I fall for a scam from a person I met on a random forum online selling some stuff, that I was interested in from another country.

I sent the money as friends and family (sadly), so I don't think I can get them back (right?). But what is worse, is that the scammer is threatening of using my information (like address and email) to scam more. How is that possible?

I'm new to PayPal so I don't know what information he has. After the transaction, I blocked him on PayPal, so he cannot find me there anymore, but I'm not sure if that will help.

Please, let me know your answers, any help is much appreciated.

  • "I sent the money as friends and family (sadly) ..." — What does this mean? Did you use your friends and family's PayPal accounts to send the money?
    – Flux
    Jul 31, 2022 at 20:39
  • 1
    @Flux No, it means that you are telling PayPal that the payment is a gift to a friend or a family member.
    – Simon B
    Jul 31, 2022 at 21:49
  • 2
    "friends and family" transactions are not reversible. Some vendors will insist on this method to avoid being scammed. I have taken a chance and sent to strangers using this method (for research labor), but generally, using this method for strangers is a bad idea.
    – Mattman944
    Jul 31, 2022 at 23:43
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    The only way to possibly get your money back is to report this to PayPal. Did you?
    – TTT
    Aug 1, 2022 at 2:50

1 Answer 1


You can safely assume that once you filled your address in any form on the internet it is then available for anyone everywhere. Email addresses are available for anyone everywhere by their nature. So it doesn't sound like the scammer can cause you any more harm by making public information that is already fairly public.

  • 1
    You can try, I'm not familiar enough with Paypal to know if it is possible. I try to avoid Paypal as much as possible.
    – littleadv
    Jul 31, 2022 at 20:15
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    @Flux way too many ways to get screwed. In the US there's very little regulation over PayPal and similar services so there's really little recourse in case of fraud or scams. That on top of their draconian lopsided ToS - I'm staying away.
    – littleadv
    Jul 31, 2022 at 22:14
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    Email addresses are available for anyone everywhere by their nature. Hmmm... 🤔
    – jub0bs
    Jul 31, 2022 at 23:05
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    @jub0bs very few email providers will not immediately leak your email address once its created. Even fewer email consumers once its provided to them. Let alone random dictionary attacks or just spambots trying every possible combination
    – littleadv
    Jul 31, 2022 at 23:19
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    A former coworker once claimed to have proved his email provider was giving his address to spammers, since he started getting some just after opening a Microsoft account. He neglected to consider that it was easy to set up a script to send emails to every variant of [email protected]. Aug 30, 2022 at 21:28

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