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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.

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Jobs & Making Money

Comments

Posted my used car yesterday. Within 1 day 3 replies saying they Were VERY interested but can only pay w PayPal. Don’t want to see the car and willing to pay asking or above. Also not able to come by due to work schedule. HUGE red flags.

(306) 700-1683 text me about a car. He said "Am a military man and am currently at the Air Man In El Paso Texas camp i only have access to my paypal account...I will have the hauler to come pick it up after payment have been made and cleared to you Once you link the Card with your PayPal account you will cash it out through it. So do get back to me with your PayPal email for the payment transfer"

He even sent a photo.

Please be careful!

Paypal: I recently made a purchase through a site and signed into my Paypal account and paid. I called the seller and he stated he can see the money but cannot access it. I called Paypal and spoke with Jacob and supervisor Lester. Even though I made my payment through Paypal it was considered a personal payment (even though I was purchasing a product) and they will not refund my money. So the seller cannot get the money, I cannot get the money back and I was told by Jacob that it will stay in the account for a certain time then go into Paypal treasury?? Really? How was I know to know that this type of payment was not covered? I purchased a lot of items using Paypal. Please beware of this type of scams by a well know company.

Just got this today. Phone number 616-228-7166

Sound good I'm just asking about it to make sure it's in good condition, Am stationed at Air National Guard base, Battle Creek Michigan. I would have loved to see this item but am presently busy here at the base but I have a private pick up agent that will come for it at your location after the payment is cleared. 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? I will be deploying a pickup firm as soon as we have completed and finalized this deal via PayPal. Kindly get back to me with your PayPal info and also have the posting deleted Asap.

Your PayPal e-Mail Address :
PayPal Acct Name:
Firm Price:
Home Address/ Pickup location Info:
Phone number:
Remove the item from Ad

Thanks

I got the same exact email today from timothypatrick042 @ gmail.com John Paul 07:36 (14 hours ago) to me

Sound good I'm just asking about it to make sure it's in good condition, Am stationed at Air National Guard base, Battle Creek Michigan. I would have loved to see this item but am presently busy here at the base but I have a private pick up agent that will come for it at your location after the payment is cleared. 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? I will be deploying a pickup firm as soon as we have completed and finalized this deal via PayPal. Kindly get back to me with your PayPal info and also have the posting deleted Asap. Your PayPal e-Mail Address : PayPal Acct Name: Firm Price: Home Address/ Pickup location Info: Phone number: Remove the item from Ad Thanks

I received this today so it is still in circulation. BEWARE.
It was the exact same email.

I think PayPal is not a good company, their policies favor scammers more than genuine sellers. They once collaborated with a scammer to defraud me 650$ saying that the buyers card company wants a refund

I just rececived this email something sounds fishy !!!!

Thanks for your mail and am satisfy with the add and the listed price, I am ready to buy it now for my son as a surprise promise gift,And due to the nature of my work,phone calls making and visiting of website are restricted but i squeezed out time to check this advert and send you an email regarding it.i would be glad to pay for it as soon as possible though i will not be available to come for an inspection due to my tight schedule.Kindly get back to me with the following questions below: 1) Are you the Owner? 2) Pick up Location? 3) Your PayPal Email ID to effect the payment 4)your asking price for confirmation 5)Phone Number I will only be paying you via PayPal as that is the only method of my payment due to the nature of my job Thanks and God bless Hello,

Same thing with a Respetfully, SGT E-5 Mark Lam Sending e-mails by gmail. I think my e-mail account is much more secure than his LOL

I received a email yesterday much the same I have a car for sale on don deal the buyer allegedly wants to buy but can’t come himself due to his work he will send someone to pick it up I have to have a pay pal account so he can transfer money to it he do t do banking on line his name is allegedly Adrienne Mathias lives in Donetsk

Battle them and prosecute them.

Well i just had fun, guy says he has just moved to U.K. bad news for him, i have family all over so told him to send me contact details and we will contact him, hahahahahahaha

Is this a scam? "OKAY,i will offer you $200 including the shipping cost, i will be paying through PayPal because i have a verified account with PayPal. What your PayPal email address and full name so I can pay now" I sent him a link from my PayPal account but he asked for my email instead.

