PayPal Account Theft, a Different Overpayment Scam, and Monitoring Your Credit Card Statements Online

PayPal account theft hits home: Internet ScamBusters #178

Today we’re again going to share with you some of the best stories and advice we’ve recently received from subscribers:

– PayPal account theft hits home

– A different cashiers check / overpayment scam

– Monitoring your credit card statements online

First though, we recommend you check out the most popular articles from our other sites during the past week (especially the first one):

Are Your Minimum Monthly Credit Card Payments Really Going to Double?

What to Do About Rising Gas Prices

Identity Theft Doesn’t Always Occur Like You Think It Would

5 Great Mother’s Day Gift Ideas

On to the advice and stories from subscribers…

PayPal account theft hits home

This Snippet comes from Morly:

Thank you for printing your PayPal account story.

I used PayPal to buy an e-diet last year. Weeks later I received an e-mail from “PayPal” saying “your PayPal account has been charged $63.79 click here to view the details.”

Angry about this charge, I entered the site.

It looked like PayPal. At the site’s request, I gave them my password, credit card number, 3 number verification PIN on the back of the credit card, mother’s maiden name and a long list of personal information.

Later I called the PayPal 800 number and was told it was a scam.

They had been taking calls like mine all day. I cancelled the credit card but was already charged $70. The charge was made from Florida. I was in California.

It could have been much worse.

I have learned that even when you’re angry you must think before giving out your personal information.

From ScamBusters:

Definitely a VERY important lesson. Scammers often try to get you angry, flustered, or generally not at your best. Don’t give out your personal information, including your PayPal account info.


A related tip from Judy:

Hi, just read the article regarding theft on PayPal.

Scammers try the same thing with eBay. However, eBay has a system where if it looks like eBay sent you an email, you can go into your eBay account and it will show that you have a message.

If you have no message on your eBay account then you know the email was a fraud. Also, if I have gotten email from people using a header which looks like eBay’s but really isn’t, again I check my eBay account to see if the message is legitimate.

I send all such emails to spoof AT or spoof AT They will send back an email telling you if they sent it or not.

I love ScamBusters and the information it gives. Thanks.

From ScamBusters:

Glad you like ScamBusters. Excellent tip.

A different cashiers check / overpayment scam

This comes from Kathy:

My daughter is in her twenties and owns a home that has a room to rent. She advertised on a roommate sharing site and received an answer, with a picture, of a 26 yr. old woman looking to rent the room.

The woman stated that she worked for an international organization and was moving to our area. She wanted to rent the room and had some personal possessions to ship over from England.

After several conversations the woman stated that she was having her paycheck for $4500 sent to my daughter. It would pay for the first and last month rent, along with the security deposit and would my daughter hold on to the difference for the shipping company.

That alerted my daughter’s suspicions, and she wrote back that she was uncomfortable holding on to the extra amount. My daughter than asked more specific questions about the woman’s employment.

The reply from the woman was very curt and accused my daughter of refusing to help her, so she would not rent from her after all.

Our thoughts were “good riddance.” It just didn’t feel right and your recent newsletter #177 confirmed our feelings.

Thank you for your education and information. It does make a difference.

From ScamBusters:

Glad to here that! This is another twist to this scam that is becoming more popular.

Monitoring your credit card statements online

This advice comes from Jo Ellen:

Thanks for the list of scams and some of the personal accounts of people who have been victims (or attempted victims) of them. I’ve sent this information on to others, too, crediting your website.

I recognized 2 types of scams that have come my way: the Paypal-type scam and several versions of the Nigerian scam.

Once, when I was visiting my sister in Houston, TX, I was checking my credit card accounts when I discovered that someone was charging memberships to dating services and paying for flowers!

Thank goodness I monitor my account via the website quite regularly and was able to cancel the card after only around $200 was charged. It is unknown how my account number was acquired.

If there is one piece of advice I would give people, it would be to regularly access account information through the credit card or bank’s Internet and change your password often.

This has saved me more problems than I can express in one short email.

From ScamBusters:

That’s great advice. We hope all our subscribers pay attention. 😉

Time for us to take a walk through the mountains — the weather is gorgeous! See you next week.