PayPal is a popular payment service used successfully by many people particularly when making purchases through eBay. However, because it is so popular with the public, it is also popular with scammers who over the years have created numerous PayPal based scams about which I have reported to you in the past. Many of the scams in the past have been phishing scams in the form of emails that appear to come from PayPal seeking your personal information under various guises, however today’s Scam of the day directly targets people selling items online using PayPal as the vehicle for payment. The scam starts when you receive a response to your listing something online for sale in which the scammer agrees to purchase whatever you are selling and requests that PayPal be used for the transfer of the purchase price to you. Shortly thereafter you receive an email that appears to come from PayPal that indicates that payment has been received to your PayPal account which prompts the scam victim to send the “purchased” goods to the scammer. Unfortunately, no payment was made to PayPal and the email indicating payment had been made came from the scammer. Although it may have appeared legitimate and even had a legitimate appearing logo, it is easy to make a counterfeit logo. Particularly adept scammers will even be able to make the email address of the sender appear as if it actually came from PayPal.
Fortunately, this particular scam is easy to avoid. You should start out by being aware that this scam is active and remembering my motto of “trust me, you can’t trust anyone.” The easy way to avoid this scam if you are selling something online and using PayPal is to never ship the items you are selling until you have personally logged into your PayPal account to confirm payment has been received. Also do not log into your PayPal account through a link in an email because to do so may merely take you to fake email account. Access your PayPal account independently through your browser.
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