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What are PayPal text scams?

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  • 4 min read

In a world where everything is more connected than ever and online transactions are very common, scammers are developing innovative ways to take advantage of people who aren’t cautious. One method that’s become quite famous is the PayPal text scam. With more people using phones to communicate, scammers have found a way to trick users through text messages, pretending to be from PayPal to get them to share personal and financial details unknowingly.

In this article, we have discussed PayPal text scams, the types of PayPal text scams and tips to protect yourself from text scams.

Also read: Does PayPal refund money if you’re scammed?

What are PayPal text scams?

PayPal text scams are also known as Smishing attacks. In these attacks, scammers send unexpected text messages that look like they’re from PayPal. These scams can take various forms, including notifications about account limitations, unauthorised transactions, or urgent security updates. The goal is to trick recipients into clicking on malicious links or providing sensitive information, such as login credentials or personal details.

Common tactics used in PayPal text scams include creating a sense of urgency, using official-looking logos, and providing links that direct victims to fake websites designed to steal their information.

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Also read: Steam card scams explained

Types of PayPal text scams

All PayPal scams have a similar structure and aim to make you feel like you need to act quickly. But there are various types of PayPal scams, all intended to make you share your login information.

  • Fraud Alert text scams: Fraud alert scams aim to frighten you into clicking a link in the message by suggesting that your account has been connected to fraudulent activity or that unauthorised payments were made.
  • Order Confirmation text scams: Scammers use order confirmation texts to claim that an order has been made using your PayPal account. To check the order status, they provide a link to your PayPal account login.
  • Unusual Activity text scams: Scammers send false notifications about unusual activities on your account. These messages might ask you to enter your details to confirm your identity as the account holder. This is a deceptive tactic aimed at making you disclose your account information.
  • Your Account is Suspended/Blocked text scams: These scam messages inform you that your PayPal account is suspended. They ask you to log in to either re-verify your information or withdraw the funds from your account. Another variant is that your account has been restricted messages used by scammers.
What is phishing? Types of phishing scams and how to protect yourself?

Protect yourself from PayPal text scams

To avoid falling victim to these scams, follow the tips below.

  • Verify the Source: Always double-check the sender’s information. Legitimate messages from PayPal will come from an official number and won’t ask for sensitive information.
  • Don’t Click Links: Avoid clicking on links in unsolicited texts, especially if they claim to be from PayPal. Instead, visit PayPal’s official website address directly from your browser.
  • Avoid Sharing Personal Information: Never share personal, financial, or login details through text messages. PayPal will never request such information this way.
  • Check for Signs of Scam: Be cautious of messages that create urgency, ask for personal information, or contain grammatical errors.
  • Enable Two-Factor Authentication: Turn on your PayPal account’s two-factor authentication (2FA). This adds an extra layer of security and prevents unauthorised access.

If you receive any text message or email claiming to be from PayPal and think it is a scam, you can forward it to [email protected]. PayPal’s security experts will check if it is fake, and if it is, they will take proper measures to shut it down.

Also read: Can Zelle refund money if I was scammed?


Akash Singh

Akash is a law graduate who likes to go for bike rides on the weekends soul-searching for answers to his many existential questions. You can contact him here: [email protected]