The Latest in PayPal Frauds and Scams

PayPal LogoTwo more regular readers wrote in with two more examples of PayPal’s schemes, scams and frauds.

PayPal Scam No. 1

Fred had his PayPal account randomly locked with approximately $10,000 USD inside it merely because he attempted to withdraw his own money into a US bank account in his own name. Even though his account was verified for years, PayPal asked for a passport copy. Uploading the passport copy triggered the following email:

From: service@paypal.com
Date: Thu, Mar 03, 2016 at 3:52 PM
Subject: Request for additional information [omitted]
To: [omitted]

Dear [omitted],

We are reviewing your account and unfortunately your account limitation cannot be lifted at this time. We need more information about your account before we can proceed with the appeal process. Please complete the steps below:
Please provide additional information regarding the following transactions:

Transaction ID: [omitted]
Transaction ID: [omitted]
Transaction ID: [omitted]

In order to proceed with the investigation of this money, the following information must be submitted to PayPal:

· A full description of the item that was purchased. Including the item’s value and the venue or URL that the item was sold from.
· Confirmation that you received the item or provide tracking if you shipped the item.
· Details of any other payments you sent or received that were related to the above transaction.
· Any information regarding the relationship or business affiliation you may have with the above party(ies).
· Any email or written communication about the above transactions.

We would like to obtain as much information as possible about the above transaction(s), in order to expedite this investigation.

You can find additional information and tips about buying and selling safely on our Business Resource Center at https://www.paypal-businesscenter.com/manage-your-business.

Sincerely,

PayPal Account Review

Copyright © 1999-2016 PayPal. All rights reserved.

It was impossible for Fred to gather definitive details about these transactions because he was completely locked out of his account, however the only recent transactions he had were incoming funds from friends and family making most of the questions irrelevant or completely nonsensical. Fred hadn’t made any PayPal purchases in months. Any attempt to login to his account to gain further information resulted in the screen shown below, clicking on the continue button simply logged him out.

PayPal Account Lockout Scam

PayPal account lockout scam

Any attempt to reply to the email resulted in the following automated reply:

From: service@paypal.com
Date: Thu, Mar 03, 2016 at 4:08 PM
Subject: AutoResponse – Email Returned [omitted]
To: [omitted]

Dear [omitted],

Thank you for contacting PayPal Customer Service.

In an effort to assist you as quickly and efficiently as possible, please direct all customer service inquires through our website. Once you log in to your account, you can click on “Contact” at the bottom of any PayPal web page. This will give you further information on how to Call Us if you would prefer to contact us by phone or to send us an email. You can also choose “Resolution Center” which will take you to PayPal’s central hub for buyer and seller resolution and limitation information.

We want to help you but we are not able to respond to emails sent directly to this address. We value your business and want to provide you with the best customer care.

Thanks,
PayPal

Copyright © 1999-2016 PayPal. All rights reserved.

Of course, Fred cannot log in to his account to respond because the account is completely locked. This is another obvious case of PayPal’s long standing operating procedure of helping themselves to interest free loans at the expense of their users for upwards of six months, if not outright theft of funds.

We recommended that Fred try to use the Better Business Bureau (bbb.org) but when he attempted to do the Better Business Bureau replied “we regret to inform you that BBB cannot process your complaint.” Rather alarming and shocking since the Better Business Bureau is usually very good at helping consumers when they’ve been ripped off by other companies such as Airbnb.

Even more shocking is that despite PayPal’s abysmal reviews and over 5,000 complaints on the Better Business Bureau’s own website, the Better Business Bureau somehow gives them an “A+” rating. How is this possible? Is PayPal bribing the Better Business Bureau for a high rating? What else could be the explanation to rate a company “A+” that has 3 positive reviews, 41 negative reviews and over 5,200 complaints?

PayPal's BBB rating

PayPal’s BBB rating

PayPal's complaints

PayPal’s complaints

PayPal's horrible reviews

PayPal’s horrible reviews

PayPal's horrible reviews

PayPal’s horrible reviews

PayPal Scam No 2

Ken wrote from Thailand describing an foreign exchange rate (FX) scam PayPal is using to royally screw its Thai customers. Unless you are completely brain dead, you know that PayPal’s exchange rates are horrendous. Therefore, if you are somehow unlucky enough to have a PayPal balance in your account, your best bet is to withdraw whatever currency you have into a bank account matching that currency. No such luck in Thailand. You may have a USD bank account in Thailand but they will not let you link it. “Ok no problem, I’ll withdraw USD to THB account and let my bank screw me for ~1.0% instead of letting PayPal screw me for upwards of 4-5% on the FX,” you may think. No such luck. The subhuman, criminal swine at PayPal force you to convert your balance to THB before withdrawal, even though any Thai bank will happily covert a USD deposit into THB for you at a much better rate than PayPal. Check it out:

PayPal's FX scam

PayPal’s FX scam

This is on top of the 0.5% fee (often rounded up to 0.6%) they charge for PayPal balance to PayPal balance transactions, the whopping 10% fee they charge to send money with your debit card and the 50 THB ($1.43 US) withdrawal fee they charge on smaller transactions (anything under 5,000 THB / ~$140 USD, which is actually a lot of money in Thailand).

PayPal's balance transfer scam

PayPal’s balance transfer scam

This criminal organization makes Wall St bankers look like angels. It is very important for the Single Dude Traveler and entrepreneurs everywhere to avoid this company at all costs. They have to be in the running for one of the top five worst companies in the world. Public execution for their entire executive board would be a wonderful thing to behold.




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