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Online sellers stung by scammers spoofing PayPal brand

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Selling your used stuff online has become commonplace. So have scams taking advantage of the good names of reputable online companies. At the FTC, we’ve heard from people stung by scammers spoofing PayPal. The scam generally goes like this: You post a high-value item, like a used car, for sale online. In no time at all, you get an email from a buyer willing to pay full price — or more! But he sets conditions; he is only willing to pay by PayPal or insists the sale must happen right away. What’s really going on? A ruse to steal your personal information, money or merchandise.

Here are some suspicious situations to look for and steps to safe selling online:

Scenario One: The buyer claims he can only pay via PayPal. Don’t have a PayPal account? No problem, he says. He’ll send you an email with a link so you can set one up.

What should you do? Don’t take the bait. The link will send you to a website masquerading as PayPal. Any information you enter will be collected by the bogus buyer, and may be used to commit fraud. If you need to set up an account, go directly to PayPal.com.

Scenario Two: “Check your email!” The buyer claims he has sent payment to your PayPal account with additional funds so you can ship the merchandise ASAP, but oops, he sent too much money. He asks you to return the extra money via a money wiring service. It’s all a lie, including the extra money the buyer says he included.

What should you do? Log into your PayPal account. Make sure you’ve been paid before you ship. Never follow links in emails from people you don’t know. The safest approach is to open a browser window, navigate to PayPal.com, and log in yourself. Also, if the buyer claims to have sent extra money, and asks for some back, that’s a big red flag.

Scenario Three: The buyer sends you real money through a real PayPal account, and you ship him the car. Problem is, the PayPal account belongs to someone else! You might need to return the money even though the scammer has your wheels.

What now? Contact PayPal and ask them to open an investigation. The company offers seller protections so you aren’t liable for unauthorized transactions. Also file a complaint with the FTC and your local police department.

Learn how to recognize and avoid common online scams. And contact PayPal at spoof@paypal.com if you’ve been stung by a PayPal spoof. The company wants to hear from you.

Blog Topics: 
Jobs & Making Money

Comments

“Hanna” from Norway is still trying their luck. I don’t understand why this/persons have not been caught. Surely with FICA these scamsters should be well behind bars

Still circulating. I got this reply for my bike advert.

"Hi, i am Helen duke, I would have loved to see this item but am presently busy here at the base. I am Okay with your advert price and i will as well be sending your money via PayPal asap. Do you have PayPal account so that i can proceed with the payment. Kindly get back to me with your PayPal info and also have the posting deleted Asap.

1.what's your final asking price ?
2.what's the pick up location ?
3.what's your direct phone# ?"

Thanks for sharing this. I got a word-for-word identical reply to an ad for an RC jet I listed in kijiji. Saved me a headache, and maybe some cash.

My scammer is just a newbie E-2, barely past basic training I guess. For some reason he wants to buy my trailer filled with 5,000 lbs of solid oak trunks. He said he is going to have UPS come pick it up. I wonder if they plan to bubble wrap the trunks and strap them on top of the UPS truck (they are 15 ft long). He was offended when I called him a scammer.... but then he still sent me a fake cashiers check (with a random name I gave him) I take pride in the fact that he wasted his time and postage on me. At least I was able to distract him for a while.

I have a guy who want to buy my Dj set for $5000, I live in Toronto and he lives in Surrey Bc and want to buy full price that I posted it for and want me to ship it same day, he asked for my paypal without to send me the money but without knowing how much it will cost to ship it from Toronto to Surrey BC , he asked me for more pictures when I had 7 pictures in my post.

What you guys think?

I just received this scam from Carol Walker.
"Am I'm just asking about it to make sure it's in good condition as I'm buying it for my cousin as a surprise and he doesn't know about it, so can you assure me I will not be disappointed? also, no shipment involved as I have a mover that will come for it.I'm okay with the price and condition, I can only pay you via one of the fastest and secure way to pay online (PayPal). Do you have a PayPal account? Let me know asap so I can arrange the payment through PayPal. my shipper will be coming to pick it up as soon as the payment clears into your account.
Your PayPal e-Mail Address :
Full name:
Firm Price:
Phone Number:

I'll be waiting to hear from u asap."

