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8 Common PayPal Scams in 2021 and How to Avoid Them

We live in a technology-dominant era, and we’ve lived to see both tremendous advancements in several tech branches and an increase in interest in these advancements. It’s hard to believe that merely a few years back we didn’t have the option to video chat, send huge files at lightning-fast speeds, perform complex security checks to log into our accounts (including facial recognition), and one of the most important ones, acquire goods by paying over the Internet.

While for some this is still science-fiction, most of us not only adapted to the technical advancements of our age but also embraced them fully. As a result, we have moved our bank accounts online and we’re using webpages and applications in order to manage stuff around, like create deposits, wire money to a friend, pay for insurance, invest in stock actions, and even buy cryptocurrencies.

Common PayPal Scams and How to Avoid Them

Take PayPal, for instance. It’s one of the most popular online payment processors, and people have been relying on its services for more than 20 years now to perform single or recurring payments or even set up merchant accounts in order to receive money from their customers.

PayPal is in fact so popular that you can find it as an accepted and trusted payment method on almost every e-commerce website, right next to other frequently-used methods such as bank transfers, credit cards, checks, money orders, and since recently, cryptocurrency.

What is PayPal?

As we’ve mentioned above, PayPal is an online service that enables you to make or receive online payments without significant effort. All you have to do is create an account and link a credit card or a bank account you can use to go online shopping and, respectively, withdraw money from your PayPal account to your bank account. Technically it’s possible to create a PayPal account without linking a card or a bank account, however, you won’t be able to use PayPal to its full extent.

In fact, you’ll get a whole load of notifications even if your card recently expired, letting you know that you can’t use the service without renewing the required information (i.e. the expired credit card details). A while back, there were some guides online teaching you how you can trick PayPal into letting you create an account by using a credit card generator, and it probably worked.

However, PayPal got smarter and started to perform credit card verifications on newly created accounts. The verification process usually meant that PayPal would take a modest sum of money (like $1) from the card or bank account you’ve linked and send a code to your bank account, included in the payment details of the sum they just withdrew.

PayPal anti-scam verification

In order to verify your account, you had to get a bank statement (which is nowadays infinitely easier than it was 10 years ago, given that most of us are using mobile banking apps), obtain the code that PayPal slipped into the payment details, and paste it on the website, in the card- or bank-account-adding dialog. Once you did that, PayPal could verify your account successfully. Once the verification process was over, PayPal would send you a refund for the sum it withdrew from your account for verification.

We’re guessing that this move was to discourage anyone who would try to scam PayPal or PayPal users by making them submit real information that could be verified, which subsequently meant that Paypal users could be held accountable for their potentially shady operations.

Speaking of scams, you probably want to learn more about them, as well as how you can protect yourself from such unfortunate incidents, so in this guide, we’re going to show you some of the most common ways you can get scammed on PayPal as well as how you can keep yourself safe from these cons and their perpetrators.

Common PayPal Scams in 2021

1. Smishing

Paypal scams - smishing

This is arguably the newest method that could be used to scam you if you’re a PayPal user. Although its name might pull a chuckle out of you, this type of scam is not as silly as you think: in fact, it combines two of the most effective ways (phishing and SMS messages) of conning someone to get various things from them, including money and sensitive information that could be further used for unauthorized access.

What’s new about this type of scam is that it makes use of your phone, which means that the scam artists could catch a lot of users off-guard, who may not expect that an attacker could attempt to attack them through this channel. Note that this attack has been observed in various forms: SMS alone, email alone, and a combination of the two, such as sending you an SMS informing you that you’ve received an email regarding an important event occurring on your PayPal account (such as it being banned or limited).

How smishing works

So here’s how the attack works: you receive a message, be it through SMS, email, WhatsApp, Facebook, or a combination of these channels. The attackers add a sense of urgency to their emails so that in the event that they catch you off-guard, you will fall into their trap and provide them with the information they require. Furthermore, the message will sound very official, so as to not raise any suspicions that anyone other than a PayPal representative has sent it.

