We all know that these days, online scammers are getting craftier and craftier. Online security is better than ever before and as a society, we’ve got a greater awareness of how to protect ourselves from online threats. However, there’s always one weakness in the system, and in this case, it seems to be our kind natures.
Yes, a new PayPal scam is targeting you through your friends and turning what you thought was a kind gesture against you as scammers make off with your cash. So, what is this new scam and how can you protect yourself?
How does the scam work?
Action Fraud said that victims have reported hackers breaking into friends Facebook accounts and then sending messages from those accounts to victims. Victims are then asked by their ‘friend’ to receive a payment for them on PayPal and then to transfer the money into the bank account of the scammers’ choice.
The scammers then ask for their phone number, so that they can communicate through WhatsApp.
However, the innocent who holds the PayPal account is left out of pocket when the scammer claims the initial payment back through a ‘chargeback’. This means that the scammer gets back their initial lump of cash, along with whatever the victim has sent them.
What does PayPal say?
PayPal have been dealing with complaints from customers who have fallen victim to the scam on the PayPal contact number, but largely, they’ve been pointing people towards their website which says: “A chargeback happens when a buyer asks their credit card issuer to reverse a transaction that has already cleared.
“This can mean that a payment you’ve received in your PayPal account could be reversed, even if you’ve already posted the goods.
“PayPal will help you as much as possible if you wish to dispute a chargeback, but the final decision lies with the credit card company. However you can also get protection with PayPal’s Seller Protection policy.”
What can you do to protect yourself?
The scammers have been sending initial messages like “Hey I know it sounds random but do you have a PayPal account? I sold something on Ebay.” So, keeping an eye out for suspicious messages like these is the first step to protecting yourself.
Another important step is to share the story amongst your friends and ensure that your Facebook password is unique and not shared by any other service. Updating your password often is a perfect way to stop scammers from gaining access to your accounts, and so is enabling two step verification within Facebook.
Remember, these scammers are relying on you or your friends not securing your accounts properly, so ensuring that your account is safe is the perfect way to avoid this nasty PayPal scam.