Paypal job scam

James Ryan Jonas

Here’s another job scam you should know about. This time, it involves the online currency Paypal.

A PMT Facebook fan shares his story:

I almost got scammed! Someone posted a freelance job on a very legitimate freelancing site. The job was called Currency Exchanger. The job is for me to accept Paypal payments from their customers as they are in a country where Paypal doesn’t permit money withdrawals.

I went through a test transaction as they call it. Somebody sent $300 into my Paypal and I was asked to withdraw it to my bank account. Then I am to send this money through Western Union after taking my “commission” of $20.

After a few days (while waiting for the money to appear on my bank), that guy who sent $300+ to my Paypal complained to Paypal that that payment wasn’t legit. Paypal issued refund leaving my account on a NEGATIVE balance!

Thank God because that money is yet to come to my bank account! I could have been $300+ broke had I sent the money through Western Union before Paypal made the refund. Scammers can really appear legits. Beware!

This is an old scheme used by Paypal scammers. They exploit Paypal’s “reverse transaction” option where a legitimate owners can request Paypal to reverse a transaction and issue a refund, if that owner can prove that he did not authorize the transaction.

Another version of this scam is when a person would contact you requesting to exchange Paypal funds to cash. He’d reason out that he needs cash badly and that he cannot wait anymore to withdraw his funds to his bank account. He’d offer you to “sell” his Paypal funds at a very attractive exchange rate. If you agree to the transaction, he’ll send you the funds and you pay him cash.

Then a few days or weeks later, Paypal will contact you that the account of the person you supposedly transacted with has been hacked and Paypal is reversing the transaction and returning the funds to the original owner. You end up with a negative Paypal balance and loss due to the cash you paid to the scammer.

Make sure you deal only with legitimate Paypal owners before entering into any transaction. Paypal transactions can be reversed so protect yourself and make sure you won’t be scammed.

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James Ryan Jonas teaches business management, investments, and entrepreneurship at the University of the Philippines (UP). He is also the Executive Director of UP Provident Fund Inc., managing and investing P3.2 Billion ($56.4 Million) worth of retirement funds on behalf of thousands of UP employees.