Criminals are constantly finding new ways to steal money from innocent people using PayPal fraud. Their methods usually rely on dubious emails or trick fraud via shops like eBay. The new variant, however, takes advantage of your decency.

Anyone who has come into frequent contact with news about PayPal fraud will hopefully be a little more vigilant when it comes to dubious emails or dealers in online shops. But what if, out of nowhere, an amount of money arrives via PayPal that you didn’t expect?

This is how the scam that is currently doing the rounds works. As reported by ZDF, among others, PayPal users are increasingly receiving a sum of money from an unknown account. A short time later, however, the following message follows: “Sorry, I made a mistake in the email address. Could you send the money back using the ‘Friends and Family’ option?”

Some people might think that this can happen to anyone. This is exactly what the criminals are after. If you actually send the money back via the “Friends and Family” option, the second step follows. The fraudulent account sent the original shipment of funds for “goods and services” and is requesting a refund from PayPal because they did not receive the alleged goods or services.

Since the first return was made via “friends and family”, buyer protection does not apply. PayPal now becomes active and debits the amount from your account a second time. Thanks to this PayPal fraud, you will incur damages equal to the amount of money you originally received.

As already mentioned, PayPal fraud works thanks to the various payment methods. For this reason, you will be explicitly asked in the message to send the money back via “Friends and Family”. But there is a very simple way out of the trap.

Every transaction via PayPal can be reversed directly using the “Send Refund” function. The payment category specified by the sender is automatically used and PayPal can link the return to the criminals’ deceptive money shipment.

You should always use this solution when you receive money from strangers. This way you can efficiently prevent PayPal fraud and not have to worry about any consequences. In addition, as always: stay calm and be suspicious at all times when coming into contact with strangers.

If you have already fallen victim to this method, the only option is to contact customer service. Here you should submit all messages and data so that your case can be processed adequately and, in the best case, the corresponding amount can be refunded to you.

Source: ZDF

By Tim Petzerling

The original for this article “New scam at PayPal: First there is money, then a bad surprise follows” comes from