Usually, this scam message will inform you that your account was banned, locked, or limited, and will ask you to perform a series of actions in order to recover it or prevent it from being deleted altogether (and your funds lost forever). More often than not, these messages will also include a link, that, upon clicking, will lead you to a page that looks almost identical to the PayPal official website, and will ask you to log in to your PayPal account.

If you do put your real PayPal credentials there, you won’t be logged in to your PayPal account. Instead, the scammers will receive your login details and will try to lock you out of your account or steal your money from it. However, most attackers don’t stop there and will ask you additional personal details, such as the street you grew up on, your mother’s maiden name, you know, things that you usually get asked by security questions. Doing so can facilitate easy access to other accounts of yours to the hackers.

Usually, you can figure out that you’ve been scammed moments after handing your PayPal credentials to the phishing page, since most of the time it leads nowhere, or just throws a generic message your way. However, since scammer creativity knows no limit, logging into the phishing page can sometimes prompt you with an error (such as “wrong password“), asking you to try again, but this time redirecting you to the official PayPal website, so as to not raise any suspicions.

Protect yourself against smishing scams

Now that we’ve presented you the worst-case scenario that you could go through in the event of a smishing attack, you’re probably left wondering what you can do to protect yourself against this type of con. It’s quite simple, actually. First of all, you can check if the email address of the sender is legit (PayPal emails should have a @paypal.com suffix). However, email spoofing is still a thing, so you can’t really know for sure just by checking the address.

However, you can simply try visiting the PayPal official website, which is and has been for a long time now PayPal.com, and check if your account is in good standing. If it is, then you can delete the message you received and stop worrying about it. If you still have doubts, you can go to the official PayPal website and contact support to put your doubts to rest.

Note that PayPal has an email address where you can report these fraud attempts. Just forward any email you receive at spoof@paypal.com and delete them afterward.

2. Display name spoofing

Paypal scam - display name spoofing

We’ve casually mentioned some form of spoofing above, but display name spoofing isn’t the same as email address spoofing. We’ll get to the scam in just a few after we briefly explain the differences between these two forms of spoofing. Email address spoofing is essentially sending an email message from a forged address. The scammer usually chooses an official address, so that it seems official.

However, most of the time these emails are detected by major email service providers, such as Gmail, and you can usually notice that they lack security certificates, or that the domain from which the email message is sent couldn’t be verified. On Gmail, for instance, there’s a question mark on the sender’s profile picture, and hovering your mouse cursor over it should inform you that Gmail can’t verify if the email has been sent by the domain owner or a scammer.

How name spoofing scams work

Now with name spoofing, things are somewhat similar. Most email services have ditched displaying the full email address of the contact that’s sending you an email message. You probably noticed that you don’t see email addresses as much in the sender field, and that this information has been replaced with a display name, that everyone can choose for themselves. For instance, if johndoe@domain.com has set his display name to John Doe, you won’t see the email address anymore, and you’ll see John Doe instead.

However, hovering your mouse over the sender’s display name or opening the email source should reveal the email address of the sender. Certain email service providers such as Gmail let you view both the display name and the email address, so you can snip a name spoofing scam right in the bud if you’re vigilant enough.

To give you an example that applies to our scenario, if the attackers aim to get some of your PayPal information, they can change their display name to something relevant, such as PayPal Customer Support or PayPal Tech Support. Pair that with an urgent-looking message such as YOUR ACCOUNT HAS BEEN BLOCKED in all caps, and you got yourself a recipe for disaster.

Most users forget to check the actual email address of the sender, which usually results in losing their account or getting their money stolen without even realizing what happened (until it’s too late, that is). Fortunately, it’s not difficult at all to dodge a display name spoofing attack if you’re careful enough. First and foremost, reputable services such as PayPal don’t use countdown timers that you need to beat before they lock you out of your account, so take your time.