Is this a scam?
"OKAY,i will offer you $200 including the shipping cost, i will be paying through PayPal because i have a verified account with PayPal.
What your PayPal email address and full name so I can pay now"
I sent him a link from my PayPal account but he asked for my email instead.

Almost the same with my situation. someone wants to buy stuff from me then he send me a link of PAypal to I can creat an account but I directly go to paypal.com to make the account. Then now he is asking for my email address and full name so he can pay immediatly... God Im scared. I might end up being scammed.Here is the name from Facebook Pyakurel Aagat

Mine was from Mason Taylor Marines at Quantico also wanted to add 1400.00 for courier fees iuf I would make transfer of that money to courier via western union. I told him I could ship the item cheaper less then 100.00 but I couldn't except 1400 extra dollars to send through western union. I already have a PayPal account along with a PayPal routing to get money sent to paypal which I simply sent to him to add money to the account. After I figured out it may be a scam I had my credit cards erased from my papal account due t o never using the link to send to people to get paid for items. Is there anythiing else I should do now that he has my name phone number. Can he do anything to.my account with PayPal? I haven't sent any merchandise or excepted money. Just sent him the tag to pay me for the merchandise.

If you're concerned about your account security, you could talk to someone at PayPal.

Scammer trying to buy my Jeep listed on Craigslist. The number he was texting me from is 409-202-8979.

I'm highly interested
Kindly text me the present pics
My name is Martin and you?
I just want to be sure they are recent pics and what is your Zip Code so that i can send it to my hauler to determine the cost of the pick up from your location.
I will be glad if this transaction can be done via PayPal so the PayPal charges will be on me,
I will have my hauler to come for the pick up once the payment has been made and clear and they will schedule a pick up date and time with you.
Get back to me with your paypal e mail address and your name associated with that account

Me: I prefer a cashier's check from a reputable Bank.

Im sorry but i have the fund on my paypal account

I received the following email regarding some drums I am selling on Gumtree.
Thanks for your response,I want you to consider this a deal as i am willing to pay your full asking price! i actually want to buy them for a relative who is in need of them, i have checked through your advert and i'm fully satisfied with them.

Unfortunately, i would not be able to come personally to collect but would send my courier agent to collect after you have fully received your money, i work offshore so i don't have time at all, but like i said i am 100% OK with the advert.

However, I will pay you via PayPal once you are ready and send my courier agent after you have received your money as that is the only means of payment available to me at the moment. I would also appreciate if you could remove the advert asap.

If that's Ok with you please get back to me with a suitable collection time.See More from Simon Ashton --
Regards Anna Jose

I have been bouncing text with a clown this morning wanting to buy my Harley via PayPal. Same song and dance. The best part...his phone number 512-862-1165 comes up in a Google search as some sort of adult entertainment site.

Add 312-509-9990 to the list of phone #s of scammers being used. Same basic wording - in my case, he is a "marine engineer" who is at sea, gift for his father, it's a surprise, paypal info and full name and email please... Don't fall for it - if it seems too simple and easy, it is!

Recently had an army lieutenant email me wanting a Christmas present for his brother. Went by the name Ortegas Pacita. He wanted me to sent a handler 980.00 then paypal would disperse my money. That just didn't sit well with me. Glad I started searching. Called paypal and they confirmed it wasn't them. I asked them to send out a mass email warning people. Glad I ran into this site. :).

So anyone go through and try to scam these people back and succeed in actually getting money first ??

I just got this message after I got text asking if my car was still available and what is the condition. He asked in the text to reply to his emai which was timothypatrick042 @ gmail.com : <> I'm glad I made some research! I knew that was fishy but I could'nt figure out what the scam was!

Wow Thanks for the heads up post here. I received the same 74D military message stating wanting to purchase my truck for his son's birthday. I got a text from Matt first asking me to email his friend Carlos Bright. Claim they saw my truck on Craiglist.

Yes. this exact thing happened to me. Thankfully I got suspicious and the UPS store had not yet shipped the package so we didn't lose the items. The people had the audacity to keep on emailing masquerading themselves as Paypal. (service @ paypay.com) was the address they used.

