How to prevent PayPal identity theft, Paypal scams & Protect your PayPal Account
PayPal is a faster, simpler way to make recurring payments to all your monthly bills & subscriptions, whether you are paying bills, sending the money or making a purchase, PayPal can keep your financial information secure. Identity theft can be done if someone steals your personal information to open accounts & make unauthorized transactions in your name, According to the Federal Trade Commission, it’s one of the fastest-growing crimes in the world today.
Benefits of using PayPal
PayPal is a very popular way of paying for items sold online, PayPal allows you to pay for your favorite things at millions of online stores in the U.S. & across 203 global markets, all without the hassle of converting currency, So it’s as easy to know how much you’re spending. You can make purchases and send money to family and friends in the U.S. using your PayPal balance or bank account.
PayPal is free, It is a faster, more secure way to pay online. You can sign up for a PayPal account, You can download the PayPal app to receive & send the money to other PayPal users, You don’t need to enter all your financial information every time you shop, Speed through the checkout with PayPal.
You have to use secure methods of payment, checks can be safe, But keep in mind that when you hand a stranger a check, you’re giving him your bank name, account number, address, and signature, Online payments are safer, Online payment systems like PayPal make transactions as secure as possible, the person or business you purchase from or send money to won’t be able to see your credit card or bank account numbers.
On PayPal’s website, if I forget my password, I can enter my email address and they will send me an email that allows me to reset my password, Then, I go to that website and they will ask me two security questions, I can change my password and they recommend that I have 8-20 characters, with a mix of uppercase and lowercase letters, numbers & special characters.
Methods of criminals
Criminals can use phishing & spoofs, Emails claiming to be from well-known companies direct you to spoof (or fake) websites and request your personal information. Some criminals rummage through garbage cans for bank statements or credit card numbers, So the simplest way to stay safe is by cutting up your cards and shredding your documents before throwing them away.
Criminals can look through your postal service mailbox if it’s unattended and unlocked, This is much cleaner and faster than looking through your trash, If your mailbox isn’t secure, consider switching to electronic bank and credit card statements.
Criminals can listen to your conversations for sensitive information they can use to steal your identity, You should be aware of your surroundings, you have to shield the keypad at ATMs when punching in your code, and you must be careful when discussing financial information in public.
How to prevent PayPal identity theft
You should safeguard your information, both online & offline, you should not reuse passwords, you have to use strong, unique passwords for each important account which is the simplest & most powerful way to avoid identity theft, You should not get suckered into divulging your PayPal login or other personal information that could compromise your PayPal account.
You have to shred important documents, Identity thieves rummaging through your trash or breaking into your mailbox may pose a greater threat than online theft. You have to carry only what you need, It’s been estimated that 14% of identity theft comes from stolen wallets, checkbooks, and credit cards, That’s a pretty good reason to leave your social security card & seldom-used credit cards at home in a safe place.
You should log out of your PayPal account every time you finish using it, you’ll be automatically logged out of PayPal after 10 – 15 minutes of inactivity, If you use a shared or public computer, this will allow someone to access your account after you’ve walked away.
You should be vigilant, you have to report suspicious activity, when you spot anything out of the ordinary – from phishing to fake websites to unauthorized account activity – report it right away, you should monitor your accounts frequently, You should log in to your PayPal account and check your credit card and bank accounts on a regular basis for unfamiliar transactions, so, you’ll know if something’s going on before it’s too late.
You should keep your computer & mobile devices protected. You should use a unique password with every site you frequent that stores confidential information, A strong password includes a combination of upper and lowercase letters, symbols and numbers, you should not use an obvious password like the name or birthday of a family member.
You should use an updated Internet browser that blocks fraudulent websites – such as Internet Explorer 7 or 8, or Firefox 3, You should update your antivirus software, You should not click on links in email, especially if you weren’t expecting the email from your bank, the IRS, or popular sites like PayPal, You should always open a new browser and type in the Web site address before logging into your account.
You should create a password only used to access your PayPal account, so, don’t use the same password you use for online services like AOL or instant messenger logins. this is a bank and it’s got your money in it. You should not leave your PayPal password out in the open where anyone can see it, change your password often, Once a month or quarterly at the very least.
PayPal will not send out generic messages with subject lines such as: Hello PayPal user, They will always use the first and last name entered into your account or your business name to contact you, You should watch out for those “Your account has been frozen due to fraud” or similar messages, If you receive an email like this, don’t click a link in it to go to PayPal to enter your personal information.
You should remember PayPal’s web address, Just type it in whenever you feel a need to investigate emails like this, You should not download attachments from unknown sources, This is a great way to install a trojan horse program onto your computer, If you do, someone can have full access to your computer.
You should not share your PayPal account with anyone. when someone asks if he can use your account to transfer money somewhere else ask yourself why he needs your help to do this, he might be trying to trick you into helping him launder money which is illegal.
You should be skeptical of any phone call, letter or email regarding your PayPal account, Someone could call you on the phone pretending to be a PayPal employee working in their security department telling you that your account has been compromised, he needs your password or Social Security number to verify that he is speaking to the account holder. You should not give your information over the phone, When you think your account has been compromised in any way, contact PayPal immediately.