Common PayPal Scams and How to Avoid Them

4 Common PayPal Scams and How to Avoid Them

Published on: November 10, 2023
Last Updated: November 10, 2023

4 Common PayPal Scams and How to Avoid Them

Published on: November 10, 2023
Last Updated: November 10, 2023

Ever clicked on an email from PayPal asking for your password or noticed a payment you don’t remember making?

If that made you pause and think, “Is this legit?” then you’re already on the right track to spotting a PayPal scam.

But what exactly is a PayPal scam, and how can you make sure you never fall for one?

Let’s dive in and find out.

What is a PayPal Scam?

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Imagine you’re walking down the street and someone says they’ll give you $50 if you just give them your wallet to hold for a second.

Sounds sketchy, right? A PayPal scam is kind of like that, but it happens online.

It’s when someone tries to trick you into giving them money or your personal info by pretending to be PayPal or someone who uses PayPal.

They might send you an email that looks like it’s from PayPal, but it’s not.

Or they might set up a fake website that looks like a place you can buy things, but they just take your money and run.

It’s like a digital pickpocket.

Most Common PayPal Scams

Paypal to Twitch

1. False PayPal Invoice Scam

A false PayPal invoice scam involves receiving an invoice through your email that claims to be from PayPal.

This invoice will list items or services that you did not purchase, with the expectation that you will pay it.

Scammers are counting on the chance that you may not notice the error and will pay the invoice without question.

It’s important to always review your invoices carefully and verify any purchases listed before making a payment.

2. PayPal Password Reset Scam

In a PayPal password reset scam, you might receive an email that appears to be from PayPal, urging you to reset your password.

This email will typically include a link that directs you to a fraudulent website.

If you enter your current details on this website, the scammers will have access to your account.

Always be wary of unsolicited password reset emails and never input your personal information into websites you haven’t navigated to directly from the official PayPal site.

3. PayPal Order Confirmation Phishing Scam

This type of scam involves an email that falsely claims to be a purchase confirmation from PayPal.

The email is designed to alarm you, making you think that someone has accessed your account to make a purchase.

Often paired with a PayPal invoice scam, PayPal email scams will often include a link that the email claims will let you cancel the transaction.

However, this link leads to a phishing website designed to steal your login credentials.

If you receive an unexpected order confirmation, log into your PayPal account directly to check for any unauthorized transactions.

4. PayPal Invalid Shipping Address Scam

For those who sell goods online, the PayPal invalid shipping address scam is particularly relevant.

After a sale, you may receive an email that looks like it’s from PayPal, indicating that the payment has been made but the shipping address provided by the buyer is incorrect.

The scammer will ask you to ship the item to a different address.

However, this is a tactic to get you to send the item without actually receiving a valid payment.

Always confirm payment within your actual PayPal account and use the shipping address provided there to avoid this scam.

Can You Get Your Money Back After Being Scammed on PayPal?

If you find that you have been scammed on PayPal, there is a possibility of getting your money back.

PayPal offers buyer and seller protection programs that may cover you in the event of a scam.

These programs allow you to dispute transactions and seek a refund.

However, there are specific conditions and processes you must follow, and not all types of transactions are covered.

It’s essential to file a dispute as soon as you suspect a scam and provide all the necessary information to support your claim.

How to Avoid Phishing Scams on PayPal?

PayPal Choices 938

Be Cautious of Unsolicited Emails or Messages

If you get an email or message out of the blue that says it’s from PayPal, think twice.

It’s like getting a letter from a king far away – it might not be for real.

Always double-check to make sure it’s actually from PayPal before you do anything, since it is most likely one of those PayPal email scams.

Avoid Clicking on Email Links

When you get an email from “PayPal,” don’t just click on any links inside.

Instead, open up your browser and type in the PayPal URL yourself.

It’s like making sure you’re walking into the right store, not a fake one that just looks like it.

Check for Secure Connections

Before you enter any personal details on a PayPal page, ensure the URL begins with ‘https://’ and includes the correct domain.

It’s like checking for a badge before you let a police officer into your home – you want to make sure they’re the real deal.

Set Up Two-Factor Authentication

Bolster your PayPal account’s defenses with two-factor authentication.

It’s like adding a deadbolt to your door; even if a scammer has your key (password), they can’t easily waltz in without the second code.

Monitor Your PayPal Transactions

Regularly review your PayPal transactions as if you’re a detective looking for clues.

If you spot a transaction that looks out of place, it could be a sign of a scam.

Keeping a close watch can help you catch these discrepancies early.

