PayPal has become one of the most popular ways to make online purchases. You can send and receive money from friends and family or use it to pay for goods and services. It’s fast, convenient, and easy to use—but there are some definite downsides that you should be aware of.
Once phished, your PayPal account can be used for other unauthorized things.
Phishing scams are rather commonplace in the digital era. Criminals will often imitate the websites of existing companies, especially banks and e-wallet services. Potential actions by criminals include:
- Buying goods in your name and having them shipped to an address they specify.
- Changing the bank account information linked to your PayPal account.
- Changing the address and phone number associated with your PayPal account.
- Using the compromised accounts to change credit card information associated with those accounts. Another tactic is canceling existing cards and issuing new ones in the criminals’ names.
Once someone has entered your account, they can take money out whenever they want
PayPal is not a bank, so it can’t always stop unauthorized transactions in time. If you don’t notice the unauthorized transaction, you could lose money.
The money is gone if you don’t report the transaction within 120 days. To get it back after that, PayPal will charge you a fee. You may not recuperate the full amount (or anything at all).
PayPal transactions aren’t confidential
PayPal transactions are not confidential. If you use PayPal, it will share your financial information with third parties. That’s because PayPal is a middleman between buyers and sellers.
For you to receive money from someone else, PayPal needs to know your account number and bank account information. So even if you don’t share this information with others, it can still be collected by third parties.
You’re unlikely to be reimbursed if you report a transaction as unauthorized.
If your account is hacked, you have no recourse if a transaction is reported as unauthorized. For example, if someone steals your password and empties your PayPal account, there’s little you can do.
If you have a problem with a merchant or seller, PayPal may not side with you. As long as the transaction went through without incident, they’re unlikely to do anything about it without concrete evidence.
If you like PayPal because of the convenience of their e-wallet, there are other options.
Many payment processors will allow you to use your credit/debit card and bank accounts online without sharing other sensitive financial information. That includes services like Stripe and Square.
Using cryptocurrency wallets is also an option if you prefer not to share any personal data with a third party.
We understand that some people like the convenience of using PayPal, but it does come with risks.
If you prefer a more secure way to pay for things online, consider using a credit card. It’s great if you want to avoid paying a fee every time you make an online purchase. In addition, there’s no need to worry about someone taking money from your account without access to crucial data. It is a bit more secure than an email address and password combination.
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