Can you get scammed by giving someone your PayPal email address? PayPal is generally safe for buyers and sellers and communicated information between your device and PayPal’s servers is secure and encrypted when you’re on a secure network. However, you can be targeted in phishing scams when you give someone your PayPal email address.
For example, you can receive a fake PayPal payment email that appears to be from PayPal showing that funds have been transferred into your account pending confirmation. The email could even come with a link for you to click that can eventually compromise your account.
Can you get scammed by giving someone your PayPal email address?
I do understand your worry. Generally, your details are safe with PayPal. So, if another person knows the email address you use to access PayPal, you’re still on the safe side unless you’ve disclosed your personal information, such as information relating to your finance, passcode, or security questions.
But can you get scammed by giving someone your PayPal email address? PayPal detects access and attempted access to every account closely, in case of any unusual activity, they will notify you. In addition to that, PayPal uses state of the art technology to detect and prevent fraud. This mobile payment platform also has credible and competent teams of review agents, and there hasn’t been any case of PayPal being hacked.
Even if someone does gain access to your account, PayPal offers 100% security against unauthorized transactions.
Meanwhile, if you intend to go the extra mile, one action to consider would be to log out of the email address you use for PayPal. Just supply the new email address, confirm, and then choose it as your primary. After that, just delete the previous one. That way, they can not attempt to guess your password if the email address doesn’t match any account.
Dangers of giving out PayPal email
A lot of malicious online activities beg the question “Is PayPal safe to receive money from strangers?” Well, PayPal is generally safe to receive money from strangers but you risk encountering a scammer who will try to rip you off your money and items.
Below are possible scams to look for on PayPal:
Fake sender email address
Fraudsters can fake the “friendly name” in the sender’s email address. For example, an email could seem to be from “PayPal Services” but in reality, it could have been sent from email@example.com.
Some email providers make it difficult to view the sender’s name. However, hovering your cursor over the friendly name, long-pressing the sender name, or tapping “Reply” should let you view the full email address of the sender. Experienced fraudsters can fake all the names to look like legitimate senders, so you must be careful when you receive such emails.
Though verifying a correct sender address is necessary, there’s still more. It’s important to look at all the emails you receive. When you look at your account, always enter www.paypal.com into your browser instead of clicking a link in an email you suspect is not from PayPal.
First of all, does someone need your email to send you money on PayPal? YES, your email address is needed to send you PayPal money but you won’t get scammed by giving someone your PayPal email address.
Now, fraudsters may proceed with making payment to a seller’s PayPal account that is more than the actual cost of the item they are purchasing. Then they will reach out to the seller, explain that they made an excessive payment, and will request for the remaining balance to be sent back to them.
After the seller sends back the excessive amount, the scammer sends a complaint to PayPal claiming that their account was hacked and that they never intended to make a payment to the seller initially. PayPal reimburses the full original payment back to the fraudster, and even if the seller hasn’t shipped out the item they bought yet, they’ve still lost the excessive amount they sent back to the scammer. Now, this also answers the question “Can you get scammed by someone paying you on PayPal?” Or “Can you get scammed on PayPal receiving money?”
Fortunately, this scheme is very avoidable. One good option is to decline any form of direct payment via PayPal, and instead ask customers to use the checkout system provided on the specific platform. Even if you decide to allow direct payments, however, you can still avoid this scam by refunding all the purchases and demanding a new payment for the actual purchase amount.
PayPal fake email
Fraudsters may send sellers fake emails that look like those from PayPal, stating that they made payment into the seller’s account and that PayPal has locked the funds on hold and will not unlock them until the seller sends a shipment tracking number.
Locking funds in this manner is not something PayPal does. The scammer is hoping that you will hastily ship the item and send over a tracking number to receive the money. Once the item gets shipped, it becomes too late; the scammer will receive the item which they did not pay for, and the seller loses.
Some fraudsters may also attempt to make a persuading duplicate of a normal PayPal sale notification email sent to the seller to convince them.
Because many sellers get customer information from these emails and ship the item out immediately, a fake email could lead to a real product shipment.
PayPal sellers can also become victims of phishing scams, thus, getting scammed by giving someone your PayPal email address. The seller might receive an email that seems to be from PayPal showing that funds have been forwarded into their account awaiting confirmation, with a link or button for the seller to click that will make the money readily available to them.
The malicious link will take you to a fake PayPal site that will ask for your login details. If you input your email and password into the fake site, the fraudster will be able to use them to access your PayPal account, which gets you scammed by giving someone your PayPal email address.
