I get this question a lot. I’ve also heard many people talk about how they wont do business with PayPal because they’ve heard of people getting victimized by PayPal. While I can’t speak for everyone else, I want to share a little bit of experience that may be helpful to some other users out there who might be on the fence about doing business on the Internet and choosing Paypal as a service provider.
First let me say that I’ve been a member of PayPal since 1998, (10 years) and have never lost money or had money stolen from me through their service. I can’t give an exact figure of the amount of money that has gone through Paypal in that time of my doing business with them but at times I’ve had over $3000 in my account from eBay sales or whatever. Anytime there was an issue, it was resolved amicably and quickly by contacting them.
PayPal Steals Your Money – not really
I’ve seen blogs and heard complaints like this many times but this usually isn’t the case. What happens is, people voluntarily give out their Paypal account information to phishing emails and then the thief gains access to the account based on what you’ve given them. Aside from that, they are working on security issues all the time to improve their services and prevent this type of stuff.
Identity Theft – How does a thief get my Information?
Let me tell you that they are brilliant. What they do is send you emails that look exactly like they are coming from PayPal. However, they usually address you, “Dear Paypal Member”. If the email was coming from Paypal, it would address you by your full name. They have links within these emails for you to verify your information and when an unsuspecting newbie follows those links and then offers their Paypal information on a page that looks like Paypal, guess what?… You’ve just become a victim. What I will do many times, because some of these email are so convincing, I’ll take and mouse over the link and see where it’s going to lead me to. Also, as soon as the email comes in that is suspicious at all, I’ll simply forward it to email@example.com and they will do whatever they do to stop it.
What is Phishing? – Fraud that is specifically designed to steal your identity. Usually, a phishing email will have a fake story that’s designed to lure you into clicking a link or button in the email or calling a phone number. The sender is trying to steal your identity by tricking you into revealing your password or other personal information.
When I signed up for a Paypal account originally, it was fairly easy. Now they want you to verify everything and rightfully so because there are so many fraudsters online. Many eBay sellers and others won’t even do business with you if you are not a verified Paypal Member. They do this by depositing two small amounts into a bank account number you have provided and then you have to put those amounts into their form. This seems to be a good verification system. Back in 1998 and 1999 it was much less secure.
Protect your Identity and Paypal Account Information
Here are a couple suggestions I can offer that not only apply to Paypal but to many other financial institutions that are online. I get similar emails from Chase, National City, eBay and any other account I have.
- Paypal will NEVER ask you for full name and or password, PERIOD! 10 years I’ve been with them, they’ve never done such a thing… ever. So if they are asking you to verify your identity, they are out to steal it.
- Never access Paypal from the links provided in the Email. Just don’t. Go to www.paypal.com and see if the message is in there and access your account only through direct navigation.
- Attachments – Paypal will never attach anything to your email. If you get an email with an attachment that looks like it’s coming from Paypal, simply forward it to firstname.lastname@example.org and then add that sender to your junk email list and delete the email.
Currently and for many years, I’ve used Paypal for a number of transactions including an eBay power seller, selling domains, purchasing products in other countries, loaning my mates money, putting money on my wife’s card instantly, etc etc. I have it set up so my Paypal account, if empty will pull directly from my checking account and not worried a bit about it. I also have two other backup funding sources so many of my transactions will funnel through Paypal whether I have the money or not because it’s ads an additional layer of protection.
Also, I work with a Non Profit Organization that solely uses Paypal in their store check-out. At any given time there is between $1000 and $10,000 dollars in their account and since it’s been set up, it works seamlessly. Every month or so, I simply send a withdrawl request to Paypal and it transfers the funds to my clients Bank account within a couple days.
So, all in all, Paypal has provided nothing shy of superior services for my uses of it throughout my 10 year relationship. Most people that get taken advantage of are the ones who willingly give up their information to phishing scams. Here are a couple links that I’d advise you to take a look if you have any questions about security and Paypal.
Feel free to comment below if you have any concerns or specific questions. I’ll do my best to address them… and NO, I don’t work for Paypal. 🙂