PayPal has positioned itself as probably the most popular online payment system since it started out back in 1998. Whether to provide a platform for those who have their own online businesses, send money between family members across countries, or to have a faster, more secure way of making transactions online: it’s easy to see why more than 360 million people use it.
But, as to be expected, it’s long been a way for scammers to try and part people with their hard-earned cash, whether it’s through phishing or the PayPal friends and family scam. Keep reading to learn about the different types of scams and what you can do to get your money back should you become the next victim.
Can You Get Scammed On PayPal?
The simple answer? Yes. It’s possible to get scammed almost anywhere online, and PayPal is no exception. There are various ways in which it can be done, and many of them rely on naivety and failure on your part for them to work. Even simple steps on your part can help to prevent this from happening, such as verifying the amount being requested, as well as a seller’s details.
In order to properly protect yourself from the types of PayPal fraud out there, you’ll first need to know what they are. Read on to learn more about them.
6 Common Paypal Scams
1. Scam Email
If you find an email in your inbox addressed from PayPal, though unlikely, there’s a chance it’s come from a fraudulent source. It’ll likely ask you to follow the link embedded in the PayPal scam email, either because it needs you to prove your login details or there’s a problem with your account, and then you’ll get phished; which leads to the next point.
PayPal phishing is successful simply because you’ve handed over your sensitive information, like your login details, to gain access to your account and empty your balance. This is usually done via email, and you’d be surprised how simple it is to fall for. The PayPal scam email you’re sent will likely look identical to any the company would send you.
3. Fake Shipping Address
This scam starts with a person paying for an item with a fake delivery address. When the shipping company rejects delivery several times, they make contact and change it to a valid one, without informing PayPal. They then tell PayPal that the item was undelivered and get a refund, leaving the seller without their goods and no money to show for it.
4. Over Pay Scam
A scam buyer may send too much money for an item they order to then request the overpayment back. Once this is received, they’ll then tell PayPal that their account has been hacked or compromised and issue a refund for the full amount. That means you, the seller, have lost out on the amount that was originally overpaid.
5. Friends and Family Scam
PayPal Friends and Family, sadly, leaves people open to a lot of scamming potential for one main reason: the payments are non-refundable. Often, fake sellers will try to convince you to send your money via this method, ensuring that, should you comply, you won’t be able to reclaim your funds and there’s nothing that PayPal can or will do anything about it. The Paypal Friends and Family Scam is one to look out for.
6. Advance Payment Scam
If anyone offers you free money, alarm bells should be ringing – especially if it’s a stranger online. You certainly wouldn’t be so trustworthy if it was a person on the street. If you’re promised vast amounts of money, likely on the basis that you’ve won a competition, the fraudster may ask that you first send a small fee, probably for “tax purposes”, before they send you your winnings. You won’t see a penny after that, nor will you hear from this person again.
Does PayPal Refund Money If You’re Scammed?
The first thing you should do following a scam is to place a PayPal fraud report. Though it doesn’t actually replace the funds itself, it does enable you to refund money for issues like items not being sent/received, or if you suspect fraud. As mentioned above, though, this is what leaves room for scammers to take hold of your funds, so it’s a double-edged sword. What’s more, if you use the family and friends feature, you rule out PayPal’s refund abilities altogether. Even in the event of scams, there are various examples online of frustrated users that are left out of pocket with no recourse.
Thankfully, you don’t need to fret too much, frantically calling PayPal’s customer services and sending multiple emails hoping for a quick response. You’ll be able to process a refund yourself in the dashboard, and this will no doubt move much quicker than even getting through to the support team on your first attempt at calling.
How To Get Your Money Back From PayPal If You’re Scammed
Be sure to follow the process and act quickly, as the longer your money is in the hands of scammers, the less likely you are to get it back. Plus, PayPal’s powers don’t extend beyond its software, so should the money be withdrawn and sent to a bank account, there’s essentially nothing the platform can do at that point.
At PayBack, we’ve been working for years in the chargeback industry, returning more than one million dollars to the people that they belong to. After a quick call or a free consultation with a member of our team, our experts will get to work on your case, searching out the perpetrators and getting your money back. Simply get in touch and let us know how we can help.