PayPal Now A Huge Scam Waiting To Unfold


eBay, since its beginning, has been nothing but an online version of auction-house deception, fraud, and greed. PayPal, eBay's creation to get around credit card companies and generate even more fees, is now a huge scam just waiting to unfold. PayPal now wants its users to become "verified" by submitting bank account and routing numbers. What's the big deal, you say, it's only every check I write. With instant online banking, and PayPal's ability to transfer money - zap - your bank account can be vacuumed with a simple click of a mouse. No one needs to have their savings drained by some rogue, crooked PayPal employee sometime in the future. Oh, you say, that couldn't happen, PayPal is an honest company. Whenever people have huge amounts of vital information at their fingertips, there have always been crooks. All the evidence one needs is the ever-growing occurrence of identidy theft and the incredible damage it can cause. Don't give PayPal this information - you have been warned!


I worried about this too, so I don't have a paypal account on Ebay. I paid for stuff I bought with money order, so at worst case I only lose the amount in the money order. I want to sell on Ebay too but didn't because the problem that Ebay requires seller to post credit card number to automatically getting their fee.


I got this nice e-mail, too. Looking at it, I found the text rather strange and classified it as a phishing attempt. So it went into my wastepaper basket immediately. Got no second e-mail of anybody so far in this matter.


This e-mail and others that you get from Paypal and from eBay are what they call spoofs. If you look closely the links don't link back to Paypal or back to eBay. Don't fall for this. Neither one will send you an e-mail asking for information. They may send you something about a special but NEVER use a link in an e-mail that is sent to you. This is identy theft. If you get a phone call from your credit card company - don't call back the number they give you.

It has become your responsibility to always initiate any communication dealing with money through know channels. If you think you got a request for information from either Paypal or from eBay, you need to forward it to "" or to "" they will respond back to your e-mail, and most likely it is not from them.

I have probably received 10 of these in the last 2-months and they are very good at making everything look perfect, including warnings about protecting your security. That is how they get you. "your id has been compromised - contact ebay immediately"

DON'T BELIEVE IT. You contact them ONLY and check if you want to.


I've received quite a few of these phony eBay and PayPal emails over the last year or so. As you said, they look pretty authentic -- some say that my account has been accessed in Europe and they need to verify the details, or that a new email address has been added to my account, or my financial information needs to be verified. Most threaten to suspend access to my account unless I log in (through their email links, of course) and "correct" the problem. I've forwarded most of these emails to eBay and PayPal and in every single case, their replies told me that the emails were scams.

However, I did give PayPal my bank account information several years ago (by logging in directly to their secure server, not through an email link!) so that I could pay for auctions directly from my checking account. Not once has any charge ever been made that I did not authorize.


I also have my bank account registered and have had no problems.

One should alays read monthly bank statements just in case.


the paypal account should only contain THE MINIMUM AMOUNT allowed by the bank - thus putting at risk only a small amount of $$


Soon after I joined eBay and PayPal last month I started receiving these kind of e-mails. I always have forwarded them to, but after my first two payments through PayPal there appeared a duplicate expense in my credit card bill. The credit card company denied temporarily payment to this duplicate expense, but if it is eventually billed I will have to ask for debt cancellation only 'after' I pay the bill.

PayPay says my account is ok. In fact my transaction history shows only the two payments I actually made.
Anyone has had this kind of trouble?

By the way, I have already received the items I purchased:
- a battery pack for the HP-35 (yesterday, eBay)
- an HP-35 (today, off-eBay but from a 800+ positive feedback eBay seller from Australia)



For each pay I do with PayPal I get two charges and one refund, not necesarilly in this order. I have tried to get an explanation but I haven't been able to get it. I've had some little trouble some times when I get the two charges first and my card limit is exceeded, my PayPal account when was set there was no more option than be funded on a credit card.
Hope this helps you.


Thanks, Julián. I am less worried now. By what I could understand the refund goes to your credit card, not to your PayPal account, right? Regards,

Gerson (Brasil)


The same for me: for my last Pay-Pal operation, I got three (!) charges and two refunds, all of this on my credit card account and NOT on Pay-Pal one.
Seriously thinking about closing Pay-Pal account.....


Seriously thinking about closing Pay-Pal account.....

So am I. Thanks.


(1234 to remove)


Beware of the US Postal Service money order scam. If a money order is lost or stolen they will replace it. But, they NEVER cancel the old one. If somday, somewhere, somone cashes it, the USPS will send you a bill for the duplicate payment.


Forrest is correct.


You've GOT to be kidding.

Caveat emptor people. If it's not PayPal, it's the punk waiter that took your credit card for lunch the other day, or it's your bank, or it's Lexus Nexus, or it's the Trilateral Commission working with the Illuminati.

What conspiratorial paranoid rock have you been hiding under? Progress marches on, in spite of disproportionate fear (paranoia). Sure there's fraud and yes there are criminals out there and yes things are getting (shudder) more sophisticated. You've just drawn your arbitrary line based on your own perspective. "Checks were good enough for my daddy and my daddy's daddy and they're good enough for me by God!"

Why stop there? Perhaps we should just all use gold. Or since money is the root of all evil maybe straight barter would be better.

Because you can't trust the government you know. You think those green slips of paper in your pocket are worth anything? Sheesh they're just paper! Wake up and smell the coffee - you have been warned!



