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Monday, April 22, 2024

Avoid these scammers' sneaky tricks

I read the comments below on each of my CyberGuy reports including great feedback on our story “Tips to help you tell if an online store is real or a scam.”

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I’m grateful when you share your own experiences such as what Randy F. had to say below:

“I would suggest that people not use PayPal. I have had two incidents using fraudulent sites. One was on eBay and the other was directly to the Vendor, which was not the actual site of the appropriate business. The first incident I was referred to was eBay owned by PayPal. You have to try and resolve the issue with the Vendor. In this case, the vendor offered a refund if I shipped the bogus item back to them. Shipping, with tracking, was more than the amount I paid. The second ended up out of China, the jewelry was a knockoff. PayPal wouldn’t do anything else.”

PayPal is a very common way for people to pay for things and typically has great security features. However, this does not exclude the platform from its fair share of scammers, as we can see from Randy’s story. 

Let’s go over some key things to remember when using PayPal and how you can protect yourself.

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Paypal logo on phone

PayPal is a very common way for people to pay for things and typically has great security features. However, this does not exclude the platform from its fair share of scammers, as we can see from Randy’s story. (Kurt Knutsson)

What are some common PayPal scams?

Email scams

Certain scams happen on PayPal that are more common than other ones. Perhaps one of the most common is email scams. Scammers love using email as their main form of communication and typically, one will reach out to a victim and say that their PayPal account information has been compromised, and they must act immediately by clicking a bogus link. This is a common phishing tactic and can easily be avoided.

Reward Scams

Another common scam used will offer a victim some kind of reward. Once again, the scammer will send an email saying that the victim has received a promotional offer and will ask them to log into their PayPal account. However, the link attached will lead to a fake website that looks like PayPal, and once you hand over your login information, the scammer will then have access to all the financial information stored on your account.

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Shipping scams

Sellers are just as vulnerable to PayPal scams as buyers are, and shipping scams are especially common. If you’re using PayPal as a payment method when selling an item on a site like eBay, for example, a scammer might ask you to use a different courier once they purchase the items and will then reroute the package to a different address. This allows the scammer to go back to the seller and claim that they never received the package, leaving the seller no choice but to refund the package, leaving them with no item and no money.

Couple holds credit cards while working on a computer

Another big scam is the prepaid shipping label scam. This is when a scammer will ask the seller to ship an item to them using their prepaid label to cover the shipping charges. ( )

Prepaid shipping label scam

Another big scam is the prepaid shipping label scam. This is when a scammer will ask the seller to ship an item to them using their prepaid label to cover the shipping charges. This gives the scammer full control over where the package ends up, and the label could have a completely fake address on the label. If this is the case, PayPal cannot help the seller who got scammed because there can’t be a record of where the package went.

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What can I do to protect myself from a PayPal scam?

There are a few things you can do to avoid these scams from happening to you. Here are some of my top tips.

Do not click any suspicious links

As we mentioned before, phishing emails are some of the most common ways that a scammer will try to get you. If you receive an email from an unknown sender, and it urges you to click a link or open an attachment, don’t fall for it. Also, if the sender is claiming to be from PayPal, make sure you look up the email address and see if it’s legit.

Never wire money

Wiring money to someone you’ve never met is a big red flag that you’re being scammed. When you are paying for something online, see if you can at least pay with a credit, that way, your payment can be easily traced, and your bank or credit card company can always help you get a refund.

Frustrated woman works on computer

Wiring money to someone you’ve never met is a big red flag that you are being scammed. ( )

Always ship to the Transaction Details address

PayPal has a Transaction Details page whenever a purchase is made. If you are a seller, and you have to ship an item to a buyer, make sure you’re only sending it to the address that’s listed on the Transaction Details page. This way, you’re more in control of where the package will end up, and PayPal will be able to assist you if the buyer is claiming never to have received it.

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Do not accept shipping labels

If a buyer is offering you a prepaid shipping label, or if they’re paying more for the item than it was listed “as a thank you for great service,” don’t fall for it. It is likely a scammer trying to reroute the package and then demand a refund.

Use antivirus software

Having good antivirus software running on your devices will only benefit you, as these PayPal scams can try to get you to click a link or open a suspicious attachment. Antivirus software on your devices will ensure you are stopped from clicking on any potential malicious links from PayPal scam artists.

See my expert review of the best antivirus protection for your Windows, Mac, Android, and iOS devices by visiting CyberGuy.com/LockUpYourTech.

FREE ANTIVIRUS: SHOULD YOU USE IT?

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Have you been involved in a PayPal scam recently? Let us know by writing us at CyberGuy.com/Contact ( )

Have you been involved in a PayPal scam recently? Let us know by writing us at CyberGuy.com/Contact.

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For more of my tips, subscribe to my free CyberGuy Report Newsletter by heading to CyberGuy.com/Newsletter.

Copyright 2023 CyberGuy.com.  All rights reserved.

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