If you’re reading this, I assume you’re already aware that PayPal is one of the world’s most popular online payment methods. It’s what most of us use to make purchase on the internet. PayPal is so standard, in fact, that it’s supported by just about every VPN out there.
Why isn’t PayPal being supported by NordVPN? The developer of the popular VPN software has chosen not to include the popular payment method in its repertoire due to controversies surrounding the company.
PayPal and The Centralized Money System
PayPal has weathered many controversies over the years, but none more serious than its ties to the centralized money system. It’s the kind of issue that has caused the company so much bad will that some people refuse to do business with it, or even use it due to concerns over the safety of their personal information.
The company is especially vulnerable to these concerns given the nature of its business. After all, if you’re using PayPal to send money to someone, then they have all the information they need to steal your identity.
PayPal and The Great Recession
In 2008, PayPal went through a major transformation. Facebook’s founder and CEO, Mark Zuckerberg, purchased the company for a whopping $20 billion, making it one of the largest acquisitions in internet history. At the time, PayPal was reportedly valued at around 14 times annual sales.
The Great Recession and subsequent financial crisis hit sales hard, and the impact was felt by every company, not just those operating on the internet. In fact, one of the primary reasons why the Facebook founder decided to purchase the company was due to its reliance on revenue from online gambling and other potentially risky ventures.
This caused many to lose faith in PayPal’s ability to remain a secure and trusted method of payment. Bitcoin was created in part as a response to the Great Recession, with some even calling it the “digital gold rush.”
PayPal and The Rise Of Bitcoin
It’s been said that the 2008 financial crisis was caused in part by a lack of faith in centralized money systems, and the subsequent rise of bitcoin provided a glimmer of hope that the system might still work. Some even saw bitcoin as a potential replacement for traditional currency.
The idea behind bitcoin is to provide a safe and anonymous way to make transactions online. Unlike traditional currencies, which are managed by central banks and are therefore susceptible to fraudulent practices and governmental sanctions, bitcoin is decentralized, meaning it doesn’t rely on any banks or governments to operate.
While many saw the potential in bitcoin during this time, it’s also widely considered to be one of the most difficult cryptocurrencies to deal with. The complexity of verifying and recording transactions in real time is also a major problem, resulting in some businesses halting their bitcoin sales due to complications with the technology.
Why Is PayPal Being Left Out Of The Mainstream?
Nowadays, almost everyone uses PayPal to some extent. It’s so ubiquitous that Facebook and Amazon both incorporate the payments into their platforms.
On the surface, it would seem that PayPal’s exclusion from the VPN market is a matter of consumer choice, as the company provides a very useful service for online shoppers that many find appealing. However, there’s a lot more to it than that. As noted above, PayPal’s vulnerability to identity theft makes it an incredibly dangerous tool for online shoppers. Given that most people already have a lot of trust in the company, it’s not difficult for a scammer to pose as a victim and create a fake account to steal their identity.
The issue is that PayPal is so deeply integrated into the online world that it’s hard for any software to emerge as a viable alternative to the service. It’s difficult to create a digital wallet that’s also a viable option for online shoppers, for example, which is why most VPNs don’t support PayPal.
PayPal’s Controversial Past
The fact that most people use PayPal just means that the company is already familiar and easy to connect with for most people. It doesn’t take a genius to see the potential for abuse if that familiarity is exploited.
In the decade since its inception, PayPal has faced a litany of controversies, many of which revolve around the safety of its users’ personal information. Below are some of the most important ones.
The Video Confirmation Phishing Scam
One of the more recent controversies to emerge around PayPal is the so-called “Video Confirmation Phishing Scam.” Here’s how it works:
If you receive an email from someone claiming to be from PayPal and requesting your personal information, assume it’s a scam.
Then, search for the URL provided in the email in your web browser. Many scam emails contain a link to a website that looks like this:
Upon following the link, you’ll be prompted to provide your personal information. Don’t provide any information unless you are 100 percent sure that the person contacting you is legitimate. The last thing you want to do is give a scammer your bank account information.
The Fake Confirmation Phone Call Scam
A similar scam to the video confirmation phishing scam just mentioned above, but this one uses a more rudimentary approach. Instead of requiring you to visit a fake website, the scammer simply calls you and asks you to provide your personal information. If you hang up the phone without providing any information, you’ll never know if you were scammed or not.
The Fake Check Scam
Another money-grabbing scheme that uses a technique similar to the video confirmation phishing scam is the fake check scam. Here, the scammer will send you a real check, typically for a small amount, and ask you to deposit it into your bank account. The problem is that it’s a scam. No legitimate business would ever ask you to deposit a check in advance.
The Email Confirmation Phishing Scam
One of the more traditional ways that scammers try to scam people is via email. In this scam, the scammer will send you an email that appears to be from PayPal, with a link that they claim is for your account. When you click on this link, you’ll be prompted to provide your personal information. Don’t give any information unless you’re absolutely sure that the email is legitimate.
The Fake Delivery Scam
One of the more elaborate scams that utilize a technique similar to the ones described above is the fake delivery scam. In this one, the scammer will send you various goods, including expensive jewelry and electronics, and ask you to sign for them. Normally, when you sign for a package, you’ll be required to provide some form of identification (like a credit card or passport). However, in this case, the scammer will use a different technique and ask you to click on a link in the email to verify your identity.
PayPal And The List Of Scams
This is by no means an exhaustive list of the scams that PayPal has been involved in. The company has had its fair share of controversies, and it wouldn’t be surprising if future generations of scams were to be blamed on the online payment giant.
Keeping Your Personal And Financial Information Safe
If you’re reading this, it’s quite likely that you already know the importance of keeping your personal and financial information safe. After all, we live in a world full of scammers and would-be hackers, looking to steal your identity and financial information. So, it’s important that you take the steps necessary to keep your information secure.
Here are some basic guidelines for keeping your personal and financial information secure:
Only Use Credit Cards For Signing Up For Cash Advance
One of the best ways to protect yourself from online scammers is by only using your credit card for signing up for a cash advance. A cash advance is when a company gives you money from your credit card without you having to go through a tedious application process. Many payday lenders, for example, will allow you to apply for a cash advance online in a matter of minutes.
If you choose to apply for a cash advance online, try to find a reputable lender that has a good reputation for helping applicants avoid scams. Ensure that you read the terms and conditions of the loan carefully before you commit to anything, as this will protect you from any misrepresentations made by the lender. Make sure to notify your bank and credit card companies as soon as possible once you’ve received the cash advance. This will help protect you from being hit with an overdraft fee due to insufficient funds.