Thursday, October 15, 2009

You've been scammed!

I got an odd e-mail from PayPal the other day, telling me I'd paid EU250 to something called "Skype Business Panel."  My first thought was that it was a phish, but careful examination suggested it was real.  I logged on to my PayPal account and indeed I'd been charged EU250.  What the hell is "Skype Business Panel", anyway?  Turns out it is a skype feature where businesses can allocate credit to the skype accounts of their employees and thereby manage their telephone spending. 

I have spent about $10 with skype per year, recharging my skype account from PayPal when it ran low.  Somehow (don't remember) I had authorized skype to charge my PayPal account when my balance got low.  And this was the vector through which I was scammed.  Someone must have gotten a hold of my skype password (don't know how), logged on, and billed EU250 to my PP account (which didn't require a PayPal webflow), and then allocated it to some bogus accounts. 

First stop: dispute the charge with PayPal.  They were completely unhelpful, pointing me to the authorization and told me to work it out with skype.  Fortunately skype was more helpful, and they reversed the charge immediately. 

I then logged on to my Skype Business Control Panel (now that I know such a thing exists), and found several bogus accounts linked to mine, which I deleted.  After all was said and done, including the refund, I still somehow had a EU100 balance on my BCP, meaning somehow the scammers gave me  EU100. 

To see if you have any such preapprovals on file: login into your paypal account, click "Profile", and click "Preapproved Payments."  You can delete them from there.


  1. Thanks for sharing this.

    After checking, it looks like PayPal has preemptively removed my preapproved payment to Skype, which would be a good move.


  2. Hey there – sorry to hear that your account was taken over. Please let me know if there’s anything else I can do to help on this one, but it sounds like our customer support team have been able to sort things out for you.