Protecting the privacy and security of your account is a top priority for us. Scammers are constantly trying to find loopholes to exploit legitimate online platforms such as PayPal that integrate with your bank account for transactions. We’d like to make you aware of a new kind of online scam called the PayPal Prenote Scam. We hope that this information will help you spot the scam and avoid falling victim to cybercrime.
What is the PayPal Prenote Scam?
A prenote (or prenotification) is a zero-dollar transaction test to validate and confirm that the information provided to the financial institution matches the bank account information of a user. This verification usually happens before a direct deposit or withdrawal can be processed.
The scam involves creating fake PayPal accounts and linking them to victims’ leaked banking information. Once payment information has been linked to an account, the scammers will normally make several test withdrawals — these appear as “Web PayPal Prenote” on the victims’ bank statements.
The test withdrawals will often be for $0, but they may be as much as a few dollars. What the scammers are doing by making these small withdrawals, is they are testing the legitimacy of the leaked banking information, and also hoping to not arouse too much suspicion. After all, it’s tough to get too concerned about a transaction for $0, even if you don’t recognize it.
However, once the scammers are sure the leaked banking credentials are legitimate and the withdrawals go through without issue, they will begin to make much larger withdrawals, potentially completely emptying victims’ bank accounts in the process!
How to help protect yourself from PayPal Prenote Scam?
First, if you’ve noticed unusual “Web PayPal Prenote” transactions on your bank statement and do not attribute it to be caused by an action taken by you, please contact us immediately.
Second, keep your bank account information secure, and when disposing of physical documents and previously used checks that contain that information, dispose of it safely. Scammers can steal people’s mail or go through a person’s trash to find these types of documents. A paper shredder could be useful to dispose of these papers.
PayPal users should use two-factor authentication just as an extra security procedure for protecting their accounts and the personal information an account can contain. Two-factor authentication is when the user must provide two pieces of identifying information. This is a great tool to help protect your information on any platform.
Thank you for trusting Exchange Bank with your financial needs. Stay cybersafe!