Second of all, merely opening an email doesn’t mean that your account has been compromised. You actually have to take one or two more steps to let that happen. Therefore, you can open the suspicious email and check if the address of the sender looks fishy, such as janedoexyz123@domain.xyz. Attackers resort to email addresses that look like these (we call them burners) because they’re easy to generate and most of them self-destruct after a given period of time.

How to protect against name spoofing

The best way to protect yourself against this type is the same as we’ve mentioned above. Even if the email has that sense of urgency to it, keep in mind that PayPal won’t just delete your account and run away with your money. If you receive a scam email, take a step back and try to be logical about it: access PayPal’s official website and check if everything is alright. If you still think that something is off, try accessing the login manager. You can find it in the Activity category of PayPal’s Settings section.

PayPal login management screen

If you do notice some strange logins on your PayPal account, you should change the password of the email you associated with your account, and if you’ve set an email recovery on that PayPal email, you should also change the password for it. After you’re finished changing passwords, remove the suspicious login from the PayPal login manager and consider enabling 2FA (2-Factor Authentication).

3. Inheritance or advance-payment scam

This is one of the most common (and oldest) types of PayPal scam that’s been going around for as long as I can remember. If you’re a 90s kid, you may remember some of your relatives or acquaintances talking about receiving an email that they’ve won millions of dollars and that they must send an advance payment to unblock the money.

Inheritance or advance-payment scam

A different version of that is the rich prince from Africa who needs to sneak out some money from his country and can’t do it without your help, so he asks you to wire some money to a bank account so that he can trust you and basically this is the oldest trick in the book. There could be literally thousands of versions for this scam, and each one seems to piggyback all the others. Brides who need to get away from their countries, huge lottery wins, inheritance from relatives you never knew you had, tax refunds, you name it, it’s all there.

Now if you didn’t know about any of those, you can keep your eyes peeled and understand that if something seems just too good to be true, it probably is. Back in the day, these scams mainly focused on credit card owners and bank customers, so everyone tried to convince you to wire some money in a specific bank account. Nowadays the targets of these scams can include virtually any form of payment, especially if it’s online.

Therefore, you may notice that a wealthy prince from Africa desperately needs you to send $100 or a similar sum of money via PayPal, or Revolut, or Monese, or Venmo, or even request cryptocurrency from you; the possibilities are endless and these scammers have no shame. Now we don’t want to feel guilty if someone contacts you about winning a legitimate prize and you just brush it off as being a scam, so here’s how you can spot a scam email:

  • There are a lot of grammar errors
  • The sender won’t (likely) use your name, but will address you as Dear, or My Friend, or user, or even use your email address, like “Dear johndoe@domain.com
  • Capitalizing every word, either all caps or the first letter of each word
  • Asks you a lot of personal details, such as your address, full name, or social security number
  • Prompts you to click on a link that looks shady (or doesn’t, scammers got quite clever lately)
  • Due to poor translation, the email rarely makes sense (bad translation, which is immediately obvious and easy to spot)

How to protect against inheritance scams

If you receive such an email message, regardless of the story it tries to feed you, check if there’s any source you can verify with. For instance, if there’s a bank address or phone number, try looking it up and see if the details from the email match the ones on the OFFICIAL website of the bank. Also make sure that the bank (or the business, whatever you find in the email) is a reputable one, and not one that just launched their website minutes ago, or their only presence is on social media (easy to cover).

As usual, if these scammers are trying to compromise your PayPal account, you can report these scammers to PayPal by forwarding the emails you received to spoof@paypal.com. Reportedly, PayPal will go the distance to ensure that the website (domain) that’s been used to (attempt to) trick you will be taken down as soon as possible.

4. Spoofed (fake) hyperlink

This one is usually used in conjunction with other scam methods since it can’t just occur somewhere in the wilderness of the World Wide Web. Therefore, you’ll probably see this one paired with an email, a message, a post somewhere on a forum, or even on a dedicated shady website. The principle behind this scam is very simple: you see a link that’s actually masked as a hyperlink. Or the other way around. Okay, this might sound a bit convoluted, so let us try and simplify.

If you want to create a hyperlink, you’ll need two things: the actual URL that you’re trying to access, and an object that will serve as the access point, whether it’s text, an image, or a different hypertext object. In this scenario, the scammer is using a text-based hyperlink, which means that it will make a piece of text in the email, message, or post, clickable. Once you click that link, it will send you to a certain location on the Internet, most likely a website.

How the fake hyperlink scam works

Some scammers have figured out that if they use an actual URL as the text of their hyperlink, it could trick users into clicking it, believing that it would lead them to wherever the text (fake URL) hinted at. To make it even more believable, they took official PayPal URLs and placed them in their posts, messages, or emails, and linked these texts to malicious phishing websites.

A phishing website is most often a page that tries to imitate its official counterpart. A while back, a phishing page would look nothing like the official website, so it was very easy to spot it and steer away from it. However, nowadays attackers can simply clone a page and use it for their own malevolent purposes, whether it’s stealing your money, or getting their hands on your private information so as to compromise other accounts of yours.

How to avoid fake hyperlink scams

Luckily for you, fake hyperlinks are some of the least dangerous forms of scamming, since you can easily avoid them. If you see a URL that’s also clickable, hover your mouse cursor over it and check if the two links are identical. If they are, then you’re probably safe. If it’s a phishing link, there will be some differences between the two URLs and you need to be very careful about clicking it. We’ve added an example of such a link below, so you can test it and see how misleading it could be to get targeted by such a scam attempt. Don’t worry, it’s perfectly fine to click it.

As you can see, you were expecting to land on PayPal’s home page and the link apparently took you someplace different. In a fake hyperlink scam scenario, you may be asked to put in your login details, which the attacker will collect later on, or you could even compromise your system’s security if the attacker is crafty enough and riddled the landing page with hooks and scripts.

5. Social media scams

Paypal scam - social media

These are the absolute worst since they get sent by virtually anyone who has an account on social media platforms. Even you might’ve sent one such link without having any ulterior motives. Let’s describe a scenario and you decide if it’s similar or not. You’re scrolling on Facebook, and you see a post claiming that you can win $100 or so on PayPal if you just fill out a quick survey, then send the link to 5 of your friends.

How social media scams work

Without hesitation, you click on the link, fill in a survey that has way too many grammar mistakes to be legit, but you shrug it off and think “what’s the worst that could happen?“. Also, the survey is absolutely full of questions that were designed to fish as many personal details about you as possible, and at the end, you’re also asked to provide an email address, so you could be contacted in the event that you won the big prize. Once again, you happily comply.

Before you close it, there’s one more thing you can do, either to increase your odds of winning the big prize or to become eligible, depending on the design of the scam: you have to send the link to 5 of your Facebook friends, so you do that too.

Now, do you see the problem here? You’ve just handed out willingly a lot of sensitive information about you, including your email address, the attacker now knows for a fact that you own a PayPal, since the scam was only addressed to PayPal users, and you’ve helped the attacker perpetrate the scam by single-handedly sending it to 5 of your friends.

If your friends were as enthusiastic as you were, they probably filled in their details, too, more so considering that they’ve received the scam link from a person that they all (hopefully) trust, and at the end, they probably handed out their email addresses too and sent the link to 5 more people. It goes on and on and by the end of it, the scammers have a pretty nifty database comprising a lot of personal data about each and every single one of you, so they could get to work trying to get hold of your PayPal accounts.

However, what we’ve depicted above was just one of the scenarios, and one of the blandest ones, too. Instead of a survey, the link could’ve led you to a phishing website where you could’ve been fooled into handing out your PayPal username and password for a wide variety of reasons. For instance, the scammer could mention that you need to perform a PayPal authorization to receive some sort of payment or prize and that usually involves logging in to your account.