Report Suspicious Emails or Phishing Attempts

Got a sketchy email pretending to be from PayPal? Don’t just delete it – report it.

By alerting PayPal, you’re helping them, and countless others, stay one step ahead of scammers.

If it looks like one of those PayPal email scams, it probably is.

Educate Yourself and Stay Informed

Knowledge is power, especially when it comes to avoiding scams.

Stay updated on the latest scam tactics, and share what you learn with friends and family.

The more you know, the harder it is for scammers to fool you.

Using a Password Manager to Protect Against PayPal Scams

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Strong, Unique Passwords

Imagine having an uncrackable code for every lock you own.

That’s what a password manager does for your online accounts.

It creates tough-to-crack passwords that are as unique as fingerprints, so even if a scammer gets their hands on one, they can’t unlock any of your other accounts, including PayPal.

Auto-Fill Login Credentials

A password manager is like a trusted friend who knows the way to your home and opens the door for you.

When you visit the real PayPal site, it fills in your login details automatically.

This means you’re less likely to be fooled by a fake site dressed up to look like PayPal.

Protection from Phishing

Password managers are like watchdogs for your digital life.

They come with tools that sniff out the bad sites.

If you land on a fake PayPal page, your password manager won’t give away your secrets – it simply won’t auto-fill your login details, tipping you off that something’s fishy.

Secure Storage

Think of a password manager as a safe buried in a fortress.

It locks away your PayPal password with layers of encryption, making it nearly impossible for thieves to dig it up.

Your digital valuables are kept out of reach from the prying eyes of cybercriminals.

Password Strength Analysis

A password manager doesn’t just guard your current passwords – it’s also like a personal trainer for them.

It’ll tell you when your passwords are weak and need beefing up, ensuring your PayPal account is secured with only the strongest of passwords.

Random Password Generation

With a password manager, creating a new password is like rolling a set of dice that never lands on the same numbers twice.

It generates complex, random passwords that are incredibly tough for hackers to predict, keeping your PayPal account locked tight.

Reduced Human Error

Humans make mistakes, but password managers don’t.

They take the human error out of logging in by automating the process.

This means you’re less likely to accidentally type your PayPal password into a scammer’s site, keeping you one step ahead of trouble.

In essence, a password manager is like having a personal bodyguard for your online identity.

It fortifies your defenses, keeps a vigilant eye out for imposters, and ensures that your PayPal account is a fortress that scammers can’t easily breach.

NordPass: Your Ally Against PayPal Scams


Created by Cybersecurity Experts

NordPass isn’t just any password manager; it’s designed by the brains behind Nord Security, known for their expertise in the cyber safety realm.

👉 Get NordPass Here

It’s like having a cybersecurity expert personally looking after your passwords.

One-Click Complexity

NordPass One Click Convenience

With NordPass, creating and using complicated passwords is as easy as clicking a button.

It takes care of the heavy lifting, storing, and auto-filling passwords for you.

It’s like having a personal assistant who remembers all your complicated passwords so you don’t have to.

Share Safely with Trusted Contacts

Need to share a password with someone you trust?

NordPass lets you do that securely, without ever revealing the actual password.

You control who sees what and for how long, just like lending a key but with the power to take it back anytime.

Check Your Password Health

NordPass Generate Passwords

NordPass is like a doctor for your passwords.

The Password Health feature scans your saved passwords, spots the weak ones, and helps you change them to something much stronger.

It’s a regular check-up to keep your online health in tip-top shape.

Top-Notch Security Features

NordPass Securely store passkeys

NordPass uses the XChaCha20 encryption algorithm, which is like a high-tech vault for your passwords.

Plus, with its zero-knowledge architecture, even NordPass doesn’t know your passwords.

And with biometric authentication, it’s like having a fingerprint scanner ensuring that only you can access your password vault.

Accessible and Powerful


NordPass is user-friendly, making it a breeze to improve your password strength and generate new, complex passwords.

It’s like having a bodyguard for your online credentials, always there to ensure they’re safe and sound.

👉 Get NordPass Here

By choosing NordPass, you’re not just choosing a password manager.

You’re opting for peace of mind, knowing that your PayPal account and other credentials are under the watchful eye of top-tier security technology.

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Written by Trevor Cooke

Trevor Cooke is an accomplished technology writer with a particular focus on privacy and security. He specializes in topics such as VPNs, encryption, and online anonymity. His articles have been published in a variety of respected technology publications, and he is known for his ability to explain complex technical concepts in a clear and accessible manner.