Traditional phishing scams with huge offers of millions of dollars for a small investment have been frequent for almost as long as email phishing. Now, these fraudsters are targeting PayPal users.
Fraudsters will request a little amount for some sort of processing fee or documentation with the promise of huge financial returns in terms of lost inheritances or other found money. Of course, they never have intentions of sending you any money, but will simply get away with the smaller amount you forwarded to them. Even though this scheme has become fairly rampant, millions of people still become a victim of these fraudsters every year.
Both phishing scams and other kinds of fake email scams can be prevented simply by getting familiar with and practicing good cybersecurity measures.
Always look at the main address an email was sent from, not just the name that is displayed.
Never click any link or download any attachments when you see an unusual or suspicious email. Do not fill in your personal information like your password or credit card number into any webpage linked to you. If need be that you log in to a website, move to the homepage, and log in from there.
Can someone hack your PayPal account with your email address? When someone else’s PayPal account has been hacked by a fraudster (mostly through a phishing scam), they can use the account to purchase items online and also pay for them with the money in it. In many cases, this scam is known as ‘PayPal carding”.
What can you do?
A seller can ship an item when he has been notified of a purchase only to be told later by PayPal that the transaction must be reversed because it’s a fraudulent one. Traders can be repaid by PayPal’s Seller Protection Program if the transaction is eligible. Therefore, traders who use PayPal should be sure that all the requirements of the Seller Protection Program are met to have protection from purchases made with hacked accounts.
Common scams where fraudsters use phishing emails:
Phishing email warnings such as “Your account is about to be suspended” are usually sent by most scammers. They will ask the owner of the account to enter their password on a phishing webpage. Be mindful of this scam because you will never be asked by PayPal to enter your passcode unless you are on the login page.
Any suspected email should be reported by forwarding it to firstname.lastname@example.org. This can help secure you and other PayPal users.
Some scammers will send a “You’ve been paid” notification, to convince you into thinking that you have received a payment. They want to get whatever you are selling for free. So, before any goods are shipped, do well to confirm payment by logging into your PayPal account.
Fraudsters may send an email such as “You have been paid too much” to trick you into thinking that you have been paid more than the stipulated amount for a particular good. For instance, a phishing email will say that the sum of $600 has been paid into your account for a camera listed at $450. Here, the fraudster wants your money and camera for free because he will ask that the $150 balance mistakenly sent should be returned. Just log into your account and confirm that you’ve been paid before anything is sent. You can try returning the entire amount and ask the seller to repeat the payment with the correct figure because they will contact PayPal and file a dispute to get the whole money back and you just the returned amount, and probably the shipped items.
Fake PayPal accounts
Another way dishonest people can scam on PayPal is to create a fake, stealth PayPal account, and pretend the account belongs to someone else by using an email address similar to yours.
Fraudsters create a PayPal account and then one or more social media pages with claims of being a charity organization that is set up to help people who have been affected by the disaster. They then make use of bot accounts or paid advertising to send out posts by the fake charity account encouraging people to donate.
The deceptive part about this thing is that many people don’t really know they’ve been scammed because they think their money went to charity when it truly went into the pocket of a fraudster.
In another scheme, a person may create a fake storefront using the name of a real business and direct buyers to transfer funds to their PayPal account. While not very usual, this scam can be very detrimental to the merchant’s name that was used, leaving them with so many dissatisfied customers they never had anything to do with.
How can you tell a PayPal scammer email?
An original email from PayPal will:
a. Come from paypal.com
Fraudsters can easily falsify the “friendly name,” but it’s more difficult to falsify the full name. A sender like “PayPal Service (email@example.com)” is never a message from PayPal. But experienced fraudsters can sometimes falsify the full name, so look for other clues.
b. Address you by your first and last names or your business name
An email from PayPal won’t:
- Demand for personal information like your password, or credit card number from you.
- Contain any attachments or request that you download or install any software.
- Contain bogus links.
If there’s a link in an email, always inspect it before you proceed to click it. A link could appear perfectly safe like www.paypal.com/SpecialOffers, but if you move your mouse over the link you’ll see the real destination.
If you are not sure, you should not click on the link. Just visiting a malicious website could get your device infected with a virus.
If you are to click any link in an email received by PayPal, ensure that you review the URL of the landing site. It is easy for these fraudsters to copy or clone an authorized website, so you need to observe and be sure that you are on the appropriate website. This way, you won’t get scammed by giving someone your PayPal email address.