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Fake PayPal Verification

How the scam works:

Thousands of items are bought and sold each day on classified advertisement websites. The bulk of these transactions are legitimate and go smoothly for both buyer and seller. However, there are always scammers looking to prey upon victims trying to sell their merchandise to make usually much needed extra income.

A recent report of a twist on the “certified check” scam recently appeared on a popular classified ad site, using PayPal as a front for illegal activity.


When a person lists a product for sale, the scammer (usually someone from out of the area; i.e. a purchaser from New York buying an item in Nebraska) will advise the victim to invoice them via PayPal. Upon doing so the victim then receives an email appearing to be from PayPal advising that the funds will be released to their account once they have verified the shipping information for the item.

Of course, the victim ships the item and sends “PayPal” the shipping information; they have then lost both the merchandise they were selling and the money for the item, as PayPal is never credited the money.

How to avoid:

First, it is suspect when a buyer is that far out of the area; this should raise an immediate red flag. Also, PayPal will never require shipping information to release funds; that is not part of their transaction requirements. Finally, the buyer will often offer to pay more for the item than the seller is asking. This falls under the category of “if it seems too good to be true, it probably is.”

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Educate yourself with the videos below:


1. Top 5 Amazon Scams in 2020


2. Top 5 PayPal Scams in 2020


3. The Nigerian Scam [Docu-Drama]

This movie shows how a victim lost over $30,000 to an intricate scheme which is still around years later.

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