Although Internet users are increasingly informed and, in fact, show suspicion, scams of all kinds continue to spread. While there was a time when scams seemed too ridiculous to give up on, hackers now resort to much more elaborate and believable strategies. The Paypal payment scam is far from new, it seems to be much more effective lately.
At the moment, platforms like Leboncoin, Vinted or even Facebook Marketplace are all the rage. Indeed, they allow everyone to sell or buy second-hand products. And you can find everything there: clothes, computers, shelves or other furniture… Unfortunately, the sellers have become perfect targets for scammers who have set up a well-crafted scam.
Beware of buyers who want to go through Paypal
The principle of these Paypal scams is quite classic. A (false) buyer contacts the seller and declares to be interested in the object for sale. Without asking too many details or negotiating the price, he offers to pay directly by Paypal. It is not so unlikely, Paypal being a recognized platform for Internet payments. The malicious buyer offers to advance the shipping costs. Too good to be true…
The seller must then create a Paypal account. Once this is done, he receives an SMS or an e-mail from Paypal. He must then click on the link inside. Inevitably, it redirects to a fraudulent site and that’s where the problems start.
The victim must then fill out a form to recover the money from the false buyer: Paypal ID, account password and bank details. And voila for the scammer. In addition, it happens that the seller sends the package, convinced that the deposited funds simply take several days to end up in his account. In this case, he loses twice.
Our colleagues from Actu.fr have experienced this scam. While some profiles smelled full of scams, others seemed credible enough to fall for the trap. Remember that in case of doubt, never click on a link sent by SMS or e-mail even if it is stamped Paypal. We advise you to go directly to the Paypal site to ensure that the funds have been paid. In any case, it is better to go directly through the platform on which you are dealing, such as Leboncoin or Vinted, in order to be protected from any potential scam.