Sheffield residents warned about fake PayPal scam that could land in your inbox at any time

Sheffield residents are being warned about a fake PayPal scam that has left victims more than £1 million out of pocket.

Friday, 28th February 2020, 11:45 am
Updated Friday, 27th March 2020, 3:20 pm

A total of 3059 reports of the scam were made nationally to Action Fraud, the Government’s cybercrime reporting centre, between October and December last year.

The amassed loss up to this point for victims stands at £1,121,446.

Individuals targeted include people selling electronics, vehicles, phones and household furniture via online marketplaces.

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The fraudsters send the victim an email purporting to be from PayPal in an attempt to trick them into believing they have received payment for an item.

Scammers then send a follow-up message requesting a tracking number in the hope that the victim will be rushed into shipping the item before they have had a chance to verify the payment.

Pauline Smith, director of Action Fraud, said: “We know that the fraudsters will go to great lengths to target people on online marketplaces, which is why we are working hard together with our partners to highlight the threat and prevent people from falling victim.

“It’s really important to follow our advice to help protect yourself and always trust your instincts – criminals will try and make unusual behaviour, like asking for a tracking number before you have sent the item, seem like a legitimate request.”

A spokesperson for eBay, said: “Millions of buyers and sellers use our marketplace each day around the world. eBay takes privacy and security very seriously, which is why we continuously invest heavily in measures to protect users around the clock. We also work closely with law enforcement agencies and regulatory bodies.

“Fraudsters use very sophisticated methods to try and circumvent trusted website security and we continuously enhance and update our security infrastructure to tackle new fraud trends. We encourage all members to take precautions that will improve the level of security protection on their accounts.

“Don’t get caught by fake payment emails and always confirm you’ve received a PayPal payment before sending an item – check your PayPal account and ensure the payment icon in your ‘My eBay’ is highlighted. For more information and suggestions, check our guide to avoiding payment problems on the eBay customer service page.”