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There is a new technique for scamming that all traders should be aware of when making a payment through PayPal for an item bought online. A relatively new feature on PayPal’s website is the ability to send a fee-free “gift” or "personal" payment. Such a payment is solely for the purpose of sending a cash gift -– not for the payment of goods bought/sold on the internet.
You may be saying, “that’s great! – the seller will be happy that he/she isn’t going to be docked a fee for our transaction!” But, what is not readily explained is: this “gift” payment option comes with ZERO buyer protection – meaning, you cannot dispute a transaction if you receive a faulty item or do not receive your item at all. Many online scammers are requesting payment in this way so that the buyer cannot file a PayPal claim – if a seller requests that you pay via this method for a substantial item, please be very cautious as the item could be defective or not exist!
>>> How to avoid selecting the "gift" payment option:
This feature is somewhat disguised when making a payment on PayPal’s website. After selecting the “send money” tab in your PayPal account, type in the amount you want to send. To maintain your buyer protection and charge the seller a fee, keep the "payment reason" tab on "purchase" and select an option such as "goods." To send money as a "gift payment" or (personal payment), select the tab "personal" and select an option such as "other" or "payment powed" -- toggling back to the "purchase" tab will return to the "normal" (fee included) payment method.