PayPal Scams

KPD Chief Eric Braathen is reporting that there is a new PayPal scam.


In short, if you are planning to sell anything of value on the Internet, be advised that you may start to receive offers wanting to purchase the item using PayPal but, not the normal PayPal procedure. These “buyers” will tell you they are willing to pay the asking price and want to use PayPal because it is “secure”.

However, they then deviate from standard PayPal practices by claiming that they have a shipping company and, therefore, will be taking care of the shipping costs themselves. They will then send you a payment through a fake site (which claims to be PayPal) for the asking price plus an additional $1,000 or more “to cover the cost of shipping”. This is simply an email NOT a payment. The scam then requests that you wire back the extra funds to their company because “they are having issues doing it themselves”. The email you receive may also say “75% done, transfer on hold, and Western Union details” to complete the transfer of the extra “shipping costs”.

The email may also state that the money is non-refundable to the buyer creating the impression that if you don’t transfer those funds, the buyer will lose all his money. The important thing to remember is that you have not actually received any money from this buyer—just emails. So, if you do wire the money, you are simply giving your money to the thief and he will be long gone. Remember the adage, “if it sounds too good to be true, it is.” PayPal is a great way to sell things on the Internet but, if you are contacted with something other than notification that your funds are in your PayPal account, ignore the solicitation to purchase. And, if you feel someone is trying to scam you, research it on-line at the North Dakota Attorney General Website.

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