Does PayPal Refund Money if You Get Scammed?

PayPal is one of the most popular money transfer services on the internet. With more than 300 million active users worldwide, this company hardly needs an introduction, but its popularity doesn’t come without a price.

Wherever there’s money, there are scammers, and considering how easy it is to use PayPal, it’s a matter of time before someone sends a payment for an item that never arrives. Knowing what you and PayPal can do in such cases is of utmost importance. 

PayPal Refund Policy

This online financial giant has multiple sets of policies governing refunds and chargebacks, and it might be overwhelming to explore them all. We will go through the most relevant regulations that can be handy if you get scammed after initiating a PayPal transfer. 

The most useful PayPal refund tools designed for scammed buyers include:

  • 180-Day Refund Policy
  • Purchase Protection
  • Chargebacks

180-Day Refund Policy Explained

If you paid for something via PayPal, but the item never arrived, or you suspect fraud, you can cancel the payment on your own. This option will be available as long as the transaction is in the Pending status. In such cases, you can stop it from your Activity page by hitting Cancel next to the item in question. In case the payment is pending for more than 30 days, the amount will be automatically refunded to your account. 

Most payments are processed fast, so this option might not be available when you need it. In those situations, PayPal recommends to contact the seller directly and request a refund from them. You should find the seller’s contact email when you open the problematic transaction on the Summary page. 

While this method might not be particularly useful if you’re dealing with scammers, it’s worth trying. You will have proof you had exhausted all options before escalating the issue further. 

PayPal allows you to dispute your payments and submit a refund request up to 180 days from the moment of purchase.

PayPal’s Purchase Protection

PayPal’s refund policy is a part of its buyer’s safety guarantee, which refers to personal information security, fraud protection, and dispute resolution. The policy is especially useful if you deal with scammers.

PayPal’s Purchase Protection claims that the buyers are protected if:

  • They notice charges on their account that they didn’t make
  • They never receive the item they purchased
  • They receive the order, but the items are notably different from the expected

In such cases, PayPal guarantees that you will receive full reimbursement, including any shipping costs. You must file a dispute within the mentioned 180-day period, or within 60 days, in the case of unauthorized charges. 

Multiple transactions and items are not included in PayPal’s Purchase Protection program:

  • Prepaid cards
  • Motorized vehicles
  • Real estate
  • Items that go against PayPal’s policies
  • Purchases made in person
  • Money transfers to friends and family members
  • Donations 
  • Industrial machinery
  • Custom-made items that don’t match the description
  • Items that look the same as described by the seller

Securing a PayPal Scam Refund by Opening a Dispute

If you contacted the seller with no success, your next step would be to file a dispute through PayPal’s Resolution Center. The process involves the following steps:

  1. Open the Resolution Center page in a web browser
  2. Log in with your PayPal credentials
  3. Click on Report a Problem
  4. Select the problematic transaction and hit Continue
  5. Choose the reason most appropriate for your claim
  6. Submit the dispute

Opening disputes is currently possible only on PayPal’s website and not in the app. If the seller is unresponsive after 20 days, you can escalate the issue to a claim and ask PayPal to step in. This is also done through the Resolution Center, and once you go through with it, PayPal will investigate and has up to 30 days to decide whether you will get your money back. 

Chargebacks as a Method for Ensuring PayPal Scam Refunds

Chargebacks are a great tool to use if you fall for a scam and send a PayPal payment using your connected credit card. While PayPal works closely with your card issuer to resolve the problem you encountered, chargebacks fall outside of PayPal’s domain and policies. When PayPal receives a chargeback request from the credit card company, they freeze the said amount in the seller’s account until the issue is resolved. 

Chargebacks are usually initiated when the buyer doesn’t receive an item they paid for, or it arrives damaged, defective, or significantly different from what was described. Other reasons include:

  • Charges that the buyer doesn’t recognize or deems fraudulent
  • Charges with billing errors, including wrong dates and amounts
  • Duplicate charges

If you want to start a chargeback process with your bank or the card issuer, you can do it over the phone, by sending an email or a dispute letter, or occasionally on the bank’s website. Deadlines for submitting your dispute depend on card types, but most issuers require you to initiate the process within 60 days from the moment the questionable charge appears on your statement.  

Get Your Refund With DoNotPay 

Before we proceed with the most efficient way for requesting refunds, here’s the overview of your options mentioned above:

Can you request a refund via

Yes / No

DoNotPay

Yes
Email

Yes

Phone

No
Letter

No

Website

Yes
In-person

No

DoNotPay is the best bet for getting your money back if you ever fall for a scam. Our methods are based on the Fair Credit Billing Act of 1974, which allows disputing credit card charges within 60 days from the purchase. 

Using our app is a piece of cake. You don’t need to be familiar with fancy legal vocabulary or technology. The only requirement is to set up your account in a web browser or download our iOS app. When you log in, follow these steps:

  1. Select Chargeback Instantly
  2. Answer some questions about your bank
  3. Provide details about the charge you need to dispute
  4. Confirm your personal information and submit your claim

Our AI lawyer bots will send the dispute letter to your bank right away. DoNotPay can also supplement your claim with relevant Visa and MasterCard codes and regulations, if necessary. 

Try DoNotPay When You Need to Fight Other Administrative Issues

With our groundbreaking AI assistant, solutions to various bureaucratic nuisances are only a few clicks or taps away. You will save some time and energy on paperwork, but more importantly, you can cut expenses. DoNotPay helps with refunds from companies as diverse as Netflix and Groupon or ensures you get compensated for airplane tickets you didn’t use. 

For those who want to try any service’s free trial, but don’t want to get charged later, DoNotPay offers virtual credit cards. They will work perfectly at the sign-up, but once the free trial expires, you won’t have to pay anything since our cards are not connected to your bank account! 

Do you need to get rid of PayPal spam emails? Could you use a hand with lowering your bills or protecting yourself from cyberstalking? You can turn to your pocket-sized lawyer bot. 

Access DoNotPay from any web browser or get our iOS app. We can show you how to: