The danger of PayPal fake calls: Only a quarter of all calls are legitimate

tellows Insights Report
Richard Grant
Richard Grant - Expert in Telecommunications and User Protection
Richard is responsible for tellows' Consumer Protection department and is responsible for investigating all matters relating to telephone fraud, with a particular focus on developments in the telecommunications sector. Last updated: Feb 26, 2024
The latest developments show a high volume of calls relating to the online payment service Paypal. It is important to differentiate between official calls from Paypal and fake calls. With the help of the community, tellows can clarify scams and protect against such calls.

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tellows Insights: Distribution of phone numbers assigned to Paypal*

Official Paypal numbers with positive ranking

The positively rated Paypal numbers are usually assigned to Paypal customer service or Paypal verification.
tellows users submitted to 2 different phone numbers a total of 3 ratings.
PhoneNumber Ratings Caller Example Score
02080806500 2 PayPal Customer Service This was PayPal about an email I sent regarding a payment issue. 1
02035146555 1 PayPal PayPal call 2
The online payment service Paypal from San José (CA) in the United States is the world's leading payment service provider. In recent years, the way Paypal interacts with its customers has evolved significantly. This also includes telephone contacts, primarily for account verification, customer support and sales promotion.    
Paypal calls from a Toll-Free number
There have been numerous reports of Paypal calls from this toll-free number 08009172779, which looks the same as the official Paypal '0800' number, but don't be fooled, this is a cloned number, to trick clients into thinking that it is really Paypal contacting them. A cloned cell phone is one that has been reprogrammed to transmit the ESN and MIN that belongs to registered phone number. Scammers can steal ESN/MIN combinations by illegally monitoring the radio wave transmissions from the phones of legitimate clients with Paypal accounts.

SMS from Paypal

PayPal often uses SMS messages to send important verifications and notifications to its customers. Among other things, Paypal uses contact for the following services:
  1. Account Activity and Transaction Alerts : PayPal sends SMS alerts to inform customers of important activity on their account. This may include, for example, confirming transactions, deposits, withdrawals or changes to security settings.
  2. Security Notifications : PayPal uses SMS to notify customers of suspicious or unusual activity on their account. These security alerts are critical to protecting customers from fraud or unauthorized access.
  3. Two-factor authentication (2FA) : PayPal uses SMS for two-factor authentication to ensure customers can only access their account with an additional level of security. This significantly increases account security.
  4. Communication and customer support : PayPal may use SMS to inform customers about current offers, service changes or important updates. This is for customer support and to provide relevant information.
Important : Scammers often try to impersonate PayPal and send fake SMS messages to obtain sensitive information such as passwords or credit card details from customers. This type of scam is called “phishing.” It is advisable to be careful and not to share sensitive information based on SMS requests. If a fraud attempt is suspected, the respective phone number can be evaluated on tellows and reported to Paypal in order to protect other people from the scam.

