Following on from our Complete Guide to PayPal, here are our top 10 tips to prevent PayPal fraud.
1) Post items to a buyer’s Confirmed Address (if available) – it will be checked against the billing address maintained by the buyer’s credit card company. Note that currently only UK, US and Canadian addresses can be confirmed.
2) Use a postal service that can be tracked online, and keep the receipt to prove that you’ve actually posted the item. If your buyer files a claim for non-delivery of an item, informing them that you have proof of postage is often enough to help prevent PayPal fraud.
3) Beware of improper postal addresses. Check out PayPal’s list of approved countries and don’t despatch to countries that are not on the list. It’s also pretty risky to post something to Manchester if the buyer has a US account.
4) Checking out the buyer’s reputation is one of the most effective ways to prevent PayPal fraud. Most ecommerce websites and online auction sites like eBay have forums where sellers can leave comments on buyers and vice versa. Look for Verified members of PayPal who have been members for at least a couple of months.
5) Conduct more checks on buyers of high value items. Scammers are particularly interested in computers and expensive gadgets, jewellery and sports equipment, and the risk of fraud is significantly higher when dealing with these types of items.
6) Be wary of buyers who don’t seem to be concerned by cost. Requests for overnight delivery should also be treated with caution.
7) Don’t accept payments from different PayPal accounts for a single item.
8) One of the best ways to help prevent PayPal fraud is to limit your credit card payments. If you have a Premier or Business account, you can change your Payment Receiving Preferences so that you only receive bank account and PayPal account balance payments from Verified users. That way you can avoid the risk of fraud with stolen credit cards.
9) Look for a PayPal greeting in emails. PayPal emails will address you by your first and last name, not by “Dear PayPal User” or “Dear PayPal Member”. PayPal will never ask you to enter your password or financial information in an email.
10) Don’t share your account or collect or transfer money for anyone else.
Employing a little common sense when buying and selling online will often help to prevent PayPal fraud completely, but if you are in any doubt about a particular transaction then the above tips should help you to avoid being scammed.
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