Purchase Protection

Purchase Protection


With PayPal, you’re protected from checkout to delivery. We spot problems before they happen with the latest anti-fraud technology. Your financial info is never given away to sellers. And if something goes wrong with your order, your eligible transactions will be fully reimbursed.
See Eligibility.

  • How PayPal Helps Protect You

  • Safer Shopping Tips

  • Guides for Safer Shopping

  • Hardware & Software

How PayPal Helps Protect You

We work hard to keep you secure while you're shopping the Web with PayPal.

Purchase Protection

If you buy something that never arrives, or if it arrives significantly different than described, you're eligible for a full refund. Check out our Purchase Protection policy, or learn how to open a dispute.

And if you ever see a transaction in your account that you didn't authorize, report it immediately. PayPal will begin an investigation and help you get your money back. You can learn more about this process here.

Transaction Monitoring

We have hundreds of highly trained specialists working around the clock to prevent fraudulent activity and identify suspicious transactions.


You're safer when you know who's on the other end of a transaction. That's why PayPal provides a seller verification system.

Secure Financial Information

When you use PayPal for online purchases, we never share your financial information with merchants. All you need to give the seller is your email address-because your payment details are already safely stored on our secure servers.

Safer Shopping Tips

Simple techniques for safer shopping.

Passwords and Secure Sites


Having a secure password is of critical importance. Never use words or numbers that are easy to trace back to you, like birthdays or family names. It's better to use unique combinations of upper and lowercase letters mixed with numbers and symbols. It’s also smart to vary your passwords from account to account.

Check your password strength or create a stronger one here.

Keeping Data Safer

Before buying something online, make sure the site is protected with effective data encryption. Just look for the locked padlock icon at the bottom of your browser.

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Best Sellers

Be sure the person or business you're buying from is legitimate.

Seller Reputations

While most sellers are honest, it's worth your while to learn a little about them before you make a purchase. One way is to check out buyers' reviews of sellers. Many sites, like eBay and Yelp, display detailed customer feedback and ratings.


Ask questions and get answers before making your purchase. Honest and open communication generally leads to smoother and safer transactions.


Take a look at the seller's return policy. If it's not posted, find out if there's a time limit for returns, and whether they will offer your money back or store credit.

Rare or Expensive Items

It's a good idea to use a little extra caution when buying expensive items. Try to talk with the seller and ask some good questions-so you know those collectibles or antiques are the real deal.

Red Flags

A few good reasons to reconsider making a purchase:

Delayed Shipping

This could indicate that a seller isn't sure when (or if) an item will actually be in stock. Contact them to ask when they think it will be available, and whether it makes sense to put your purchase on backorder.

Unsolicited Offers

If you receive an unsolicited email about a product similar to the one you're interested in, there's a good chance something strange is going on, so proceed with caution.

Too Good to Be True

If it seems too good to be true, it probably is.

Guides for Safer Shopping

Fend off fraud with some helpful reading.


You may have received an email falsely claiming to be from PayPal or another known entity. This is called "phishing" because the sender is "fishing" for your personal data. The goal is to trick you into clicking through to a fake or "spoof" website, or into calling a bogus customer service number where they can collect and steal your sensitive personal or financial information.

If you have opened a phishing email but have not clicked on any links, you shouldn't have anything to fear. If you have clicked on a link, or you have downloaded an attachment, read our Identity Protection Guide to learn what to do next.

It's also important to report the phishing email or spoof site as soon as possible in order to protect yourself-and to help your fellow members in the PayPal community.

Forward any suspicious emails to spoof@paypal.com and report spoof websites here.

For more detailed information read our comprehensive Phishing Guide, or test your knowledge and take the Phishing Challenge.

Fakee Mail

Identity Theft

This is when someone steals your personal information and uses it to open accounts and make illegal transactions in your name. Criminals employ a host of clever tactics to acquire your information, so you should be aware of all of them.

Identity Theft

Phishing and Spoofs

Emails claiming to be from well-known companies will direct you to "spoof" or fake websites and request your personal information. Learn more about phishing here.

Identity Theft

Dumpster Diving

Some criminals will even scavenge through your garbage cans, looking for bank statements or credit card numbers. The simplest way to stay safe is to cut up your cards and shred your documents before throwing them away.

Identity Theft


Always pay attention to your surroundings when doing financial transactions in public. Carefully shield the keypad when punching in your code at ATMs, and use your inside voice when you're talking to bank tellers.

Please refer to our Identity Protection Guide for more helpful information.

Hardware & Software

The technology that keeps you safer behind the scenes.

Email Authentication

We're constantly working to prevent phishing emails from reaching your inbox-and to make sure the real PayPal emails actually get through.

We do this with proprietary technology that authenticates our outgoing emails, making it easy for participating email providers like Yahoo! Mail and Gmail to confirm that a message is legitimate. And you don't have to do a thing.

Want to know more about email authentication? Check out our FAQs page.

Email-Real or Fake?

Now there's a quick and easy way to help you know whether an email was really sent to you by PayPal-or if it was sent by someone who may be attempting to steal your sensitive personal information.

It's a free, downloadable app made by our friends at Iconix and it's called the Truemark ® Email ID.

Here's how it works:

If a PayPal email is real, you will see a gold lock with a check mark displayed next to the sender's logo. If it isn't, you won't. It's that simple.

Download Truemark ® Email ID today or learn more about it on our FAQs page.

Iconix Email

Automatic Email Confirmation

Any time you send or receive a PayPal payment, we'll send you an email to confirm the transaction. And if you ever receive a confirmation email for a transaction you didn't make, alert us right away and we'll launch an investigation.

Data Encryption

Sending sensitive information like account numbers or social security numbers via email is never a good idea. If you need to provide this kind of information, a phone call is best.

That said, PayPal helps keep your data as secure as possible-with automatic encryption for all of your sensitive information and email communications.

Here's how we do it:

On Your Computer:

When you register or log in to PayPal, we confirm that your browser is running Secure Socket Layer 3.0 (SSL) or higher, which gives you the maximum possible protection.

When Information is in Transit:

All of your information is protected by SSL, with an encryption key length of 168 bits-the highest level commercially available.

On Our Website Servers:

Your personal information is stored on our servers and heavily guarded, both physically and electronically. And to give your credit card and bank numbers an extra layer of protection, we do not directly connect our firewall-protected servers to the Internet.

There are many reasons that over 30 million people trust PayPal with their finances, and data encryption is one of the most important.

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Browser Upgrades

All the latest Web browsers come pre-loaded with powerful, anti-phishing technologies, making it easier to spot potentially dangerous "spoof" websites. Make sure you have the very latest version of your browser, your anti-phishing filters are enabled, and that your browser is set to automatically update its security features. Visit your browser's homepage or check out the FAQs to learn more.

The PayPal Security Key

Logging in with your PayPal user name and password is secure-but if you're looking for an additional layer of protection, the Security Key might be for you.

The Security Key is a portable device that generates random security codes that you enter along with your PayPal username and password. It's easy to use, and it even works with your eBay account. Get one today or learn more about it here.

Security Key