How to spot PayPal scams

No matter how many times you use the popular selling sites and apps such as eBay or Shpock you may still get caught out on one occasion, that one occasion could cost you a substantial or small amount. Either amounts, it’s not a nice feeling when you know you have lost out.

When selling through these sites you will more often or not come across PayPal somewhere in the transaction.

PayPal is involved with millions of transactions throughout the year and can be used on various shopping websites which include fast food orders from well known retailers such as Dominos and Pizza Hut.

Unfortunately, it is also used to scam thousands of victims each year as fraudsters use the services name to get the better of unsuspecting individuals through the use of phishing emails.

Phishing emails have been covered before on JLV Tech Support when fraudsters used the DVLA to launch a tax scam email and more recently Brexit was the topic of phishing emails.

Not all online shoppers are aware of the difference between a phishing email and one that is sent from a genuine company but there are in fact a few signs to look out for.

Below is an example of an email received by a seller. The email encourages the seller to post the item in question and then the funds will be released into your account upon receipt of shipping details.

An example of a phishing email that was sent to a victim. The email is advising the seller that payment will be withheld until the package is sent.
An example of a phishing email that was sent to a victim. The email is advising the seller that payment will be withheld until the package is sent.

The email of course is completely fake, but did you spot the signs?

  1. Senders email – Whilst is in fact a genuine PayPal email address, is not. This is a service that allows you to create a free email address and is most commonly used by scammers.
  2. Who it was addressed to – PayPal will always address you by either your first and last name, or the business name on the account. They will never use just your email address as a greeting. In this instance the email address of the victim has been blacked out for anonymity.
  3. Content – This sign takes more investigating and actually depends on how observant with emails you receive. A professional company are not going to allow emails sent to their customers with spelling or grammar mistakes in them. Even small details such as the double space in the example above between “received” and “you”
  4. ‘Contact us’ – The email finishes by asking you if you have any problems to contact Copying and pasting this address into your email will in fact send it to PayPal, but clicking the link will not. Hovering over the link will reveal it’s true destination of the address.

If you are sent an email that claims to be from PayPal and you are unsure whether or not it is in fact genuine, then these can be forwarded to them directly on



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