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Common PayPal Technical Scams And How To Avoid Them?

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PayPal is one of the best online payment providers. It helps in payment processing for many popular online marketplaces, auction websites, and commercial sellers. Brands like Google Play, Playstation, Microsoft, eBay, Amazon, and Etsy are among the vendors that offer payment through PayPal.

PayPal is popular with 305 million active registered users. It takes around 40 payment transactions per active account over 12 months. But, PayPal users are often targeted by various scammers to make a few quick bucks.

In this article, we’re going to discuss those scams and avoid them. So, let’s begin.

Types Of PayPal Scams

There are several different kinds of online scams, but PayPal scams are the worst. You don’t lose your money, but you would also lose the object if someone is buying anything from you.

There are different types of PayPal scams, so let’s look into how a scammer can scam a PayPal user.

Shipping Address

Purchasing an item through an online marketplace has become a norm. Sometimes, a scammer buys a product and makes the payment in the seller’s PayPal account. The scammer usually provides the sellers with an invalid delivery address for shipping.

After several failed attempts of delivery, the shipping company marks the item as undelivered in their system. The scammers contact the shipping company and ask for a valid shipping address.

As soon as the scammers get their shipment, they fire a complaint with PayPal. They claim that the purchased item is not delivered. The seller does not have any proof of delivery because their transaction detail shows the original invalid address. PayPal’s Seller Protection does not cover shipments made to the addresses that are not on file. In this way, the seller loses both the items they shipped and the payment funds.

How To Avoid These Scams

Use the delivery services you have verified by yourself or by some you trust. You should never send anything before receiving any payment, and be sure to keep all the receipts.

Over Payment

Scammers have found another method to scam marketplace sellers. Sometimes they buy a product and make the payment to a seller’s PayPal account that exceeds the product’s cost.

The scammer contacts the seller, explains the overpayment and asks for a refund. 

After the seller reverses the overpayment amount, the fraudster launches a complaint with PayPal. Again they claim that their account was compromised, and they never meant to send any payment to the seller in the first place. After a few days, PayPal reimburses the full original price back to the scammer. Now the seller has lost the actual payment that PayPal has refunded. The seller also losses the overpayment amount that the seller himself has refunded.

How To Avoid These Scams

An overpayment is inconceivable, and it should always be a red flag. If it happens, the seller should refund the whole amount, cancel the order and allow the payer to start fresh. Ask the buyer to check the amount before the transactions. If they refuse, contact PayPal support right away and cancel the order yourself.

Advance Payment

It’s never unusual for scammers to use an advance payment scheme, a classic internet scam, to defraud PayPal scans. Victims receive notifications that they owe a certain amount of money. It might be an inheritance, winning the lottery, or some other compensation. 

Many options arise from advanced payment fraud. But whatever the story, the victim has to make a small advance payment. You might have to fill out a form with personal data to receive the money. Like every other scam, the scammers vanish upon payment. Also, any personal data disclosed ends up in a database for other scammers or the dark web. 

How To Avoid This Scam

Never transfer money or disclose any personal information about yourself to anyone. Most of these messages have plenty of red flags. You need to pay close attention to details and never make a decision in a hurry.

PayPal Account Problems

This scam initiates with an email that claims that your PayPal account is not working correctly or accessed by someone else. But there is no need to worry; you need to click on the link on the email and log in to your account.

But doesn’t it sound like phishing?

In almost all cases, the link leads to a page that is a clone of the real PayPal site. If you look at the domain of the website, it would be a bit different. You would need to log in from the cloned website. If you do so, both the username and passwords will go straight to the scammer’s database. 

In some severe cases, fixing the alleged account issue may need you to install a program that restores your PayPal access. But the program would be a Trojan.

How To Avoid The Scam

Scammer’s usually cloned the whole website to look like the original PayPal website. There might be some errors in the message, and the domains might be different. Remember that PayPal will never report any problem via an email with that kind of wording.

Nowadays, scammers spread phishing links not only by email or SMS but also on social media. So, be careful.

Creative Payment Schemes

Honest people are always cheated using misty payment schemes like using PayPal’s friends and family money transfer feature. Sometimes scammer’s request a money transfer to save on commissions while promising a discount on return.

According to PayPal rules, you should not use this method to pay for customers or goods. Also, no customer protection program applies to these transfers. Anyone who sends payment to anyone under this feature can say goodbye to their money.

Scammers also offer you to transfer money using alternative means that might be more convenient and cheaper. In general, if the customer insists on using alternative transfer measures or starts spinning tales, or tries to create a state of urgency. Something fishy would be going on.

How To Avoid The Scam

Ignore requests to use alternative payment methods. PayPal has excellent protection programs for sellers and buyers, but they work only for standard transfers made over the platform.

How To Avoid Trouble On PayPal

We have already discussed the types of scams and how to protect yourself against most scams. So let’s summarize all our knowledge:

  • Always be wary of the Red Flags in the messages. It includes grammatical errors, attempts to incite urgency, cloned email addresses, and web links that differ from the official ones. 
  • Do not trust the messages or emails unconditionally. Check any potential issues through your website customer support or PayPal’s Support.
  • Never use any delivery services you do not trust, and ship to the address indicated on the transaction page.
  • Avoid any alternative money transfer methods scammers propose. Always remember PayPal does not protect some of the alternative money transfers. 
  • Don’t trust an offer looking too good for you while coming out of a total stranger.
  • Never give away your personal information/data to anyone you don’t trust, and never share your password with anyone.
  • Do not download any extra software or any other suspicious files sent to you via email. PayPal only uses their app and nothing else.


You need to ensure your privacy and security are never breached because of your faults. PayPal never asks for personal information or Passwords for verification processes. Moreover, it needs to get remote access to your Device.

Also, check the web pages or web addresses for any grammatical errors, even if you somehow manage to click on the phishing email link.


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