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15 Common PayPal Scams You Must Be Careful

Posted on by in Cyber Security

PayPal is a popular payment system online. Millions of people around the world use it. Because of its popularity, however, some of its users encountered some scams. These scammers will try to take advantage of the platform’s popularity.


It is true that PayPal has security services to protect its users. But you must never underestimate the expertise and skills of scammers.

1. Your Account is Suspended

It is a common PayPal scam that warns recipient about the pending suspension and the recipient’s account about to be suspended. If you receive it, the email would ask you to enter your password when you click on the fake webpage. But be careful. The company will never ask you to enter your username and password unless you are on the proper login page of the service.

2. Advance Fee

When a stranger approaches you on the street and asks money, would you give him? And if he gives you a deal that is too good to be true, would you take the deal? Of course not. It is also the same online. Unfortunately, a lot of us are less cautious when we were dealing with strangers online making us at high risk of becoming a victim of fraud. In one of the PayPal scams, you will get an offer that you get free money in exchange for something. Typically, the scammer will ask you to send an advance fee for taxes or legal documents before he can send you the free money as promised. Of course, since it is a scam, you will never receive that money.

3. You Are a Winner

It is similar to the advance fee fraud. But in this case, the scammer will tell you that you have won a prize. But before you can claim it, you need to send some money to make sure that the prize will be transferred to your account legally. You need to remember, however, that if you never joined to a contest, then how could you ever win?

4. Fake Charities

Kind-hearted people are easy to trick. That’s why scammers use disasters to scam people and ask them to donate to bogus charities. You may receive it during a refugee crisis or a natural disaster. Before you send money through PayPal, make sure that the foundation is real.

5. Investment

Investment scams on PayPal are more sophisticated. Users will receive an email that they could benefit from making an investment deal. One of the popular investment scams involving the use of PayPal is blockchain technology. Scammers will tell you that when you invest in blockchain on PayPal, they will pay big bucks in the short term. Often, you will get an encouraging message, like “Act Now” to entice you to invest.

But just to be clear. Blockchain technology is not a scam or a fad. You may read some posts about blockchain – disrupting real estate. But blockchain is a game-changer in the real estate industry. Thus, it positively disrupts real estate.

6. You’ve been Paid

Scammers will send you a message using a fake email that looks like it is from PayPal that you received a payment from what you are selling. But before you ship, make sure to check your PayPal account and find out whether or not you were actually paid.

7. Overpayment

Some PayPal users accidentally overpay a seller. But scammers use it as a strategy to scam you. They send you a message stating that they overpaid you and asked if you could send back the excess payment. Keep in mind that only PayPal can inform you about overpayment as users will request it through the platform.

8. Advertising

You may receive emails from a fake PayPal email address containing job opportunities, dating websites and other platforms offering you of great deals. But remember that PayPal does not advertise deals from third-parties.

9. Reshipping

It is one of the most popular ones before, and it still is today. In this scam, you will be asked to ship some products to an address outside the US. But they only do it because they want you to be their intermediary so they can transfer illegal products.

10. Pre-paid Shipping

In this scam, the scammers would ask the victims if they could use their prepaid shipping label to cover the shipping costs of what they are purchasing. If they provide the label, the scammers will have full control over shipping rates and charges. Thus, check the label thoroughly.

11. Send Money as Friends and Family

This scam involves asking you to send the payment as friends and family. Scammers want you to do this to avoid transaction fee. In return, they would give you a discount on the items you want to purchase. But using this method would allow the seller to refuse to send the goods after they receive your money. Worse, you cannot put a dispute on that transaction.

12. Bulk Invoice

Sellers/scammers will send you a fake PayPal invoice with a link. Clicking the link will direct you to a fraudulent PayPal log-in form, and you will enter your PayPal credentials. Because you entered you legitimate credentials, scammers can use them to hack your account.

13. Dodge a Transaction

PayPal has been very strict because of these scammers. But fraudsters will not rest until they get what they want. And dodging a transaction is another way for them to scam their victims. In this scam, you will enter a trade from a product advert that states you will use PayPal for payment. But the seller will change the deal and alter the payment method into a bank wire or a different payment service.

14. Partnerships

Scammers will message you of becoming a partner in selling their expensive items. They ask you to list their products on your website. When buyers make a purchase, and you pay the scammers so that they can send the item to the buyers, your buyers will complain about not receiving any merchandise, just an empty box.

15. Offers that Sound Too Good to be True

Any offers that sound too lucrative and you receive tons of money in a short-term period, then they are likely to be a scam. Report it to PayPal immediately.

Author: Amanda Johnson

Amanda Johnson is a professional writer for

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