From PayPal To PayPauper

A thousand times a day, PayPal emails most of us and informs us that there’s been a grave compromise in our accounts. Would we like to just click this big bright button and fix it, please? And just like that, your entire savings has been funneled into a phisher’s pornography investment.

It happens all the time, to the point that actual emails from PayPal are viewed with leery suspicion. But even if you can get your money back after being victim to a PayPal crime, you’re still screwed. Take Jeff, for example, whose bank account was drained of thousands of dollars, leaving him with negative $760 and an extra $200 in overdraft fees, ticking upward by the minute.

PayPal’s going to refund his money, of course. But it’s going to take them 60 days. 60 days of being a pauper just because their system isn’t secure. And they won’t reimburse him for overdraft expenses.

Stories like this just give me the willies… I’m frickin’ paid through PayPal. Thanks, Mat!

From Paypal to the Poorhouse in One Easy Hour


Edit Your Comment

  1. LTS! says:

    Lesson learned. Only an idiot ties an online account to his primary source of funding.

    Open a second account with your bank. Have Paypal tied to that account and then transfer money between them. Keep them separate and people won’t drain your life’s savings.

  2. Morton Fox says:

    To avoid getting caught by phishers, just don’t follow links from emails mentioning Paypal. Even if you think such an email might be legit, navigate to in your web browser instead of following the link.

  3. Papercutninja says:

    Yeah it really sucks. But don’t be a moron.

  4. steinwaytony says:

    I’m very glad to have read the comments above. As usual, this Consumerist post capriciously deflects all blame away from the consumer and on to some other body — AOL, PayPal, etc. — and not once considers that the consumer has the responsibility to take the necessary precautions to protect his assets. If you walked around a NYC subway station with your wallet tied to your ankle, and blamed the pickpocket/President Bush/Tommy Hilfiger for failing to protect the little guy, I’d laugh at you. Just as I’m laughing at you here.

    If you click the links on those shady e-mails, maybe the money is better off with someone else. My two cents.