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Every day, a new scam could clean off your entire life’s savings if you’re not careful. A forum member, let’s call them Avery, suspects they may be falling for one, as they got a notification that someone had sent them 1000 dollars via PayPal.
Where Did It Come From?
The money is from a random account, and the sender wants them to return it using the “friends and family” option to avoid the high transaction cost. They want to send the money back, but they’re afraid they may be falling for a scam. Here’s what other community members advise.
It May Be Money Laundering
Money launderers have a new way of washing money by sending it to a random person, then asking you to return clean money. Somebody suggests the sender may have taken the money from a stolen credit card and is trying to correct the “error” before PayPal or the credit card company catches on. They could be wrong, but they’ve seen it done before.
This Could Be Phishing
The internet is a landmine of scammers, and you should avoid stepping on any explosives by keeping off random links. A responder questions whether Avery is on the real PayPal website or a fake one. It may be a phishing scam, especially if they followed the sender’s links. If so, the sender already has their PayPal login information. Avery needs to call PayPal and change all of their passwords.
Check if the Money Is in Your Account
Just because you got an email telling you that money is in your account doesn’t mean it’s true. A commenter recommends verifying that the money reflects in the account balance before sending it back. They can contact customer support for further help if they still need clarification.
The Sender Can Initiate a Refund
A forum member says the best solution is to do nothing and wait for PayPal to notify them that the money has been returned to the sender. PayPal allows senders to apply for a refund, so they still control their money. If Avery sends them the 1000 dollars, they’ll have sent them their own money, which they’ll never see again.
Scams Depend on the Victim
Most scams rely on the victim’s actions. One writes that if Avery ignores them, they’ll not be scammed. The money is invisible, so it is best not to touch it.
Get the Right PayPal Contact
Although several people propose calling PayPal customer support, a woman states that it opens up room for more scammers. Her husband had an issue with PayPal, and they Googled their number. He got connected to scammers and gave them his credit card information. Unfortunately, charges started appearing on his PayPal when he gave them the credit number.
The Sender Is Using a Fake Account
Scammers are getting good at crafting realistic schemes. For example, an individual reveals that the sender used a fake bank account to send money to the PayPal account. The sender expects Avery to send them money from their real performance. Their request to use the friends and family option is not to avoid fees but to ensure Avery cannot reverse the money. PayPal does not allow reversal for friends and family transactions.
The Two Transactions Are Unrelated
According to another, the money Avery received is a separate transaction from the funds the sender is asking them to return. If Avery returns the money, they’ll send them an extra 1000 dollars. The sender may then decide to initiate a refund via PayPal, which will not impact the 1000 dollars Avery already sent.
Scammers Bank on Your Goodwill
You may be falling for a scam in your attempt to do the right thing. Many agree that the sender is creating a sense of urgency and is taking advantage of Avery’s goodwill. Instead of refunding the money, Avery should wait for PayPal to sort out the issue.
Make Zero Contact
Finally, a user indicates that they’ll know that Avery checks their emails once they engage the scammer. This will encourage them to contact Avery numerous times, giving them more room to execute their scam.
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