PayPal Users Are Receiving an Unexpected Windfall - Watch Out for This Scam

PayPal Users Are Receiving an Unexpected Windfall - Watch Out for This Scam

Many PayPal users are currently receiving unexpected money transfers. But where do these payments come from and who's behind them? The consumer protection agency sheds light on the matter and advises on the best course of action for those affected.

With over 30 million users, PayPal is one of the most popular payment solutions around the world. The payment service, often associated with eBay, offers fee-free money transfers, and more importantly buyer protection. But scammers have worked out how to misuse this option that was initially designed to protect buyers. 

However recently PayPal users are noticing deposits into their accounts that they were not expecting. This could potentially affect all PayPal customers. This money is actually the first step of a cunning scam that aims to separate customers from their personal funds. Fortunately this scam only works if the victims play their part. 

So why are PayPal customers receiving money, and where is it coming from? The consumer protection agency has sent out a warning about these PayPal transfers received from unknown senders. Cybercriminals are attempting this clever scam. The first step of which is where a small amount of money is randomly transferred to a PayPal users' account. The scammer will then subsequently contact the victim, claiming that they made a mistake and requesting a refund via the "Friends and Family" payment option. 

If the victim goes along with this request, the scammer will then report the original payment to PayPal, claiming that it was an error and covered under the "for goods and services" payment option. This specific type of payment has buyer protection, so PayPal will then reverse the transfer, refunding the scammer their initial amount. In the meantime, if the victim sends the "refund" payment using the "Friends and Family" option, there is no buyer protection, because it was not a transaction. So, unlike the scammers, the victims are unable to easily recover their money, and would have to go great lengths to prove the scam. 

So what should victims do? What many PayPal users may not know is that the payment service provider offers a simple way to securely refund mistakenly made payments. Users simply need to open the relevant payment in the PayPal app and click on "Send Refund." Meanwhile, on the desktop PC, this function is found under the label "Send this amount back." This way, the refund is not considered a new transaction and therefore cannot be reversed a second time. Alternatively, simply not sending the money back will force the scammers hand and they will most likely get PayPal to refund the money via buyer protection option. You should also report any suspicious transactions directly to PayPal so they are aware and they can take action.