How can I spot a spammer on PayPal and be safe?

How to find a PayPal spam

Though PayPal is safe and secure means of doing online transactions but still there are many spammers out there which may invite you to make payment through Paypal and take away your money. Also many sellers lure you by offering deals that you seem are best and you put your money at risk online. Here are some of the ways listed by Paypal to spot a spammer on PayPal.

1. Fraudsters will ask you an advance fee or offer free money. If you get an offer for free money, fraudsters will ask you to send some smaller amount say for taxes, or legal documents, etc. before they can send you the millions you’re promised, but which they never intend to send you. Never wire money to someone you don’t know.

2.  Also there may be some spammer who will do an overpayment.  Suppose a customer sends a PayPal payment that is more than the purchase price of the order, and then asks you to wire them the difference. They may tell you that they accidentally overpaid you, the extra money is for the shipping costs, they’re giving you a bonus for your great service or the money is for the stress they’ve caused you. They may even ask you to wire the shipping fees to their shipper. This scammer may have paid with a stolen credit card, bank account number or checking account. Note that just because a payment has been deposited into your account, doesn’t mean the money is yours to keep. If the legitimate account holder reports unauthorized activity, the money can be withdrawn from your account. If that happens, you’ll lose the money you wired to the fraudster, the product you shipped, shipping costs and your payment.

Therefore don’t wire money to someone you don’t know. A legitimate buyer won’t overpay you for an order. If a customer overpays you and asks you to wire them the difference, consider canceling the order—it’s very likely to be fraudulent. Don’t wire money to the bogus shipping company—it’s part of their scam to get your money.

PayPal Spam

3. Messages asking you to pay a small handling fee to collect some fabulous prize are usually a spam. You send the handling fee and get nothing in return. Again don’t send money to someone you don’t know. A legitimate prize won’t require you to pay in order to receive it.

4. Many spammers will offer you high profit no risk investments. These types of investments are usually scams and include messages insisting that you “Act Now!” for a great deal. Best way is to discontinue communication with this person or company.

5. Scammers use disasters to trick kind-hearted people into donating to fake charities. This usually happens when there is a refugee crisis, a terrorist attack or a natural disaster like an earthquake, flooding or famine. Thoroughly check the background of any charity to make sure your donation goes to real victims. Use resources to check out charities at sites like; and If a charity does not have a website, be cautious.

Spot a Paypal Scam with these tips

6. There are several ways fraudsters incorporate shipping into their schemes. My shipping service spam which acts as a buyer asks you to use their shipping account because they can get a discount, they have a preferred vendor they’ve worked with for years, or their shipping service is cheaper or more reliable. In another variation of the spam, the buyer may also ask you to wire the shipping fees to their preferred shipper. If you use the buyer’s shipping account, they can easily contact the shipping company and reroute the order to another address.

The buyer can then open up a complaint asking for a refund because they didn’t receive their order. You aren’t able to prove that the buyer received their order and you are out your product, the shipping costs and your money. If they ask you to wire the money to a bogus shipping company, they can steal your money. After you have wired the money you’ll find out that the order was made with a stolen card or bank account. You may be held liable for returning the funds to the legitimate customer whose account was stolen.

Therefore only use your shipping account. Never wire money to someone you don’t know – you can’t get it back easily. If a customer asks you to use their shipping service, review their order for fraud carefully. They may have used a stolen card or bank account to fund the purchase. Ship to the address on the Transaction Details page.

How to avoid Paypal spam

7. Also there are Pre-paid shipping label scam where you receive an order from a customer who asks you to use their pre-paid label to cover the shipping charges. Like they may tell you that they can get their labels at a discounted price. By providing the label, the customer controls the destination of the package. They may send it to another country, a PO Box or some other untraceable location.

To be covered under PayPal’s Seller Protection policy, you are required to ship to the address on the Transaction Details page. The shipping label may also have been purchased with a stolen credit card. To avoid this scam if the customer asks you to use their pre-paid label, review their order for fraud carefully. They may have used a stolen card to make the purchase. Do not accept shipping labels from your customers. Ship to the address on the Transaction Details page.

How to avoid Paypal spam

8. Also many spammers use package rerouting scam. The buyer reroutes the package so they can file a complaint that they never received it. A buyer places an order and provides an incorrect or fake shipping address. The shipping company tries to deliver the package but isn’t able to. The buyer monitors the online tracking information and notices that the shipper couldn’t deliver the package. The buyer contacts your shipping company and asks them to send the package to their correct address. The shipping company delivers the package to the new location.

Buyer then files a complaint for not receiving the item. Because the shipment was rerouted, you can’t prove the item was delivered to the address on the Transaction Details page. The buyer gets to keep the item and money. Because the package wasn’t delivered to the address on the Transaction Details page, you aren’t covered by Seller Protection. Unfortunately, you lost the product, shipping fees and the money. To make it worse, you might also have to pay your shipper an additional rerouting fee.

In such case contact your shipping company and block buyers from rerouting packages. Validate the buyer’s address before shipping and only ship to the address on the Transaction Details page.

9. There are also reshipping packages scam which is one of the more popular work-from-home scams like  reshipping electronics, clothing and other items out of the United States. You receive items (electronics, jewelry, clothing, etc.) in the mail and are asked to ship them out of the country. Packages may be addressed to someone else’s name (the stolen credit card victim).  Most merchants will not ship items out of the country. Fraudsters need you to act as an intermediary to help get the goods out of the country. It also helps them avoid getting caught. They use your personal information to steal your identity or takeover your account. Thus know who you are dealing with and don’t reship packages.

If you didn’t realize you were involved in a scam until the packages started arriving, refuse delivery or return to sender. Report scams to the Internet Crime Complaint Center or contact your Postmaster. Never give your private personal or financial information to anyone you don’t know.

Paypal spams and scams

10. Also fraudsters will post fake job opportunities on job-posting sites, dating sites, and via spam email.
Your “employer” provides you with a shipping label (also paid for with a stolen credit card). Your “employer” ask you for personal information, such as Social Security Number and bank account details, so they can “direct deposit” your check. Generally, you’ll never get paid and have just exposed yourself to fraud. Or someone contacts you about a great new business opportunity.  Again know who you are dealing with. Don’t list someone else’s address on your PayPal account.

If you think you’ve received a suspicious email or have been directed to a fake website, forward it to spoof@paypal.comand they’ll investigate it for you. After you send Paypal the email, delete it from your inbox. If you clicked on any links or downloaded any attachments within the suspicious email or website, log into your account and view your transactions. It’s also a good idea to change your password often. To view all transactions and activity, log in to your PayPal account and check your recent activity. If you see any unauthorized transactions, go to the Resolution Center to report it.

Wanna know how to report a spam or scam with PayPal read out next answer.