About five years ago, not long after first signing up for a PayPal account, I received the first of what would be many spam e-mails informing me of some problem in my account. At the time, I did not know it was spam and assumed there had been some kind of computer glitch as I hadn’t accessed the account in some time.
Instead of following the link on the e-mail, I went directly to PayPal’s home page to look for a contact number so I could speak to a human being about the problem. I could find none. And still can’t. It took me a bit of rooting around to find a phone number. Today, it only took three clicks from the home page. As then, I did not find an 800 number, but one with a regional area code. Thus, unless I lived in that region, I would have to pay for the call.
When I called several years ago to ask about the e-mail, I was left on hold for nearly twenty minutes, thus increasing the cost of my call. Finally, I was connected to a very polite woman who informed me about spammers sending out e-mails, claiming to be PayPal. I suggested they place a notice on their homepage, alerting users to such scams. She agreed it was a good idea.
Today, when I had another problem with PayPal (not as severe as before–and resolved without having to place any calls), I could not find such a notice anywhere on their website.
What frustrated me today was that when I attempted to transfer the funds in my account to my banking account, they told me it would take 4 to 7 days to effect the transfer. (I could not find a means to transfer them to the credit card I had on my account as I had hoped.) In this day of financial transactions so quick that I can make a withdrawal at an ATM just blocks from my apartment and find the funds deducted from my account by the time I return home to check my account online. such delays can be avoided.
Fortunately, I have long since learned how to distinguish legitimate PayPal e-mails and spam scams. But, I can find no evidence of PayPal doing anything to remind users of such scams. To be sure, they are not responsible for such scams, but how much effort would it take them to place a notice on their web-page which that customer service representative thought was a good idea.
But, given that other people use paypal far more frequently than do I would they have trouble distinguishing the real e-mails from the scans?
Given their delay in processing my transaction, it seems they have a scam of their own.