PayPal scam emails led to damages of over £1M

Action Fraud alerts people who sell items online to be on the lookout for bogus PayPal addresses from fraudsters, for PayPal scam.

Around October 2019 and December 2019, the false emails were sent to Action Fraud with 3,059 allegations of fraud.

Others targeted involve people who sell appliances, cars, phones and household furniture via online marketplaces including eBay.

How does the scam work?

In an attempt to trick them into thinking they have received payment for an object, fraudsters may give the victim an email purporting to be from PayPal.

The fraudster will then submit a follow-up email demanding a tracking number, assuming the target will be hurried into delivering the object before they’ve had a chance to check the invoice.

Director of Action Fraud, Pauline Smith, said:

“We know that fraudsters will go to great lengths to target people on online marketplaces, which is why we are working hard together with our partners to highlight the threat and prevent people from falling victim.

“It’s really important to follow our advice to help protect yourself and always trust your instincts – criminals will try and make unusual behavior, like asking for a tracking number before you have sent the item, seem like a legitimate request.

“If you think you have been a victim of fraud, please report it to us.”

A spokesperson for eBay, said:

“Millions of buyers and sellers use our marketplace safely each day around the world. eBay takes privacy and security extremely seriously, which is why we continually invest heavily in measures to protect users around the clock. We also work closely with law enforcement agencies and regulatory bodies.

“Fraudsters use very sophisticated methods to try and circumvent trusted website security and we continuously enhance and update our security infrastructure to tackle new fraud trends.We encourage all members to take precautions that will improve the level of security protection on their accounts.

“Don’t get caught by fake payment emails and always confirm you’ve received a PayPal payment before sending an item – check your PayPal account and ensure the payment icon in your My eBay is highlighted. For more information and suggestions, check our guide to avoiding payment problems on the eBay Customer Service page: