PayPal Fraudulent Emails have been showing up in email boxes lately, and they look real. In fact, the scammers have figured out how to make fake charges appear as well. I know, because I just had it happen. Beware of these sneaky emails! Don’t click on ANY links or call any phone numbers that appear. They are ALL fake.
If you do click on the links, you will be directed to a scammers website, where they will begin asking for your account details to verify your account! Don’t fall for it! PayPal will verify your name, and might ask for your account number. Most of the time, they know who you are by your phone number if you call.
If you are on your computer, you have to have your password, and if you have phone verification activated, they will send you a text or call you.
What Are Paypal Fraudulent Emails?
PayPal fraudulent emails have been around awhile and the realistic look is constantly getting better and better. But the scam is the same. They report a transaction has taken place in your PayPal account. In this case, the email stated that a $499 payment is pending for payment in my PayPal account.
But, I didn’t feel like it was real because my name was never used in the email. PayPal says “they will always include your real name in any email.” This email only contained my email address and listed the payment amount.
No Product or Company Name Mentioned
There is also no mention of any company name, or product that sent the payment request. Just a thank you for interest in their product. But, when it said “we have received your monthly payment” I had no doubt at all this was a fake.
What really got my attention, was the fact that this name “LEWIS” appeared in my PayPal account as “Pending” payment for $499!
How did that get in there? I didn’t make the charge, and there it was!
Now, I have seen these scams before and warned people to always go to their account and see if any charges have been made to the account. I was shocked to see that I actually had a pending charge for LEWIS!
Related post: Beware Of The Amazon Order Email Scam
In most cases nothing shows up, proving it is just a scam email. But, this time was different! I went to my PayPal account and low and behold, there it was! I had a charge pending on my account! I’ll tell you more about that later. But first, let me show you what the email looked like and what to look for.
What Does A PayPal Fraudulent Email Look Like?
If you open your email box and see something that looks like the email I have posted below, DO NOT click on any links! They have some convincing features that make it appear real, but it is not. They go to great lengths to make it appear real by using the same logos, and use borders that appear to be the same as something PayPal might send you, but it is not real, it is fake!
Don’t Take The Bait, Stay Off The Hook!
Here are a few tips to keep yourself out of trouble.
- Never click any links inside any email period! They are fake and will just take you to the scammers website! Then, they will ask for all your personal information and clean you out! Never give out your personal information unless you are on the official site.
- Do Not use any phone numbers provided for you that say “Customer Support” or “Support” They are fake! Go directly to the real website and get the real support number yourself!
- Always go to the official website, before giving any personal information. You will have to use your password to gain access to your account.
- Stay calm and always think things through if you do end up in the wrong place.
I have pointed out the problem areas that are links and phone numbers. Never use provided links and phone numbers.
Examining the bottom of the email, other areas appear to help convince you it’s authentic. But, you need to avoid these links as well, they are all fake. The PayPal help support is called “Help Center,” not “Help and Contact.”
If you read the fine print in the email above, it actually gives itself away, when it says “Emails from PayPal will always contain your full name.” This email only contained my email addy, which wasn’t even the correct email connected to my PayPal account.
This Paypal Fraudulent Email Actually Posted A Fraudulent Charge!
As I said above I couldn’t believe this PayPal account email scam posted a fake charge on my account. I guess they wanted to give me proof it was real. Well, It got me concerned for sure, and I ended up contacting PayPal.
But, it was a Friday, and their support is open 9am to 5pm Monday through Friday. After that, forget about it. You can use chat, but nobody answers. I couldn’t even delete the charge through the resolution center. It is sorta unnerving, when you have a pending charge and can’t speak to anyone.
Here is how the charge appeared in my account.
It looks very real and had me concerned. The very strange part is when I click on invoice to see who it is from, it says invoice no longer exists. So, that tells me something is very wrong indeed. You are always able to access the invoice.
However, There was a button to pay invoice and one to cancel. Both are now gone.
That is a tell tale sign something is very wrong, and the charge should not go through. After I talked to PayPal through messages, they assured me they would not make any payment on this charge.
Where To Report A PayPal Phishing Email
These PayPal fraudulent emails are actually “phishing” emails, because they will get your account information if you click on their links. And you can report them to PayPal by forwarding the email to: email@example.com
You can also report strange activity to firstname.lastname@example.org
“Tell us if you suspect strange activity, identity theft, or phishing and we’ll be on the case. Help us by forwarding any suspicious emails to email@example.com so we can investigate.”
They also advise you to call your bank or credit card and advise them of the situation. With these fake emails, there is nobody to get a refund from. Most disappear as soon as they get your money. That is why it is so important that you DO NOT click any links, and you DO NOT give out any personal information.
PayPal does promise, if you are charged for a transaction you didn’t make, apply for a refund within 60 days, and they have you covered. If you don’t receive an item, or it is different from it’s description. you may qualify for Purchase Protection and they will reimburse you for the full purchase price and any shipping costs.
Other Types Of PayPal Fraudulent Emails
Their are other types of PayPal email scam that all PayPal users should know about.
These scams were more popular a few years back, but still pop up sometimes. They were called “Nigerian Letter Scams Or “419” Scams” The letter involved somebody in a high place from Nigeria needing a bank account to deposit millions of dollars, he was receiving in an inheritance. It requested the victims give their personal information, usually bank account numbers to deposit the money. The scammers would then clean out the unfortunate victims account.
Display Name Scams
This involves emails that use a familiar name like PayPal or Amazon. They post an image of an email that looks very similar to an email that the display name company would send. The use real logos, and similar colors to make everything look legit, but everything is fake. They are just another version of the “phishing” emails. They want to get your information when you click on the links.
PayPal venders can also become victims of scams. They can sell a product to a customer and receive an overpayment for the product. The buyer then asks for the overpayment back. But, what is really happening, is the payment for the product can be a bad check, or a payment from a hacked account. If the vender sends the product and returns the over payment, he can actually lose several times over.
First he loses the product, and if he sends the refund, he also loses that as well. It also is possible, the vendor can be asked to refund the original owner for the payment of the product purchased on their hacked account.
PayPal Tips for Staying Safe
PayPay says that in 2020 fake messages was double the amount in 2019, and it is the #1 most common cyber crime. This is why it is so important to keep yourself safe. Here are a few tips.
Follow these tips to insure your own safety from cyber crimes. Always remember that the scammers have one goal in mind. They want to get your money into their pockets. And they do this by stealing your information. The easiest way to do this is to trick you into giving into thinking you are giving your information to a legitimate website.
So, it is up to you to make sure you are not giving your information to the wrong people. Check the URL of the site, and be sure it is the site you think it is. If not, leave and keep your information safe.
Thank you for reading my article, I hope you have learned something. If you have any questions or comments, please leave them below. I will get back to you ASAP.
I am Chas, creator and founder of Help For Scams And Frauds. I started affiliate marketing and earning money online in 2015. And I can tell you, anyone can do this. But, in order to build a business the right way you must have the right training and avoid the get rich quick schemes.