Scam or fraud calls with Paypal background

With a share of 80 percent, almost every PayPal call is fake. Fraudulent calls can cause great financial damage.
Scam and fraud calls can be differentiated according to call categories :
  • Phishing calls : Scammers pose as PayPal employees over the phone and claim that there is a problem with your account. They then demand personal information such as passwords, credit card numbers or security codes to solve the alleged problem. However, PayPal will never request such information over a phone call.
  • Fake verification calls : Scammers call claiming to verify or verify PayPal accounts. They ask victims to perform certain actions that may result in them unintentionally sending money to the scammers.
  • Threat calls : Some scammers attempt to put fear and pressure on victims by claiming that legal action will be taken if immediate payments are not made. These calls are classified as fake calls and should not be taken seriously.
tellows users submitted to 17 different phone numbers a total of 160 ratings.
PhoneNumber Ratings Caller Example Score
67975 5 PayPal verification code Said they were from paypal, sent “verification code” fact is i don’t even have paypal. 100% scam, ha 8
+447768324876 11 Fake Paypal Received a robocall of a female voice saying that money has been sent from my Paypal account to an o 9
01482590502 83 wescott had a pre approved payment go through my paypal which i had been scammed on a certain website when d 7
08009172779 4 Paypal (Spoofed) They pretending to be Paypal. Calling about confirming details on account. 7
01677423518 3 Paypal (Spoofed) Was sent an sms by this number saying that my Paypal account has been blocked due to suspicious acti 8
+443300359650 13 Fake paypal This caller is just pretending to be different companies to phish for information and scam you. 9
+447845995697 1 unknown Paypal scam 8
07981279850 1 unknown Claimed to be calling from paypal. 8
07500936299 1 angeblich paypal Hat mir eine Nachricht auf der Mailbox hinterlassen, wonach ich angeblich über 700 Euro über PayPal 8
02921283640 1 paypal scam 9
02871141644 2 Housing Repair scam Called claiming to be PayPal regarding suspicious activities on account. This is a scam, confirme 8
+443300359616 10 Stellt sich als PayPal 8
01290430368 1 unknown This number is given on scam emails, supposedly from Paypal, to call to cancel!!! Obviously phishin 7
03300358208 18 unbekannt,betrug Female computer voice claims to call from Paypal, says a suspicious high payment was made from my Pa 8

Payment verification via app: Be careful with this new scam

A new Paypal scam is making headlines: the so-called gift card trick. Scammers require victims to purchase gift cards and provide them with the codes over the phone to resolve alleged PayPal account issues. A user reports a computer voice that questions a payment made from the Paypal account: “Hello, this is Paypal. You just sent €781 to Coinbase. If you want to clarify the allegations, press 1.” In this case, the user reacted correctly and ended the call. tellow's research shows what happens when the instructions of the mostly female-sounding computer voice are followed. After confirming by pressing the “1” key, a connection is established to a call center employee posing as Paypal customer service. Accordingly, a remote maintenance app called “AnyDesk Remote” should be downloaded in order to grant access to the wrong employee. Gift cards should then be purchased as compensation for the payment allegedly made. The codes are requested from the alleged Paypal employee or read remotely. As soon as the codes are in the hands of the fraudsters, they are redeemed.

It is essential that no number keys or links are clicked that are sent by alleged Paypal employees via call or SMS. Phone numbers that are used for fake calls and fraudulent intentions are usually only active for a short time and are difficult to detect. Therefore, a certain degree of caution should be exercised with every PayPal call.

Securing Your Finances: tellows Insights for Consumer Safety

tellows equips consumers with vital insights to safeguard against Paypal scams:
  1. Caller Verification: Rely on the tellows app to authenticate incoming calls, cross-referencing numbers against an expansive database of user-generated ratings.
  2. User Feedback: Harness the power of user reviews to delve into others' encounters and identify potential scam indicators associated with specific numbers.
  3. Caution and Authentication: Exercise prudence when confronted with unsolicited calls or messages from individuals claiming Paypal affiliations. Verify the legitimacy of the communication through official channels before disclosing any personal or financial details.
  4. Community Vigilance: Play a role in the tellows community by reporting and rating suspicious numbers, fostering a collective defense against Paypal scams.

tellows Insights for journalists and websites

tellows Insights conducted this detailed research. The experts combine unique tellows data with expert knowledge and extensive research. tellows evaluates thousands of reviews every day and creates statistics and data clusters on relevant phone numbers and new scams. This allows the focus to be placed on actually active callers and new dubious telephone numbers to be identified quickly.

The tellows Insights team uses the unique tellows database. This allows detailed studies to be created. The team is happy to answer any inquiries. All graphics and data can be used for editorial purposes and published if the source is linked.

tellows Insights presented at:

All data was last updated on Feb 26, 2024. The phone numbers examined were categorized using the tellows score (1 - serious to 9 - dubious). This indicates the risk assessment of a telephone number. The higher the score, the more dubious the caller is. Calls with the PayPal categorization and the number of reported phone numbers were examined. The analysis only takes into account numbers for which tellows users have assigned the company Paypal.

*User interest for phone numbers assigned to Paypal

tellows Insights Report