emails take many forms, but “what remains the same every time is what criminals are looking for,” said Karim Hijazi, CEO of cybersecurity firm Prevailion and a former contractor for the US intelligence community. “They want to steal your PayPal login credentials by tricking you into logging into your account through a fake web page.” Once the scammer gets your login information, they can use it to log into your account and make purchases, withdraw money, or conduct doxxing attacks, among other things.
Beware of unsolicited text messages that look like PayPal fraud alert notifications. Known as a “smishing” attack, these fake fraud signals are hard to spot because no two messages are alike. Some can warn you if someone is trying to access your account, while others will report suspicious activity on your profile. “There are different false signals that scammers will use, and each one will be different,” Hijazi said.
When PayPal sends you a text message or email for a one-time login code or two-factor authentication, accidentally receiving a PayPal notification is a sign that you’re experiencing fraud. The text may appear to be from a legitimate PayPal phone number, but the link in the message may take you to a fake PayPal login page that steals account details like passwo when you try to enter them. Clicking on the link may accidentally download malware that allows someone to spy on your iPhone, so be sure to delete the fake text as soon as you receive it.
Scam: Email Fraud Warning
Before receiving an unexpected payment or transfer on PayPal, check the message carefully. Some scammers create profiles that impersonate real people or businesses—even trying to steal usernames and profile pictures.
You should report the scam to PayPal if you accept the scammer’s request and send money. However, PayPal cannot guarantee that you will receive a refund. That’s why you should avoid being scammed in the first place, always initiate transactions and never accept unsolicited payments or transfer requests in PayPal, said Velasquez.
Did you receive a password reset notification from PayPal soon? Don’t click on links in text messages or emails, Hamerstone said. Instead, log in directly through the PayPal app or website using your browser and change your password immediately if your account is hacked.
Scammers often create fake password reset alerts that also appear to be from PayPal. By clicking on a link embedded in a text message or email, you may inadvertently share your login credentials with scammers or download malware. Strengthening your iPhone security and checking these iPhone privacy settings can protect you if hackers gain access to your smartphone.
Paypal Warning Over Terrifying ‘double Scam’ That Locks Your Computer And Steals Your Money
Another common PayPal scam uses fake charities to solicit donations from unsuspecting users. Fraudsters will create web pages for fake charitable organizations, then contact victims asking for donations via PayPal. When they can show fake confirmation emails or receipts to make it look like the transaction is legitimate, in fact they have been made dead with money. These fake charity sites are becoming more and more convincing, but there are ways to spot fake donation scams so you don’t become a victim down the road.
Like fake scam alerts or confirmation emails, these scams rely on fake email addresses or phone numbers that make the message appear to be from PayPal. The message informs the user that he has received a promotional offer and that the money has been deposited into his account. Ultimately, scammers hope to trick users into entering their PayPal login credentials on a fake web page or clicking on an attachment that infects their phone with a virus.
Receiving an accidental PayPal transfer is not always an honest mistake. In fact, scammers often use this trick to trick you into giving them money. Fraudsters can use financial information stolen from a hacked PayPal account to transfer several hundred dollars to your account, then send a message saying, “Oh! Can you send it again?” The money sent to the criminal’s personal cache – which is added to the fake account – and the stolen funds will be removed from your account.
It turns out, everyday users aren’t the only victims of PayPal scams; criminals are targeting sellers and retailers through PayPal as well. For example, fraudsters will overpay for an item using a fake or stolen credit or bank account number, then contact the seller to request a refund of the overpaid amount, usually to a different account than the one used to make the initial payment. . After getting the money back, the scammer will contact PayPal to cancel the original transaction, leaving the seller out of the product and payment.
Beware Of Scams
When selling an item online, check the address where you are shipping the item. Some scammers will purchase items through PayPal but provide an incorrect delivery address. After the shipping company marks the package as undeliverable, the buyer will contact the shipping company to change the address and request a PayPal refund for the undeliverable. Retailers should also be wary of fraud when selling products online.
If a cybercriminal learns your login credentials and gains access to your PayPal account through a phishing attack, they can also use that account to defraud other users. It is possible to transfer funds to your PayPal account as payment for a product or service, but after receiving the product, the money is gone from your account. More than likely, PayPal will withdraw the money after receiving the account was hacked.
Let’s be honest: Cybercriminals will never stop trying to trick you. But there are some steps you can take to protect yourself from PayPal fraud in the future. Experts recommend following these tips to beat scammers.
Brooke is a technology and consumer writer on the latest digital trends, product reviews, security and privacy, and other news and features for .
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