Who should I contact to report paypal theft?


Some lovely person hacked into my (very old, unused) Skype account, changed the email address and helped themselves to 2 payments of 50 euros each via my Paypal account last night.

I started Paypal disputes to try to get my money back from Skype, contacted Skype too (changing email address back again and tried to delete my old data) and changed all my passwords to everything on-line I can think of.

Thing is, is there an online fraud reporting system or do I go to the gendarmerie to report this? if it'd been 100 euros taken from my house, I'd be onto the police straight away but it seems like a secondary consideration since it's on-line! Strange how my thinking is different in this case and would appreciate any advice.


fair enough, but bear in mind, real hackers can empty your account, not really worthwhile bothering with a small amount.

also, be careful of giving "hackers" a bad name. The internet was created by hackers

I used to pay a small amount per month to SFN (sorry it's not more, James!) but because it was a small amount, it triggered an alert. They explained to me that if your credit card or PayPal account is compromised, the crook will try to put a small charge through first before buying any larger items. So I changed my SFN contribution to a yearly payment instead, and try and only use my Carte Bleu here.

Last year we had our credit card compromised and was told then that the reason they take small amounts is because most stores have a limit, all different but on average it's around the £50 to £100 area and anything under that isn't checked it 's just processed straight through, anything over that is checked and may be refused.

When our Credit card was hacked last year they did a lot of shopping for smallish amounts on the internet, and even used it to pay for bus's for a couple of quid where no pin is required.

Yeah, I agree. They are probably trying to take an amount that is large enough to be worthwhile, but small enough that the victim may not notice and make a fuss.

I'm sure it's a hacker. The email address they changed my account to is no one I know. And there are many other people who have been hacked in the same way.....(just google Skype fraud!) and some to the tune of less money than me.

I would say if it is a blackhat hacker out to steal, they would have taken more than 100 quid. This seems closer to home. Is there anyone you know that has access to your information, or is it a possibility that you are not signed out on a computer somewhere.

"hackers" aren't going to go to the trouble for only a hundred quid.

The proliferation of web sites all needing user accounts, and the very variable nature of how those are managed and protected, makes different passwords for every site a necessity now. Writing them down isn't great at all, but using something like LastPass makes the whole thing manageable. I now have different unguessable passwords for almost every site I use, and I feel much safer for it. However, I don't think that would have helped in the case of this particular attack.

I agree it's simple, John, but the temptation to make it complicated is irresistable. People end up with masses of different passwords, pin codes, memorable names, dates etc. The only way to recall them is to write them down, which is the last thing, you should do.

The one thing you can rely on Microsoft for is lousy security.

I've been in IT for years and security is simple. The problem is most people pay no attention to it.

A friend just sent me this which may explain how they accessed my Skype account. Money refunded yesterday so all's well....


There is a specific section on Paypal to report things like this, 'resolution centre'

If you'd rather talk to a person then here is the phone number for the Paypal head office in Dublin, 0035314369111.

I've recently had to claim money back from an Ebay seller who took my money & didn't send the item, and found the Dublin office very helpful, especially as i have a French Paypal account and the resolution centre is all in French.

They do have a strict procedure to follow, i had to wait 2 weeks but i got my money back.

Must say i've had a Skype account for years and never had a problem.

Good luck.

Good luck

Yes - All Three - contact Skype - Pay-pal , and the Gendarmerie ....

They can chase the IP unless it's a pro working through proxys --- have you changed computer recently?
who ever it is has suceeded in hacking both your Skype account AND you Pay-pal !

Should inform your bank Too ! - what have they been buying ? just Skype credit or what ?

Contact PayPal's toll free customer support line immediately!!! 888 215 5506. They are very responsive to fraud.

We have been using PayPal for almost eight years for our US online business. Thousands of transactions and not one incident of fraud in all that time. A telephone complaint will push your issue to the top of their fraud prevention team's priorities... and will prevent any further misuse of your account. I imagine that you will not be held responsible for the charges and they will be reversed.

I'm not sure of the mechanics either, but I would strongly recommend the use of a password manager (like LastPass, www.lastpass.com). It is now pretty much obligatory to have separate strong passwords on every account that you use, and a decent password management program makes this feasible, and even in the case of LastPass almost transparent.

The biggest risk is for those who use the same password everywhere, and whose passwords are relatively weak. Once your single password has been leaked from any one of the sites you use then the keys to your online existence are freely available.

Very good news that you were refunded, but it's a warning to us all.

Hi there

Not sure how they did it but I paid for some Skype credit via Paypal back in 2008 and then because some of my credit got timed out and they deleted it, I decided never to use it again. Got an email on Saturday saying money been taken from my paypal account and also another email that that someone had changed the contact email address on my Skype account. So it seems that Skype keep all your payment history and you can't delete it. My only advice is to change your skype password regularly and use paypal to pay and not a bank/credit card direct so at least you get some recourse if fraudulent activity occurs.

Hi - I don't understand and I like to learn how a Skype account can be used to get money from paypal. We have to protect ourselves. Thanks in advance for your reply.

Hi Ditte,

Message received from Skype and now Paypal that the money will be credited back to my account so that's a relief. Won't be using Skype again. Read lots of peoples' woes about money being taken fraudulently from Skype accounts and not credited back.

Been a good lesson for me to keep changing passwords too.

Will pop into the gendarmerie and see what they say.

Hi Kate

Interesting thought ,this difference between online and real-life theft.
I would contact the gendarmerie ... they must have an department for online-theft.

Hope you get the money back.