Friday, May 09, 2014

PAYPAL SCAMS AND WHAT TO DO (Including a 'Skype' payment email)

Official PayPal logo
 So the other day I woke up, checked my email and received quite a surprise. I had an email in my normal account (not in my junk mail) from 'paypal' which stated I had paid out £44.99 to a 3 month skype subscription. Now, most people know skype is free to download and use, so that confused me and a red flag went up.. But because it came up in my normal account and not in the junk mail, I wanted to double check.

So I logged on to my laptop and went onto my Hotmail account, read through the email and noticed a few things:
  1. Skype is a free service to download and use, and I personally don't even use Skype
  2. Paypal would usually always say your name at the beginning of their emails
  3. This email had no personal details such as my name and address (which will usually come up on PayPal receipts)
  4. The main aim of the email was to get me to be shocked that I owed the money, and to click on the link below (highlighted) to open a dispute at PayPal. 
Print screen from the 'paypal' scam sent to me
So I clicked on the link, still unsure whether it was a real as the link included The website looked exactly as the official PayPal website looks like, so you wouldn't even bat an eyelid or think otherwise. However, I looked at the URL it came up with on the page and it was not but another website. They were asking for you to log into PayPal, and give your name, address, and bank details. That was then it became fully clear it was a scam.

 If this happens to you, please take these steps:
  1. Forward the email to and delete the email immediately
  2. If you logged into your PayPal account on the scamming website posing as PayPal, immediately change your password on the official PayPal website (even if you don't think you logged in, I would still recommend to change it)
  3. If you happened to give your bank details in before realizing it was a scam, get in touch with your bank as soon as possible.

If you are ever in doubt, ALWAYS get in touch with PayPal themselves via their official website! Here are a few helpful tips from PayPal if you're unsure whether an email claiming to be from PayPal is genuine or fake:

You’ll know that an email is not from PayPal when:
  • The email uses a generic greeting like ‘Dear user’ or ‘Hello, PayPal member.’ We'll always address you by your first and last name or the business name on your PayPal account.
  • The email requests financial and other personal information. A real email from us will never ask for your bank account number, debit or credit card number etc. Also we'll never ask for your full name, your account password, or the answers to your PayPal security questions in an email.
  • The email asks you to provide the tracking number of a dispatched item, before you've received the payment into your PayPal account
  • The email includes a software update to install on your computer.
Here are some security tips to help you stay protected online:

  • Even if a URL contains the word 'PayPal', it may not be a PayPal webpage.
  • When using PayPal, always ensure that the URL address listed at the top of the browser displays as The 's' in ‘https’ means the website is secure.
  • Look for the 'lock' symbol that appears in the address bar. This symbol indicates that the site you are visiting is secure.
If you think you’ve received a phishing email, forward it to and then delete the fake email from your mailbox. If you‘ve responded to a fraudulent email and believe your PayPal account may now have been accessed, you should report the unauthorized access immediately.

  • If you provided any personal information in response to a phishing email or on a spoof website, change your PayPal password and security questions immediately.
  • If you provided any financial information, contact your bank and your credit card issuer and tell them about the situation.
  • Review your PayPal account history to check that you recognize all recent payments.

I hope this post helps you to avoid any PayPal scammers. It happens very often and it can be quite easy to fall into if you're not sure what to do and have never been a victim of scams before. My mom received the very same email within the first few weeks of regularly using PayPal about a year ago and she was confused. It was lucky I was there at the time to go through it and realize it was a scam before she had put her details in. I hope to spread awareness to every PayPal user so nobody falls for these horrible scams.


  1. Thanks for the tip, now I'll know what to do if I ever get an email like that :) If only we didn't have


    1. I don't understand how people can scam others, it's not nice at all.

      You're welcome :)
      Abby x

  2. I received this email a while ago to! It's so worrying :( don't know what could have happened to those that did not realise

    1. It's horrible, especially if you're really not sure what to do and what things mean. I hope nobody falls for this nasty scam, I know a few people nearly have and that's why I wanted to raise some awareness I guess.

      Abby x

  3. i had an email that said it was from Amazon but was sent to my email aadress amazon knew nothing about. it had been sent to alot of people wuth similar email addresssess. the attachment contained a virus. i knew it wasnt amazon so i let them know and they were very helpful next time i'll just delete it