I've received a small amount in my PayPal account which I don't recognize. The mail and notification on my phone seem genuine and I was not asked to accept the payment, it just went trough.
I do not sell anything nor use Paypal to get paid by friends.
I'm concerned this is some sort of scam which I don't understand. What am I supposed to do in this case (apart from contacting paypal, that at the moment sent me an automatic reply)?

  • What if you leave the money in there? (And definitely don't spend it!)
    – RonJohn
    Aug 13, 2019 at 15:48
  • 1
    If you do decide to contact Paypal over it, make sure to look up their contact information independently. DO NOT use any such information contained in the email. This could be a straightforward phishing scam; sending a fake email that only LOOKS like it came from paypal.
    – Steve-O
    Aug 14, 2019 at 13:42

2 Answers 2


I got one of these once. I just reversed it with a note saying "I think this was sent to me by mistake." and I got a nice response thanking me for returning the money.

Just send the money back.

  • 11
    Do reverse the incoming payment, do not send (new, unrelated outgoing payment), the money back.
    – Ben Voigt
    Aug 13, 2019 at 22:51

The emails are just notices. You may delete them if you think they're suspicious. The fact is that IF the money came into your account someone sent it to you.

Could have been a mistake.

You can start a case with PayPal to see if they have any further information.

In any case, I would suggest you to just leave it there for 180 days. That's the maximum period you have to claim PayPal to return you a payment you did if you did not receive the product/service the amount was supposed to cover.

If any person sent this money to you by mistake, they will probably claim it back soon.

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