I purchased a PlayStation really cheap off Makari immediately they cancel the order and told me to text them telling me to pay through PayPal. In the message they also said that it's a secure way of paying to avoid scams but how can I be sure it's not a scam that way. What if the PlayStation never arrives and I try to dispute the transaction but I have no proof that it was being sold it to begin with. What kind of proof do I need to dispute a transaction if the item never arrives

Before you buy an item from a website, read the website policy about sales and disputes.

Before you send money, read the warnings in this blog about PayPal scams. Scammers might send you a link to an account that is not really PayPal.

Many thanks for your excellent information. Easy for genuine folk to be sucked in by this PayPal scam. Not sure where to report it in Australia - I had advertised on Finda.com

Glad we could help. You can search for a national, state or territorial consumer protection agency online. The website you advertised on may take consumer complaints as well.

My Paypal emailed to say a phone was purchased for $100 on my account. When I clicked the links from the email, BAD IDEA, it asked for detailed info about me. When I got to the part where I enter my social, I click CANCEL. Then I went to Paypal and checked my account. All was in order, and the bogus charge was not on there.

Same week I had a guy named OLIVER JAMES purchase a table from me on Craigslist. Sent a fake check, and started demanding that I deposit it! Got that fraud handled by filing a report here and to our local authorities!

Listed a VINTAGE Fender Bass Guitar Speaker Cabinet on CraigsList 12-25-2017. Within minutes I get a text from (512) 360 0911 Mr. Grant Sherwood. Mr. Sherwood said due to the nature of his job he could not meet and pay cash but if I provided him my Pay Pal Email address he would pay full price plus cost of "HIS MOVER" prior to having the "Mover" pick up at my location. Also if I didn't have a Pay Pal Account he would provide a link and instruct me on how to set up a Pay Pal account so I could be paid for the Speaker. I didn't provide him any info but offered to meet him as he said he was in Texas (about a 2 Hr. Drive for me). That and other options were rejected by Mr. Sherwood and he continually returned to the "give me your Pay Pal email address" and he would handle getting my money to me. As a "FORMER CRIMINAL INVESTIGATOR" my suspicions nature took over and I reversed the situation asking for his contact info, family, work history, etc... Mr. Sherwood kept going back to Pay Pal Email address etc. I finally texted him back and told him he had been texting a former Criminal Investigator and it seemed to me he was more interested in my Pay Pal account than the Vintage Fender Bass Speaker Cabinet.... CLICK... NO MORE texts,,, info, or contacts... Strange... lol

The message I received. Today 12/30/17

Thank you for your e-mail and I would like to introduce myself to you. First of all. My name is Gregory Bradley. I serve in the U.S. Air Force,as a Chief Master Sgt (E-9) I am presently not in town at the moment, I am currently on Base,

We do not have access to phone communications, its being restricted but we have internet access and it is our major means of communication to the outside world. So let’s get back to business! I'm purchasing the Vehicle for my father as his birthday gift, I am doing this without his Knowledge because I am making it as a surprise for him. So can you assure me I won't be disappointed buying it from you? Also, I do have few questions I would love to ask. What's the condition of the vehicle? Are you the original owner and why are you selling it? Can you send me some few more photos of it? Does it have any mechanical issues? Do you have the title in hand and is there a lien on it? Do you have a verified account with PayPal? Do you have any other offer's yet? How many miles does it have? what's your final asking price? Looking forward to hearing back from you and I hope you can respond and answer my questions appropriately in your next email. Respectfully,

Got a text about a truck I’m selling from ‭+1 (213) 478-7634‬ calling himself “Larsen jay”. Saying pretty much this exact scenario. I’ll pay whatever I just what the truc etc. wouldn’t even look at it or even make an offer. Just said he’d send the “Auto Movers Transport Company” to pick it up as soon as I received payment. Super fishy.

Ha, I just got the same text and convo! I found this buy googling the number he used.

"If it sound too good to be true, it probably is" - this played in my mind after receiving very similar email re buying our truck and excavator. His name is Thomas R Valys. Same story about being up in a remote site in Darwin. Who do I report this to?

You can report that at FTC.gov/complaint. The information you give goes into a database that law enforcement uses for investigations.

