What are the common PayPal scams, and how do you avoid them?

paypal scams

Offers that sound too good to be true probably are. 

Many are cautious if a stranger approaches the street and offers a deal that’s just too good to be true. But we tend to be much less cautious online, thus endangering our safety. PayPal scams are as common as they come. However, there are a few simple rules as to spotting and avoiding the same. Feel safer than ever before – with PayPal!

Advance fee fraud             

When you get an offer for free money, there’s most likely a catch. Generally, fraudsters will ask you to send some smaller amount (for taxes, legal documents, etc.) before sending you the millions you’re promised.

How to avoid PayPal scams: 

 Do not wire money to a total stranger.

 Overpayment scam

· A customer remits a PayPal payment that exceeds the order’s purchase price, then asks you to wire them the difference.

· They may tell you that they overpaid you by mistake, the extra money is for the shipping costs, they are presenting you with a bonus for your excellent service. Or, it could simply be that the money is for the stress they’ve caused you.

· They may even request you to wire the shipping fees to their shipper.

· This scammer may have paid with a bank account number, a stolen credit card, or a checking account.

· Just because a payment has been deposited into your account doesn’t mean you are the custodian. When the legitimate account holder reports unauthorised activity, the money may be withdrawn from your account.

· When that happens, you will forfeit the money you wired to the fraudster, shipping costs, the product you shipped, and your payment.

How to avoid this scam:

· Don’t wire money to someone you don’t know. A legitimate buyer won’t over-compensate you for an order.

· If a customer over-compensates you and asks you to wire them the difference, give a thought to rescinding the order—it’s very likely to be misleading.

· Don’t wire money to the sham shipping company—it’s part and parcel of their scam to get your money.

Prize winnings 

 Messages asking you to pay a small handling fee to accept some fabulous prizes are generally a scam. You remit the handling fee and get zilch in return.

 How to avoid this scam

Don’t send money to a total stranger. A legitimate prize won’t require you to make a payment to receive it.

 High profit – no-risk investments

 These types of investments are, as a rule, scams and include messages insisting that you “Act Now!” for a great deal.

 How to avoid this scam

Do not continue communicating with this person/company.

 Fake charities

 Scammers utilise disasters to trick kind-hearted people into donating to ersatz charities. This occurs when there is a refugee crisis, a terrorist attack, or a natural disaster (like an earthquake, flooding, or famine).

 How to avoid this scam:

 Do a detailed check on the background of any charity to make sure your donation reaches real victims. 

 When a charity does not have a website, be cautious.

 Search online for advance fee fraud to learn more about common scams and how to avoid them. You can peruse the FBI’s material on common scams. But, most notably: be as cautious online as you would be in the real world.

 Shipping Scams

 There are diverse ways fraudsters include shipping into their schemes. Be sure you know with the following:

 My shipping service scam

· The buyer instructs you to use their shipping account since they can get a discount, they have a favoured vendor they’ve worked with for years, or their shipping service is more affordable/ more reliable. The buyer may also ask you to wire the shipping fees to their preferred shipper in another scam variation.

· When you use the buyer’s shipping account, they can contact the shipping company, rerouting the order to another address.

  • The buyer may subsequently open up a complaint requesting a refund since they didn’t receive their order.
  • You are unable to prove that the buyer took their order.

· If they request you wire the money to a sham shipping company, they can steal your money.

  • Once the money is wired, you’ll find out that the order was made with a heisted card or bank account. You may be held accountable for returning the funds to the legitimate customer whose account was filched.

How to avoid PayPal scams:

· Just use your shipping account.

· Never wire money to a complete stranger – you can lose track of it easily.

· When a customer asks you to use their shipping service, review their order for fraud carefully. They may well have made use of a stolen card or bank account to finance the purchase.

· The Transaction Details page has the address that has to be shipped to.

Pre-paid shipping label scam

· You take an order from a customer who instructs you to use their pre-paid label to cover the shipping charges. (They may mislead you that they can get their labels at a reduced price.)

· By providing the label, the customer directs the package’s destination. They may send it to a PO box, another country, or some other undetectable location.

· To be covered under PayPal Seller Protection Policy, you must ship to the address on the Transaction Details page.

· The shipping label may also have been bought with a heisted credit card.

How to avoid this scam:              

· When the customer instructs you to use their pre-paid label, investigate their order for fraud carefully. They may have used a heisted card to make the purchase.

· Do not consider shipping labels from your customers.

· Ship only to the address on the Transaction Details page.


If you think you’ve received a dubious email or have been directed to a suspicious website, forward it to [email protected] After you send PayPal the email, delete it from your inbox. View your transactions after logging into your account – in case downloaded any attachments or clicked on any links within the suspicious email or website. A periodical change in password is, in any case, an excellent habit.

 It makes eminent sense, too, to log in to your PayPal account – To view all transactions and activity. In case you see any unauthorised transactions, you would be best advised to go to the Resolution Center and report them.

Should you need assistance, however, Fast Action Refund would gladly help.

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