For much of my writing work, I have to use PayPal. While I use PayPal to collect payments, I don’t really receive invoices to send money out. So, when I received an email saying that I had two invoices due, I was alarmed.
Both invoices were nearly identical except for the Outlook email addresses they came from. They included a phone number, and you’ll notice the strange capitalization and grammar errors.
This is an obvious scam to me, but I can also see how somebody could become very confused seeing an invoice. It may not be as clear to others that there are two potential scams happening. Sure, you might pay the invoice, but more than likely the scammers expect you to call the phone number to report that you never signed up for “Our Services.” That’s another opportunity to pull a scam.
Googling this issue, I could see that many people didn’t realize that they could receive an invoice from just anybody. If somebody did not know what to do, it would be quite easy to accidentally send money over to these scam accounts. In fact, many people in the PayPal Community were frightened by the invoices and were uncertain about whether this was a scam.
One of the main problems with these invoices is that there is no easy way to report them through the Resolution Center. There is no report feature immediately available to tell PayPal about a specific invoice. Instead, you have to send an email separately, adding more steps to your reporting process.
Since receiving the first two invoices, I’ve received two more. Here’s what I do: click to view the invoices and then go to the set of options where you would otherwise pay the invoice. Click to cancel the invoice, and do the same for any additional invoices you receive.
A few things to keep in mind with things like this:
- Digital literacy is so important. Learn how to spot common scams and educate people you know about these scams.
- Do not call the phone number on the invoice. This is the second part of the scam. Somebody in the Paypal Community reported that the person they called requested remote access to their computer to “resolve” the issue. If you are unfamiliar with this kind of scam, I recommend watching some Kitboga videos so you can see how scammers hope these situations will pan out.
- Do not click any links in the invoices. Never click the links.