We’ve mentioned above that social media scams are the worst, because platforms have awful content filters, and it’s easy to understand why giving that most of these platforms have literally billions of users, which makes it downright impossible to track everyone. If that’s not bad enough, consider that all of these social media platforms let you buy advertisement slots and create promoted posts, and some of these platforms do an absolutely terrible job at filtering out scams.

Every once in a while, we stumble upon social media advertisements that seem to come from big companies. Now here’s the kicker: almost all of these scam advertisements seem to celebrate some sort of anniversary of the company mentioned in the ad, and promises to shower you in gifts if you do a bunch of tasks, all of which take place on a certain website, where the ad takes you. Do you see where this is headed? People see stuff on social media, assume it’s legit, fall in the scammers’ traps, and that’s the end of it.

How to avoid social media scams

If you want to avoid this type of scam, take a look at who’s posting it and follow it upstream until you find the original poster. On social media, that’s incredibly easy to do. There’s an off-chance that you will reach an official, legitimate company that’s really trying to reward its customer base for their loyalty, but that’s usually easy to spot, since the big company will also have posts related to the giveaway/event, and will be extremely open about it.

If you encounter a cheap knock-off page of the official company or entity that’s either claiming that they’re actually the official page, or that they’re official partners, stay away from anything they post and don’t shy away from letting other people know that there’s a scam involved. Good prevention measures mean that the scam has fewer chances to spread organically. As an added measure, you can go ahead and report them if the social media platform you’re using gives you that option.

6. Accidental overpayment scam

Accidental overpayment scam

This one occurs a lot less often than others since it involves the scammer going to extreme lengths with both its creativity and financial resources. The scam goes like this: you’re selling a product on the Internet, and you’re approached by buyers who offer to send you money for that product on PayPal. You give them the PayPal address, send the product, receive payment, and notice that the buyer has sent you a higher amount than you requested.

Now you may be approached again by the buyer, who asks you to refund the extra amount, but also asks you if you can refund the amount on a different PayPal account. While this may seem quite harmless at first, here’s what’s actually happening behind the scenes. Most likely the scammer has stolen a PayPal account and has intentionally sent you a larger amount of money for that product.

You send the item you were selling to the destination address that the buyer specified during the transaction, and then you send the extra amount of money to the scammer’s “real” PayPal address. Now here’s where it gets ugly: if the person who owned the stolen PayPal account figured out that their account has been compromised, they can report fraudulent activity, and PayPal can help them cancel the payment and get a full refund of their stolen amount of money.

This is the absolute worst-case scenario, seeing as you not only lose the product you were selling, you also lose the money you received for it from the scammer, and you also lose the amount you refunded to the scammer’s real PayPal account. After receiving the money, the scammer could spend it and delete their PayPal account, making it even more difficult to trace them and recover your losses.

Note that the scammer might not ask you for a refund, but you could still lose the money and the product you’re selling if the account that’s used to buy your product is a stolen one, and the original owner of the account reports the fraud to PayPal.

In this case, the scammer pays you from a stolen PayPal account, you send the product to the specified address, the scammer receives your item, then the real account owner catches wind of what’s happening, reports the fraud, PayPal then returns the money to their rightful owner by taking them from your account, and you’re once again at a loss.

How to avoid overpayment scams

If you want to avoid overpayment scams, just cancel the order, contact PayPal as soon as possible, and report potential fraud. Also, you may want to wait before you send the product, just enough for PayPal to sort things out for you. Remember that it rarely happens for a buyer to overpay, and it almost never happens that a buyer requests a refund to a different account.

Unfortunately, this method is only effective for overpayment scenarios, since there’s absolutely no way for you to know that the account that recently bought stuff from you has been hacked, more so considering that information mismatch between a specified shipping address and buyer information is completely normal.

If you’re even a bit suspicious about certain buyers’ PayPal accounts legitimacy, your safest bet would be to contact PayPal and inform them of your suspicions. We already know that PayPal provides you with buyer protection by helping you get a refund if you can prove that you were scammed, but few people know that PayPal also offers fraud protection services for merchants.

PayPal is quite proficient at investigating these issues by simply contacting the buyers and asking them to confirm the personal information on their account.

Another thing you could do to check if the account you’re receiving the offer from has been hacked is to contact the buyer yourself via email and ask them about the purchase. If you notice that the buyer has no idea what you’re on about, cancel the order. Last, but not least, you can try to delay the shipment of your products for a while, at least until PayPal sorts things out for you.

7. Investment opportunity and/or charity scam

Paypal - investment scam

These scams can be safely placed in the oldest tricks in the book category since they’re not exactly fresh on the scam market. You may have heard about pyramid or Ponzi schemes, so we’re gonna go ahead and say that those always start as investment opportunities that you simply can’t pass. You receive a presentation and acknowledge that you’ll have to put in a little elbow grease, you start at the bottom, you bring more people, you put in some money, and you hope that you’ll move up towards the top.

However, that never happens and after you’ve recruited a number of persons, you get the boot, and by the time you realize the mess you’ve got yourself into, it’s quite a bit late to tell your friends and family that they’re also gonna go down with you. Well, if this even remotely rings a bell, then you know what you’re up against when it comes to investment opportunity scams on PayPal and probably know how to steer away from them already.

How investment/charity scams work

If not, then let us be your guide for a few minutes. We’re not saying that you should avoid every investment opportunity that you come across (we couldn’t stand the guilt of keeping you from becoming a billionaire), but you should at least be careful who you’re doing business with. Oftentimes, if an investment opportunity sounds too good to be true, it probably is.

A sincere business person who can offer you extremely accurate predictions of how your investment will multiply its value over the course of mere months, or even weeks for the most daring ones, is, unfortunately, a unicorn nowadays. There are some businesses that can break through and help you increase your investment, but they’re definitely not the kind of businesses that send you emails full of grammar errors, misspelled words, and a scammy-looking presentation.

You know the kind: bright, with designs inspired (if not downright shamelessly copied) from Microsoft Word’s Word Art, poor-quality pictures, a lot of words but no actual useful information, and not to forget the several promises that you’re going to be rich with a minimum investment of “just <insert a medium-high sum of money here>.”

Your first red flag should be that no respectable business person will ever request money from you through email, and via PayPal on top of everything. Most serious businesses hold meetings and open presentations, in order to gain the trust of their investors and not feel like a shady back-alley dealing of sorts. If you’re serious about investing, you can use Google to lookup more information about the company or individual you’re trying to partner with.

If the entity is known for being shady, you’ll stumble upon bad reviews or experiences from other users who encountered the company or individual you’re interested in. There’s a chance that you’ll find absolutely nothing on the company or person who presented you with the investment opportunity, which is an equally important red flag, and you’ll want to steer right away from any potential partnership, especially if you never met the person before and just received an email prompting you to invest money via PayPal for a “great investment opportunity.”

Although it’s highly immoral, some people back away from nothing when it comes to making a quick buck, so the scenarios we’ve depicted above can be also encountered under a different mask: charities. You could receive emails with sob stories about a wide variety of cases, ranging from starving children to abused animals or sick war veterans who were forgotten.

Despite that most of these sob stories can be real or at least inspired from reality, sometimes scammers try to exploit your soft side and persuade you into handing over large amounts of money to fight for these causes, when in fact the only cause you’ll be helping will be the scammer’s plan to buy a new car. If you do want to donate money to charity, you can look the charities up and donate on official websites.

Another great alternative would be looking up local headquarters of charity organizations and make the donation physically. That way you’ll know the money doesn’t go to a random online scammer.

8. Crypto scams

Paypal - crypto scam

A few months back, PayPal introduced cryptocurrency support, which means that you can now not only buy and sell various cryptocurrencies on PayPal but also HODL (Hold On for Dear Life) or checkout using crypto. Although this is without a doubt a step in the right direction for the popular online payment processor, it also invites a new series of exploits, scam attempts, and con artists who can’t wait to get their hands on your hard-earned virtual currency.

