A Pinoy Money Talk (PMT) member emailed me yesterday to ask whether a Paypal transaction she is planning to enter into is a scam or not.
Apparently, some guy supposedly from the UK contacted her asking help to transfer Paypal funds. The guy claims he plans to visit the Philippines and needs help moving funds to the country.
This should already raise a red flag. Never, ever agree to such transactions because you may unwittingly be a conspirator to money laundering. A suspiciously large amount being withdrawn to a Philippine bank account raises the bank’s alarm and if you could not properly explain how you got the amount and why you are transferring money, you may be charged under the country’s Anti-Money Laundering Law.
Now going back to the story, the PMT member initially agreed to receive the $37,000 Paypal funds. She was promised a certain percentage of this amount as payment for “the help.”
Before the funds were transferred, however, she received an email supposedly from Paypal saying the amount cannot yet be credited until she pays a transfer and claiming fee.
The (unedited) email she got from “Paypal” reads:
We appriciate you for banking with paypal bank, we will like you to understand that the money which will be transfered to your bank account is a very huge amount of money, we the pay pal bank are ready to transfer the money into your bank account.
you have to pay for the transfer fee and claiming fee, which will cost you just only ($500.00 usd) only. and when the money for the transfer fee and claiming fee is sent, your money will be transfered into your bank account immediately before 24 hours.
thanks for using paypal bank.
Bellow is how you are going to send the money for the transfer fees and claiming fee to paypal bank authority.
(Details here how to transfer $500 via Western Union)
More red flags here. One, the spelling and grammar errors are a giveaway. Paypal will not commit those obvious mistakes because they have thousands of fluent English-speaking employees who know the correct spelling of appriciate or Bellow.
Two, whatever Paypal charges for transactions, it is automatically deducted from the transaction amount. Paypal will never ask you to pay them cash or send payment via Western Union in order to receive funds.
Three, if it’s indeed an official Paypal email, the sender should at least come from the Paypal.com domain, right? I checked the email forwarded to me and guess what the sender’s email address is?
From: paypalbank authority <email@example.com>
Ding, ding, ding, ding! A fake Paypal email, obviously.
If you’re hoping to get a big commission from the transaction thinking it will be more than the “transfer and claiming fee” of $500, you’re mistaken. You will only be scammed.
If you receive a similar proposal, report the email to firstname.lastname@example.org so Paypal can conduct an investigation.
Don’t fall for this scheme. This is obviously a scam intended to rob you of your money.