Responded to him, and then looked it up here because is seemed "fishy" Lesson learned.
Mike Taylor 10:11 AM (4 hours ago) to me

Hello, thx for getting back to me, i'm a rotary drill operator and currently offshore, i'm buying this for someone as a surprise gift, so i won't be able to come for the inspection due to the nature of my work.i'd appreciate if you email me with some closeup pics for a better look since i won't be be able to see this in person, but i have a pickup agent who is going to come to your location only after payment has been made and cleared, so i've chosen to have this done via paypal as it's the easiest and safest way to pay online, i have a few questions for you below and i want you to be honest with me
where are you currently located? what's its present condition?
hope no issues? are you the first owner? why are you selling it?
since when have you been using it? what's your firm price? you got a paypal acct? do get back to me asap. thx.

I was recently scammed by a website called morclothes. They only took paypal payments and has been scamming since Feb of 2019. I went through PayPal and I am in the process of getting my money back. But my concern is, is my PayPal safe to use now. This company has a website up and everything and has so much bad feedback online to the point not a single person has ever recieved a item from them. Wish I wld have read the feedback first. Lesson learned. But I can't help wandering why paypal is still doing business with this company. It makes me a little skeptical of paypal.

I got an email from someone called Maxwell Joseph. Rather poor English for this name. Similar story, he wanted to buy my second hand furniture. He is happy to pay all price but the item needs to be picked up by some agent.
The guy wanted my address and name and phone number which I gave out. Now he wants my paypal. I wonder if thats a scam and whether I am already in troubles by giving out so much info about me?

I had a little problem with the agent they said they can only schedule the pick up date and time after they receive their pick up fee via amazon gift card, but due to my disabilities and being on a wheelchair i'm unable to get to amazon gift card. I will add the £100 they charged for the pick up and you will receive the total sum of £600.

you will buy a amazon gift card at any of this store ( ASDA, BP, Card Factory ,Clinton Cards,Co-op ,Grainger Games, Martin McColls (MRG), Morissons, Nisa, Shell, Spar,Superdrug, Tesco,Wilkinsons) for the agent after you got the payment confirmation from paypal , so that the pickup agent can come for the pickup

Hi 7th jan 2020 - just been approached on shpock by user name Leah. E to contact her via email (Christiana Laurrie (<claurrie12311@ >)
She responds with the following: Great! please consider it sold and remove the adverts online as i am willing to pay your asking price? because i need to buy it for my cousin asap as a surprise gift, i have read through the advert and i'm totally satisfied with it, sadly i would not be able to come personally to collect due to my hearing loss and I'm just recovering from heart surgery so I'm home-bound. can i earn your trust, hope i wont be disappointed? I have a courier agent that would help me to pick it up at your preferred location after you have received your money and cleared to your account and i'll pay you via PayPal today once you get back to me with your Paypal email and full name. Where is the pick up location so that i can inform the courier agent about it now? Await your response.
Most definitely a SCAM. so please be aware guys!!

I just recieved the exact same message from Christiana So glad I saw this before proceeding any further as it sounded suspicious!!

Thank you so much!
Saw this before being scammed by a Christiana Laurrie same surname as someone elses comment is the only way I found it!
She sent the exact same message to us for a sofa suite over £500 thankfully saw this before it went too far

Got this today:

----
My name is John, previously I stationed at Langley air force in Hampton, VA before I was deployed to the Airbase in Ohio. I do a special training program each day which I am not allowed to get out of the unit whenever I want. I'm new to the site and I'm buying this for my son as a gift and I don't want him to be aware. I'm sure he's gonna pass out lol. How far are you to Blacksburg, VA? That's where he lives.
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I'm impressed by the sophistication. They clearly did a little research for the area I live but the story is just so familiar and the grammar just so bad in some places. I challenged them and they couldn't produce a military e-mail for me to send verification to.

Why do I need to pay R1500 at any money market to a paypal agent in order to get my money? PayPal why are you robbing me. I made business the buyer got what he paid for and yet I'm still waiting on my money. And I'm not getting any feedback from PayPal.

A lady Christiana Laurie has tried to scam us stating she’s disabled and deaf. Trying to say she’s paid us £450. £150 for the sofa we were selling and £300 for pick up delivery charge then I didn’t get the money through PayPal and she was saying I had to pay £300 to an account for the delivery then I would get the money through. She’s very demanding by saying “you’ll do this” and didn’t ask me if I would help her by paying before getting the money.

We have had the EXACT same issue selling a sofa today!!!!! Luckily I picked up on the email address from PayPal actually saying PayPai@

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