Photo : Muhammad Asyfaul - Unsplash

PayPal scam: watch out for fake refunds! 💰

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When using PayPal for your transactions, be careful! A new scam is currently targeting users of this online payment service. Strangers send you money by mistake and then ask you to pay it back. It may seem harmless, but it’s a fearsome trap.

The scam scenario 😥

The scammers start by making a transfer to your PayPal account. After receiving the money, they quickly contact you, claiming they’ve made a mistake and asking for your honesty in returning the money. The real scam lies in the way they ask you to refund the money: by using the « Friends & Family » option. This method, which avoids transaction fees, does not benefit from PayPal’s buyer protection.

At the same time, the fraudster, who originally sent the money via the « For goods and services » option, is covered by PayPal’s buyer protection. This means that once he has notified PayPal that his payment was a mistake, he can get his money back. If you made the refund via « Friends & Family », you have no protection. The money you sent back disappears, with no way of getting it back. The fraudster gets reimbursed twice, while you lose your money.

Precautionary measures ⚠️

To avoid falling into this trap, it’s crucial never to use the « Friends & Family » option to refund money to an unknown or unverified person. If someone contacts you claiming to have made a transfer error, it’s best to use the « Issue refund » option in PayPal. This feature allows you to send the money back without it being considered a new transaction, thus preventing any attempt at a double refund.

PayPal also recommends that you never pay any suspicious invoices or payment requests. If you receive a suspicious e-mail or message, it is advisable to report it directly to PayPal by forwarding the message to The company will then take the necessary steps to investigate and deal with the potential fraud.

Do you use PayPal? If so, have you ever been a victim of scams? Tell us in the comments section.


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