Tips for Avoiding Popular PayPal Scams


PayPal is a company that allows you to send and receive payments from people all over the world. The service is a way to exchange money without having to give your bank information out to people you doesn’t know. However, as with most things in this world, there are some definite risks associated with using PayPal. There are people who will try and use PayPal to scam you. Fortunately, PayPal customer service has compiled a list of the most popular scams and will tell you how to avoid being scammed.

Craigslist and Other Local Sites

Sites like Craigslist and garage sale pages on Facebook are meant for buying and selling items locally, which means that in general, you should only sell to a buyer who will meet you in person to exchange the item and the money. Some scammers will claim they have a job, like a military or business job, that keeps them out of the country or out of town and will ask you to instead ship the item to them. They claim they will pay you through PayPal, but then they never do. They might also request that you send the item to their “shipping agent” or even ask you to send their “shipping agent” money to cover the costs of shipping.

Free Money

You might get an email from someone claiming that you have “won” free money from a contest, being the 100th visitor to a website or that some distant relative died and left you a hefty inheritance. The email will often ask you for your PayPal information or ask you to make a few small payments to them using PayPal before they will send you the prize money. Do not send money to someone that you do not know. When in doubt, call the PayPal contact number and speak with an agent.

Fake Charities

Another way that scammers try and get money from innocent people is by pretending to be from a charity and asking for people to send money to their charity through PayPal. If you wish to donate to a charity, Google the charity’s name and read about it to make sure they are credible. If the charity does not have a website or you cannot find any information about that charity online, do not donate to that charity as it is probably a fake. PayPal contact is recommended before submitting a donation to any charity that you are uncertain about.

Other Tips for Avoiding PayPal Scams

When selling online, use credible sites like eBay. This way if there is ever an issue with the buyer’s payment you can file a complaint against the buyer. Credible sites are good to use because they usually offer payment by PayPal and can help you resolve any issues that you may have. Do not ever wire or transfer money from your PayPal account to someone who you do not know or do not trust. Always use caution when buying or selling online and when in doubt, contact PayPal customer service.