Anyone been scammed by a Hedge Benson? Also military

Anytime and I mean anytime you get a call, text or email stating they want to purchase your item but can't come to see it because of (whatever reason it's a scam). I accept all checks (I'm gonna scam the scammer). Once I receive the check, I send text telling them I received the check (and it's usually for way more than my selling price) they start to give me instructions which is usually to send extra money to pay for shipping via MoneyGram. This is when I text them back and say scammed the scammer. IF YOU'RE IN NEED OF MONEY PLEASE PLEASE DON'T FALL FOR THS SCAM OR ANY OTHER. IF YOU HAVE TO SEND MONEY BACK IT'S A SCAM!

I post a craigslist add selling S8 Galaxy same here. Only want to send via Paypal. Even tho it is a local number. I said I can bring it. He said I send $550 my listing is for less. I didn't wanted that offer I knew its scam.

i was scammed by the same way asking to post and asking could i write a birthday message as was a gift got the email which looked like from pay pal saying money will be cleared once i send proof of postage i did all this and was a scam luckily it took a long time but i sat outside the house it was being delivered to as was only 3 mile from me i sat there every morning from 5am until the post van came i informed them what had gone on although they couldnt hand me my parcel they had a feeling that the ammount of parcels they took there must be a scam so they made sure they didnt deliver it i eventually got the item back after waiting the 18 days to return to sender some vile evil beings out there

Just wanted to contribute that we posted a car on Craigslist yesterday and received the same email reply - our guy was in Fort Campbell. My husband shared his cellphone number before I researched and found this to be a scam. His number is not connected to PayPal, but should I be concerned???

Just got soemthing similar!! Thank God I looked this up to see jf t was a scam

Thanks for your response, I am a military man and currently deployed to a remote area until March 20th. Can you assure me that it's in good state as it appears and that i will not be disappointed with it It is strictly no calls here due to security reasons, otherwise I would have called you to seal the deal,but i can actually try to use my phone applications to text you with my laptop.I have read through your ad and from what I have seen,it is priced favorably compared to others so I want you to consider it sold to me ''AS IS'' for the asking price but you have to assure me it is as described. I am comfortable paying you via PayPal to complete this transaction because of their security when it comes to online transactions. Let me have your PayPal details ( Account name,PayPal Email, Pick Address and Mobile #) so that I can initiate the payment. If you don't have a PayPal account kindly set one up because it is absolutely free. (www. paypal com) Furthermore, I will hire shipper that will come for the pickup, and also do the necessary paperwork on my behalf as soon as we are done with the payment part of the transaction.I'll like to see more recent pictures if you still have. If you don't , then lets proceed.

Got the same one today 1/20/2018 , WATCH OUT!

Hi .I have read through your ad and from what I have seen,it is priced favorably compared to others so I want you to consider it sold to me ''AS IS'' for the asking price but you have to assure me it is as described. (I work as Air Force, E7, MSgt Master Sergeant, Name Baliy James) currently deployed to a remote area until May 30. We have a bad and fluctuating network here otherwise I would have preferred to seal the deal via phone call so email and text messages work best for me at the moment.

Nevertheless, I believe we can seal the deal right away because I am ready to pay you via my PayPal account that is attached to my bank account as that is the only secure form of payment that I have access to right now. Kindly get back to me with your full name, PayPal email and cell phone number so that I can initiate the payment immediately. If you don't have a PayPal account, it is absolutely free to set one up, kindly visit www. paypal. com and set up one.

Furthermore, I will hire shipper that will come for the pickup,inspection to make sure it conforms to your description and also do the necessary paperwork on my behalf as soon as we are done with the payment part of the transaction. If this is a deal let me have the requested PayPal info then we can go from there.Thanks

I received the following message, they filled out a contact form on our website and the ip address originated from Nigeria.

Message: How are you doing today, I'm Sgt. Bruce I want to apologies for not calling direct than email. I'm in the US Army National Guard, presently stationed here in Alabama, Redstone Arsenal Military Base where I'm not able to make calls at the moment. But I assure you that you can reach me anytime via e-mail or sms text which I believe is better to communicate as well, I hope you understand my situation so kindly bare with me.

Further more, I like to know if you can guide my 4 children who are coming to the city in 2 weeks time during their holiday vacation. Their age are range from 13-24YRS. I want a private tour for 2 hours per person for 2 days so making a total of 4 hours each person for the 2 days and I want afternoons and evenings time. So I want you to calculate and get back to me with your total charges for your service and let me know your open dates in the next 2 weeks or perhaps we can work on your dates if suitable.

