PayPal Scams

What are PayPal scams?

If you have a PayPal account, scammers may send you an email asking you to verify your account by giving personal information including your name, business, PayPal password, credit card information, SSN, etc. Reasons given for why your personal information is requested vary. Whatever the reason, you should be wary before freely giving out ANY information via email to protect yourself from identity theft.

What are PayPal invoice scams?

A PayPal invoice scam is another way scammers can trick you into sharing personal information, following links that may compromise your PayPal account or spreading viruses on your computer. The email will appear to be an invoice sent directly from PayPal often times notifying you of a payment that you may wish to dispute. The fake invoice will usually include the purchased item’s description and price, how the credit card transaction will appear on your bill and bogus information about the seller. At the bottom of the invoice it may read, “If you have not authorized this charge, follow the link below to cancel your payment and receive a full refund.” Of course, no such action is necessary because it is a PayPal invoice scam.

How can you tell if the email is a scam?

Here are a few red flags:

    • Your name or business name is not included in the greeting.

Tip: PayPal will always personalize the greeting with the name associated to your account. If any other greeting is used, it is likely spam.

    • Information is requested before asking you to sign in to your account.

Tip: PayPal requires that you log in to your account before requesting any sensitive information.

    • You are redirected to another page and asked to provide personal or financial information

Tip: Check the URL. If it doesn’t contain “” it is probably not associated with the real PayPal.

Tip: PayPal will not ask you to download an attachment, software, or link to a form requesting personal information. If you see that the email includes an attachment, BEWARE! Scammers use these to spread viruses on your computer.

    • You are asked to dispute an unauthorized charge by clicking a link

Tip: PayPal would never notify you of a bogus transaction via email. When PayPal wishes to contact you about a transaction, a message is sent internally.

    • The email does not come from

Tip: Anything coming directly from PayPal will have in the email source.

Are PayPal scams legal?

No. They should be reported immediately.

What should you do after you receive a PayPal scam?

PayPal requests that you forward the entire email to If you identify a link in the email that directs you to a fake PayPal website, contact the PayPal Customer Service team.

If you receive an email that you believe may be a PayPal invoice scam, log in to your PayPal account and look for any messages that indicate questionable transactions. If no such messages exist, you likely received a PayPal invoice scam. You should delete the email and report the scam to PayPal.

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