Under no circumstances do we advise against investing in cryptocurrencies, but we do advocate exercising caution whenever you’re handling virtual currency online, whether it’s crypto coins or money you’re holding in your PayPal account. However, we’ve gone back and forth on traditional currencies on PayPal, and cryptocurrency deserves a chapter on its own, especially considering that it behaves wildly differently than US Dollars, Euros, or British Pound Sterling, for instance.

How crypto scams work

One of the most common scams that you can accidentally stumble upon is the abandoned wallet scenario. It goes like this: you just happen to find a seemingly abandoned crypto wallet out of the blue, or you receive an email containing a URL that leads you to what appears to be an online crypto wallet service, and in the same email you find a username or an email address and a password for the said wallet.

Curiosity beats you, so you decide to give it a look and click the URL, then use the username/email address and password combination to unblock the wallet. Lo and behold, you discover that the wallet is not empty; in fact, it does have 0.9x something of a popular coin within it (usually Bitcoin, since it’s one of the most popular and most expensive coins on the crypto market).

At first, your heart skips a beat; you can’t believe that you just happened to find a wallet holding nothing short of a few tens of thousands of bucks within it, so you decide to transfer it to your own wallet, or cash it out. Although it’s not exactly a moral move on your side, we’re not here to judge. So you jump through the hoops, access menus, click buttons, and ultimately you reach the address field, where you need to provide the website with a crypto address where it should transfer the coins.

Now here’s where it gets shady; the website that hosts the crypto wallet has a minimum withdrawal value of 1 Bitcoin, and the wallet only has 0.9x (replace x with any 0-9 digit, since no two scams are apparently the same), and that gets you thinking and doing theoretical maths in your head. If you top up the crypto wallet with the difference and make it up to 1 Bitcoin, you can withdraw it, right?

Worst case scenario, if the wallet only has 0.9 BTC in it, you have to top it with 0.1 BTC, which is nothing short of 3.7 thousand dollars at the time being. However, you may be tempted to think that if you pull it off, you’ll still take home 0.9 BTC, which currently is almost 34 grand.

How to protect from crypto scams

Before you get all worked up from the potential gains you could earn in such a short time, allow us to burst your bubble; the whole thing is a scam, and all you need to do to figure it out yourself is just take a step back, breathe deeply, and reconsider all the facts. You didn’t just stumble upon an abandoned wallet, somebody planted it there and waited for somebody to take the bait. As soon as you top up the account, the crypto you put in will be lost forever on the blockchain and you’ll even be locked out of the abandoned wallet.

And if we do know a thing or two about cryptocurrency is that most of it are untraceable, as soon as it stays in its crypto form. So even if you go to your local police precinct and file a report for fraud, they might not be able to do anything to help you. Sure, the website might be taken down, but we assure you that more will spawn at a moment’s notice.

Unfortunately, what we’ve described above is merely one possible scenario involving cryptocurrency, as the creativity of con artists knows no limits. If you do decide to invest in crypto, regardless if you do it on PayPal or another crypto exchange platform, you should always be aware of the links you click, the webpages you may land on, and the messages you may receive, regardless of whether they promise you a lifetime of being rich or just making a quick buck at a moment’s notice.


All things considered, if you’re a PayPal user and still think that scammers only exist in the news, we’ve got some bad news for you: they’re very real, and there’s a high chance you’ll encounter at least some of them as long as you keep your business on the Internet.

Although PayPal makes efforts to snip these con attempts in the bud, apparently they’re still flourishing, so you should always be on the look for any suspicious activity, whether you’re an honest merchant who prefers using PayPal to bank transfers or cash, or you’re a buyer who likes having a middleman (PayPal) in case anything goes wrong.

It’s worth mentioning that PayPal offers protection to both buyers and merchants, so if you think that the person you’re trying to do business with on PayPal is acting strange, don’t shy away from contacting PayPal and telling them all about it. For any scam emails, PayPal even has a dedicated email address (spoof@paypal.com) where you can forward the messages you received so they can handle things from there.

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