Question from Rita J: Hi Rick. I hope you can help me, and I really could use a quick answer.
I received an email that appears to be from PayPal. It says a buyer has sent me $68.56 for an item that was purchased from my Etsy store.
The email has the PayPal logo and email address on it, and $68.56 is exactly what I usually receive for one of my items after adding the shipping fee.
The thing is, the email said the money has been deducted from the buyer’s account and it will be placed in my account after the item has been shipped. It also has a form for entering a UPS or Fedex tracking number.
When I log into my PayPal account I can’t find anything related to this transaction.
I’m at a loss as to what to do. If this is a legitimate order I want to ship the merchandise right away. But something just doesn’t seem right about this.
Please help!! Thanks.
Rick’s answer: I can tell you right now Rita, someone is trying to scam you. Whatever you do, don’t fill out that form or click on any links in that email. Instead, report it to PayPal by following the instructions on this page.
First of all, PayPal doesn’t do escrow transactions. Once a purchase is made, the payment is deducted from the buyer’s PayPal account and immediately credited to the seller’s account (minus the transaction fees).
If the buyer pays with an e-check, you’ll receive a notice to that effect along with a warning from PayPal not to ship the merchandise until the e-check has cleared.
Second, PayPal would never request any kind of information such as a tracking number on a form in an email. They have forms right on their secure website for submitting any information they might require of their customers.
Bottom line: Never trust anything you receive in your email inbox that is supposedly from PayPal. Always visit the PayPal website directly and log into your account from there.
If you have received money it’ll already be added to your balance unless it’s via an e-check. And even then, you’ll see the transaction listed in your transaction log.
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