Paypal Problems and How to Avoid Them

I thought this would be a great topic for a newsletter because many of you who use QuickBooks also use Paypal.

I have a colleague who went through a NIGHTMARE with Paypal. It’s too bad we didn’t talk BEFORE it happened, because my tip probably would have prevented it altogether. He gets a lot of spam claiming to be Paypal. Here’s what he shared with me:

“I just deleted a ‘Paypal Security problem’ email from my mailbox. I get these once every 3rd month after my Paypal account was hijacked. It took me weeks and a new bank account to get my money (2000$) back, not to mention new account, card, etc…”

The email he is referring to is a bogus email claiming to be from Paypal. I’m not sure exactly HOW his Paypal account got hacked, but he had $2,000 stolen and spent weeks to get it back. Not good.

Here’s a tip I developed to curb this type of problem. I recommend it to everybody who uses Paypal. Here’s what I told him:

“I use THREE accounts: the Paypal account, a bank account attached to the Paypal account, and another bank account attached to the first bank account.

At regular intervals the money is transferred from Paypal to the first bank account, then immediately transferred to the second bank account. Both the Paypal account and the first bank account have low balances at all times. If the paypal account gets hacked it won’t have much in there, and if paypal decided to deduct money from the first bank account it won’t have much in there either.

Obviously this doesn’t PREVENT a hack or some other fraudulent activity, but when balances are low in vulnerable accounts then there’s less headache to deal with if there IS a problem.”

Moral of the story:

Don’t let money accumulate your Paypal account. If there’s no money in there, then there’s no problem if it gets hacked. Zero out the balance VERY REGULARLY to another account, then immediately transfer THAT MONEY into another account. It takes 5 minutes to do if you have online access to all accounts.

To your safety on the Internet!

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