I agree with you. PayPal needs access to my account to PAY ME WHEN I SELL SOMETHING. With this priviledge PayPal has responsibility and cannot blindly and for no reason take money from people's account. The government (esp IRS) will put PayPal out of business faster than you can say uncle. PayPal and any other financial institution has to operate on honesty OR ELSE BE OUT OR BUSINESS. if PayPal draws money for no reason there will be a record for that and PayPal (or other similar services) will have to explain it to me, my lawyer, and a judge!



I agree on the nice tactics from ebay to charge you twice as a seller. Three times if you are a foreign seller, since their exchange rates are next to fraudulent (they mostly rip you off another 5%).
I disagree on the dangers involved using PayPal. There certainly *are* dangers - but they are not any higher than using your online banking account or paying in the restaurant. PayPal certainly has its faults, but I doubt there is any business out there, doing millions of transactions and having 100% satisfied customers. My guess is, they are pretty close though :)


This is the very reason I keep an account with 1 dollar in it for paypal purposes. I transfer money in when I need to pay and transfer it out the moment money comes in.


Joe; I used your minimum ballance idea and eventually closed the account after a bunch of questionable mail from paypal. The bank accidently left 3 cents in the account and then Paypal withdrew $4.95 from my account twice, not fees since i had no transactions for months, so i had a negative ballance and overdraft charges. The bank waved the fees, I ate the theft and closed the account again. It is not worth my time to take them to court for $10. Paypal was ok when it was an independent business. Then ebay bought it. I still may list things on ebay because it's about the only game in town. Ebay has just overcharged me. Paypal has picked my pocket.

BTW: Have you seen ?


Yes, I have seen paypal sucks. I have also used paypal for several years and not had ONE problem with them. I did get an overdraft once, but it was my fault for not transferring money into the account.

Why did paypal pull money from your account in the first place. Also, why did you bank honor the payment when you didn't have the cash in the bank? Should it not have denied payment to paypal if the money wasn't in the account?


That may not protect you. The bank can take money from other accounts to make good on an overdraft. It happened to me when a bank made a data entry error on a check I had written, moving the decimal point one place to the right. I've been told that this is perfectly legal.


Acutally you bank shouldn't be able to take money from one account to pay for another unless you give approval to do so. I specifically checked with my bank and unless I set up such an option, they won't do it.


They (Nations Bank) did it to me, and according to someone who is familiar with banking law, it was legal. I guess that leaves it up to the policy of the bank. If your bank will not do it, that's great. It's a bad idea to assume that they will not do it if you don't know the bank's policy on the matter.


I would like to know the exact scenario in which people felt cheated by paypal. Yes it is risky giving out debit/checking account numbers. Did these people simply over extend themselves? I haven't had a problem with paypal, but have not used it that much. Can someone explain this to me?


> Can someone explain this to me?

Not without wringing our hands and whispering in conspiratorial tones. You have been warned!

But seriously: It's all nonsense. PayPal is just another financial business out to make a buck. They've got their share of problems like everyone else and with any kind of success comes the usual bunch of criticisms.

I wouldn't worry about it, but . . .

You have been warned!


Most of the complaints that I've read about PayPal have to do with them arbitrarily freezing user's accounts and being very difficult to communicate with.


I caught my long distance company double dipping in my checking account. Caused some checks to bounce. I fought with them for over a year to get it ironed out. Never did get an explanation for how it happened.

Nobody but nobody gets my checking account number. I set up a second account for a guy in Europe to wire money to for a transaction just so nobody but nobody got my regular account number.

These days, you don't need viruses, hackers, or scam artists to go wrong. J.C. Penney sent my wife a letter claiming I'd been dead for fourteen years and demanding that she pay up.

If you pay Pay Pal with a credit card you can put a hold on a problem transaction. If they have access to your checking account they can vacuum it clean on ten second's notice and you are at their mercy for any refund. And even if they see it all your way, it will take plenty of time to get a refund.

Pay Pal can operate with my credit card or they can take a hike.


Well to all the folks here who are paranoid about PayPal, let me say this. Close your PayPal accounts by all means and enjoy peace of mind. This will give the rest of us less competition on eBay for those PayPal-only auctions. And that will drive prices down!! I will be happier when I pay less for vintage calculators.



The following applies ONLY to the US. Other countries have their own laws and regulations so if you live outside the US do not read any further.


In the US, FEDERAL LAW limits credit card liability to $50, while most serious credit card companies will refund all fraudulent charges on your CREDIT card.

The above does NOT apply to Debit cards or account transfers.

If you have a Paypal account under no circumstances should you allow your bank account to be known. Paypal wants this information, because if you are defrauded and your bank account gets charged without your concent, then YOU have to sort things out. If your credit card (NOT YOUR DEBIT CARD) gets charged without your concent, then the credit card company deals with Paypal.

Moreover, assuming PayPal is just facilitating the transaction (i.e. from buyer to seller) and the buyer having paid with a credit card complains to his credit card company, then the CC company will charge PayPal an ADDITIONAL fine. So if PayPal cannot extract the money from the seller, they will have lost both the payment AND the fine.

This is why the try to get your bank account, so that they can transfer the risk to you.

Also refunds to credit card payments are ALWAYS done via the credit card company. This is to prevent people from using their credit cards to get cash (you buy smth with your credit card, then return it for a cash refund and voila you have a cash advance without having to pay any fees or interest). If its a foreign currency transaction you can argue (in most cases successfully) that the debit and subsequent credit should be done in the foreign currency (so you do not pay any exchange fees).

Anyway, PayPal will do everything they can to get your bank account. One trick they will try is to send you a refund check (I got one for 50 cents). If you deposit it in your account, PayPal will get your account details as part of the electronic record. BEWARE!

So by all means go on using your PayPal account, but use it only with your credit card.


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