PayPal scams are on the rise — keep your money safe with these tips

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Fraud Watch April 2024: PayPal Impersonation Scams

Apr 30, 2024 Fraud Prevention , Personal
beware of paypal scams

Beware of PayPal impersonation scams targeting BankSouth customers, fraudulent offers for student loan forgiveness, and vacation travel scams this month. Stay aware and protect yourself from falling victim to these common fraud schemes.

Top 3 Ways to Keep Your Money Safe:

  1. Do not give your login credentials to anyone — including anyone claiming to be from BankSouth.
  2. Don’t share your personal information or account numbers. BankSouth and other financial institutions will never ask for your account number, personal information, or login credentials over the phone or email.
  3. Avoid clicking on any links in any unsolicited emails or text messages. When in doubt, don’t click.

PayPal Impersonation Scams

There have been multiple instances reported lately regarding PayPal scams targeting our customers. We want to be sure we reach out to you and encourage you to verify all calls, emails, or texts from “PayPal”. Always verify the sender if it’s an unsolicited communication. You can also use their official website to ensure it is actually an issue related to your PayPal account. Don’t be afraid to go straight to the source to verify any and all account updates.

Here are essential tips for using PayPal safely and examine potential risks of not doing so.

Student Loan Forgiveness Scams

As you may have seen in the news, whether or not student loans are going to be forgiven can be confusing. This also creates multiple opportunities for scammers to prey on you if you currently have a student loan. What scammers may do is contact you by phone and create fake application websites to get your social security number and other personal information. In addition, they’ll charge you a fee to apply. When in reality, there is no fee to apply for student loan forgiveness.

How to Prevent Student Loan Forgiveness Scams:

  • Be aware that the Department of Education does not contact you by phone. Anyone who has called you claiming to be from the Department of Education regarding your student loan forgiveness is an impersonator.
  • If you’re interested in applying for student loan forgiveness, go directly to the Department of Education website at

Vacation Travel Scams

According to the Better Business Bureau, U.S. consumers have lost more than $265,000 to travel scams.

What is a travel scam? You might see online ads or receive an unsolicited call or email that temps you with a “free” or “discounted” trip that only asks you to pay for the fees or taxes — which means, it’s not really free. Oftentimes, these “offers” will advertise low-priced trips but withhold details such as hotel, logistics, and other information. These are most likely scams, so be on the lookout for those red flags.

The goal of travel scams is to get your payment information when you “purchase” the vacation package. Not only would you not get the vacation you paid for, but you may also lose your money.

How to Avoid a Travel Scam:

  • Plan ahead. Typically, the farther out in advance you book your trip, the better deals you’ll get.
  • Get trip details in writing. Before making a final payment, make sure you know cost, restrictions, cancellation policy, airlines, hotel, etc.
  • Consider travel insurance. There are several types of coverage ranging from trip cancellations to medical situations.
  • Pay with a credit or your BankSouth debit card. Doing so adds additional protection if something should go wrong.

Stay Protected From Scams

We see fraud attempts almost every day. While we do our best to keep every customer protected, there are ways you can prevent fraud from happening to you.

Stay one step ahead and bookmark our help article on avoiding and reporting scams. We update this article regularly to keep you in the know of the latest scams.

  • Recently reported scams
  • Tips to avoid scams
  • How to report a scam
  • What we WILL and WILL NOT ask for to verify your identity

More tips to avoid fraud can be found here.

Source of this month’s scam information:
PayPal scams:

Student loan debt relief scams:

Travel Scams:

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