Also I like to know if you do accept all major credit card as a mode of payment.Thank You.Bruce bruce.m49 @ yahoo.com

Wow, we received the exact same email. The poor writing and the "not able to make phone calls but..." made me wonder if this is legit. We do get weird requests sometimes but this takes the cake.

I received this email shortly after posting an ad on Autotrader. Then I forwarded it to fraud dept @ Autotrader.

Do you have the extra keys, Do you have the spare tire, Where did you get your car serviced, Have you ever had any transmission repairs and Is there any rust on the vehicle? I'm ready to pay your asking price but not cash in person because I am serving in the US army and currently been deploy to Fort Huachuca Military Base , Arizona and calls are restricted at the moment and my only quickest payment option is PayPal, its safe fast and secure and i will be responsible for the PayPal transaction charges so you can get your expected amount. If you don't have an account with PayPal, its pretty easy to open one, Just log onto www .paypal. com and sign up. I hope we can make the purchase as fast as possible? As I am buying the vehicle for my dad and I'm very sure he will love this vehicle, his a mechanic and a handy man, so if there is anything that need to be fixed in it just let me know he will handle it. I have a mover that will come for the pick up once payment clears in your account and he will handle the title for me.I would appreciate if you email me with more pictures (if available) too since i won't be able to see this in person. I look forward to hear from you with the information below. I look forward to hear from you with the information below. Your PayPal e-Mail Address : Full name: Phone Number- Firm Price: Zip code for pickup: Happy New Year Seth

I received the same:

-----Original Message----- From: Seth Erickson Sent: Saturday, April 21, 2018 10:51 AM Subject: Re: 2002 SAAB 9-5 Linear Do you have the extra keys, Do you have the spare tire, Where did you get your car serviced, Have you ever had any transmission repairs and Is there any rust on the vehicle? I'm ready to pay your asking price but not cash in person because I am serving in the US army and currently been deploy to Fort Huachuca Military Base , Arizona and calls are restricted at the moment and my only quickest payment option is PayPal, its safe fast and secure and i will be responsible for the PayPal transaction charges so you can get your expected amount. If you don't have an account with PayPal, its pretty easy to open one, Just log onto www. paypal. com and sign up. I hope we can make the purchase as fast as possible? As I am buying the vehicle for my dad and I'm very sure he will love this vehicle, his a mechanic and a handy man, so if there is anything that need to be fixed in it just let me know he will handle it. I have a mover that will come for the pick up once payment clears in your account and he will handle the title for me.I would appreciate if you email me with more pictures (if available) too since i won't be able to see this in person. I look forward to hear from you with the information below. I look forward to hear from you with the information below. Your PayPal e-Mail Address : Full name: Phone Number- Firm Price: Zip code for pickup: Regards Seth

I am selling my Audi online and I got this email:

From: Reza Farhady <farhadyreza090@ gmail.com>Date: 27 January 2018 at 16:08Subject: Re: Car
Thanks for the response,I would have loved to call you directly but due to the nature of my work, I work with the The British Army Corps. we do not have access to phone at the moment,which is why I contacted you with internet messaging facility.

i am buying this for my first son who just graduated on top of his class at Dublin City University, I want it to be the perfect graduation gift for him and am making it a surprise package ,Does it have any history I should be aware of? and why are you selling if you don't mind my asking. I don't mind adding an extra £200.00 for you just to take down the posting..I am already in talks with freighters that will handle the pickup and delivery .I will really appreciate if you can email more info

Due to the nature of my work i am a very busy man working all day, am a (Operating officer) am presently on-board, i don't have access to my bank account online as am not with my credit card details here but i have my Bank Account link up with my PayPal account so I will be paying you through Account to your nominated bank account or better still is if you have a PayPal account ,please get back to me with your Sort Code , Account Number and Account name or PayPal account so i can proceed with the payment and contact the courier agent who will come to pick it up and deliver it for my son .Await your reply

IT IS A SCAM! Thank you for your info I reported it to spoof@ paypal.com and deleted from my inbox

Appreciate the online community warning about the scam. i also got a message from hannabolst1313 @gmail.com showing interest for the electric bike I posted.

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