(WMC-TV) - A PayPal scam is costing consumers a lot of cash and some big headaches. But something about its language gives it away.
Adam Perkins decided to sell his laptop for $500 on eBay. He got a buyer right away.
"I got an email from PayPal saying we have your funds," Perkins said. The buyer asked Perkins and his mother, Susan McConnell, to send the laptop immediately.
When they took a second look at the email, they noticed it was full of grammatical and spelling errors. "Customer" was spelled "costumer." A line in the e-mail said, "If you're selling a bunch of stuff...," instead of specifically naming Perkins' laptop.
"Most people would have picked up on that," said McConnell. "We did not...and we went ahead and shipped the laptop, only to realize it wasn't a real PayPal account."
"The buyer sent a phony e-mail pretending to be from PayPal," said U.S. Postal Inspector Laura Carter. The message said the funds had been sent, when actually there were no funds.
If postal inspectors hadn't stopped the shipment, the scammer would have received Perkins' laptop without paying a cent.
Be wary of PayPal notices sent to your email. If you really have a PayPal account and someone claims to have sent you payment, log in and verify the contact.