Since PayPal came into existence, it has eased the lives of a lot of people, as it is quite convenient to carry out financial transactions. Be it a buyer or a seller on Amazon, eBay, or any other online shopping portal, the ease and quick transfer of money from the buyer to the seller is very helpful.
In 2002, when PayPal came into existence, previously restricted to a personal computer or laptop, it gained popularity, reaching new heights after smartphones were created. The telecom service providers also started allocating certain data packages, which helped smartphones gain more popularity. It would be surprising today if no one had heard of or used PayPal.
Scammers are known to adapt their schemes to lure unsuspecting victims into their elaborate plans. As PayPal’s popularity grows, so does the number of scams associated with it.
When PayPal scams are on the rise, can people still rely on them to offer better service? At the end of this article, you will be in a better position to spot a potential scam.
Is PayPal safe?
Yes, PayPal is one of the safest ways to conduct transactions. You must understand that there are no 100% secured financial transaction apps; there are always some glitches that can be exploited by scammers, no matter how much money is spent by the company on research.
Even though PayPal has introduced two-factor authentication so that scammers cannot steal money directly, the scammers are wise enough to rip off their victims.
How do scammers steal from a PayPal account?
Scammers do not create a new method when an app is created but rather adapt their old methods and try them out on the latest apps. They will generally try phishing emails and other social engineering attacks. Scammers are creative and will try to adapt old tactics to distract and fool you into revealing your personal information and becoming a victim of identity theft.
- Scammers will steal your login credentials by sending you fake PayPal emails that deceive you into sharing your password or downloading malware or ransomware to steal your sensitive information.
- Scammers will create a fake online shop and use a PayPal account as the preferred method of payment. They might also indulge in using fraudulent shipping confirmation emails to avoid PayPal’s Purchase Protection Plan.
- Scammers are also known to put pressure on you to use the “Friend and Family” option on PayPal to avoid fees, even though the purchase will not be protected.
These are just a few of the many tricks employed by scammers to rip you off.
How do I protect myself from a PayPal scam?
Although PayPal is one of the most secure payment portals, the safety features meant to protect you can still be used against you. Before you go and make the payment, we have laid down some red flags for you to spot a potential scammer.
- When you receive an email address from an official PayPal representative, cross-verify the authenticity of it. Ensure that any mail that comes has “PayPal.com” in it. If it isn’t, then it is probably fake mail from a scammer.
- Scammers will put you in a frantic state of mind by stressing the urgency of making a payment immediately to avoid any charges. When you receive such emails, read them carefully and check for grammar and punctuation errors and suspicious links. If they have it, then the email is from a scammer.
- Make it a habit to check your PayPal-linked bank account regularly. If you happen to find any suspicious activity, then you must have fallen for an identity scam. Contact your credit card operator and freeze your account to open up an investigation.
How do you get the money back if you get scammed on PayPal?
Although, as a buyer or seller, you can probably get scammed on PayPal, there are ways to protect yourself against most scams, and all you need is to be aware of them. You can recover your money if you follow these steps.
It all depends on the type of scam you fall victim to.
- Your “pending” payments need to be canceled.
- Use PayPal’s Purchase Protection program.
- Chargeback requests must be made using your credit card.
How do you cancel a pending payment if you think you have fallen victim to a scam?
You can get a refund and cancel it if your transaction is listed as “pending.”
Steps to cancel pending payments
- access your PayPal account summary.
- Search for the payment (it should be marked as “pending” and “(user) hasn’t accepted it yet”).
- To cancel a payment, first, click “Cancel” under the payment.
In most cases, scammers will accept your payment immediately, so how can you get out of the mess?
Using PayPal’s Purchase Protection program
PayPal’s Purchase Protection will reimburse you in full if the shipment does not arrive or does not match the seller’s description while you are purchasing a legitimate product from the same seller. You are entitled to the entire reimbursement amount as long as your account and the transaction comply with their guidelines.
You need to open a dispute with the seller within 180 days after the purchase is made.
If the seller fails to respond or you find it challenging to resolve the issue, you need to file a claim with PayPal.
- As soon as you’ve logged into your PayPal account, go to the Resolution Center.
- “Report a Problem” should be clicked.
- Click “Continue” after searching for fraudulent transactions.
- Open your dispute by selecting “I Wish to Report Unauthorized Activity” and then following the on-screen instructions.
- You must get in touch with the PayPal seller for a refund within 20 days.
- If the seller doesn’t respond or doesn’t return the requested amount, you can select “Escalate.”
- After “escalating” the issue, PayPal will send you an email informing you of its decision to launch an investigation and offer you a settlement.
How do I utilize a chargeback to get money back from a PayPal fraud?
If you have made a payment using a credit card or bank account through PayPal, you can utilize chargebacks to get a refund.
- Inform your bank about the fraudulent activity and request a chargeback. The seller’s account will be frozen when you request a chargeback, and the bank will further decide how to deal with the situation.
- The chargeback process needs to be initiated within 60 days of the transaction, as per most banking institutions and companies.