Fake PayPal emails lead to over £1 million in losses

Monday February 3rd, 2020

Action Fraud is warning people selling items online to be on the lookout for fraudsters sending fake PayPal

Between October 2019 and December 2019, 3,059 crime reports were made to Action Fraud about fake PayPal emails.
Victims reported losing a total of £1,121,446 during this time.
Those targeted include people selling electronics, vehicles, phones and household furniture via online marketplaces

How the scam works
Fraudsters will send the victim an email purporting to be from PayPal in attempt to trick them into believing they have received payment for an item.
The fraudster will then send a follow-up email requesting a tracking number in the hope that the victim will be rushed into shipping the item before they have had a chance to verify the payment.
What you need to do?
Sellers beware: If you’re selling items on an online marketplace, such as eBay, be aware of the warning signs that your buyer is a scammer. Don’t be persuaded into sending anything until you can verify you’ve received the payment.
Scam messages: Don’t click on the links or attachments in suspicious emails, and never respond to messages that ask for your personal or financial details.
Listen to your instincts: If something feels wrong then it is usually right to question it.
Remember, if you have been a victim of fraud or cyber crime, report it to Action Fraud online or by calling 0300 123 2040.
Log into PayPal: If you receive a suspicious email, don’t act on the message or click on any links. Instead, open your browser, log into PayPal and check for any new activity. PayPal will also email or notify you in the app if you’ve received any payments.
Check the basics: Look out for misspellings and grammatical errors, which can be a tell-tale sign of a scam.
Verify an email’s authenticity: Phishing scams will often mimic the look and feel of PayPal emails, and ask you for sensitive information – something that real PayPal emails will never do.
How to spot the difference: A PayPal email will address you by your first and last name, or your business name, and we will never ask you for your full password, bank account, or credit card details in a message.
Avoid following links: If you receive an email you think is suspicious, do not click on any links or download any attachments. You can check where a link is going before you click on it by hovering over it – does it look legitimate?
Keep tabs on your information: Limit the number of places where you store your payment information online by using a secure digital wallet like PayPal. If you are making a purchase online, consider using a protected payment method such as PayPal, so if your purchase doesn’t arrive or match the product description, PayPal can reimburse you.
Easiest of all, use common sense: If a deal seems too good to be true, it probably is! Stay clear of exceptional deals or anything that is significantly reduced in price from what you would expect to pay.
If you think that you’ve received a phishing email, you can forward it to [email protected], without changing the subject line. PayPal will let you know whether it is fraudulent.
More information about our protection policies please visit our site:

Leave a Reply