However, with the rise of this type of technology comes an increased risk for fraudsters to take advantage of unsuspecting people.
PayPal has become one of the most popular systems used by millions of people around the world. It is therefore inevitable that scams will follow suit and unfortunately the PayPal payment scam is becoming more and more common. In this article, we’ll look at the exact characteristics of a PayPal payment scam, why and how they operate to exploit vulnerable users, and tell you what steps you can take to protect yourself against it.
On the various online sales platforms, scammers are multiplying to target their prey.
Online marketplaces offer a great way to buy and sell items without having to go through traditional product selling processes. They are convenient, secure, and often quick options for people looking to simplify their shopping experience. However, there is always a risk of scams when it comes to making payments online, especially when using platforms like Facebook Market Place. In particular, scammers have taken advantage of this platform by using payment through PayPal as one of their scams.
How it works ?
The scam consists in contacting the seller as soon as the sale is published online. Always under a false identity, the buyer who is the scammer will indicate that he is ready to buy the article without asking questions about its use, its condition and any other useful information before the purchase, without even negotiating the price. . He then offers to pay the full price via PayPal, and even offers to cover the shipping costs. The problem is that it asks the seller – who would be the victim – to create a PayPal account before sending the payment.
Once this account is created, the victim receives an SMS or an e-mail from PayPal containing a link on which he must click. This link sends her to a fake website, which brings together several fields to fill out. The victim would be required to enter their PayPal username and password and their bank details to link their alleged account and receive their shipping costs. Abracadabra! everything flies away in the blink of an eye. The victim’s data would immediately be exploited in several malicious ways. Ranging from identity theft to fraudulent actions.
How can you protect yourself against this type of scam?
Step 1: Be one step ahead of potential buyers.
Once you receive a message about an item placed on an online sales platform, do a search using their profile photo, first and last name, Facebook profile, previous actions on the same platform. All of this research put together can help you better know if this is an ordinary or suspicious person.
Step 2: Never click on a link or blue underlined words.
Be careful when clicking on links sent via email or text message, as they may contain malware.
Step 3: Your details are confidential.
Never share your private information such as credit card details, account, address with anyone.
Step 4: Choose the payment method that suits you.
Finally, if you use an e-commerce platform, give preference to its payment system. It’s easier and more convenient. Otherwise, if you already have a PayPal account, this is also an easier alternative method, otherwise opt for payment by bank transfer. Always check the payment method and make sure it is safe and reliable before completing the transaction.
It’s also important to be careful when receiving payments online, as scammers may try to trick you into thinking you’ve received a payment when, in fact, no money has been transferred. To protect yourself from this type of fraud, check the payment amount and make sure it matches what was agreed upon before releasing any goods or services. Also, be alert for sudden changes in address or other transaction-related details and report any suspicious activity to the relevant authorities immediately.