402-935-7733 : Paypal or a Credit Card Scam ???

    I think we can all agree that seeing a suspicious charge on our credit card or bank statements can send our minds into a tailspin. 

     

    In this post, we are going to talk about the much-disputed phone number 402-935-7733. The reason that this number is so confusing to so many is that this is the phone number that comes through on all PayPal purchases. Now while that should allow for a bit of relief there are still a couple things to be wary of.... read on to find out.... 

     

    Where you typically see: (402) 935-7733

    As you can see from the image below this is how the number appears on your statement. This is an American Express statement, but it probably looks similar to where you found it. 

    Variations of 402-935-7733

    This number is sometimes seen in different formats as well. here is a list of the potential variations of the number. 

    • (402) 935-7733
    • 4029357733
    • 402 935 7733
    • 402.935.7733

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    How Do I Verify This Is A Legitimate Charge? 

    Here are a couple ways to make sure this is a legitimate charge as well as help protect yourself from fraud.

    The first is that a typical PayPal charge will look like this 

    - Paypal {merchant name} 4029357733 CA

    This is the standard format the Paypal applies to all of its payments. The reason that this is important is that just because you see that number, or PayPal for that matter in the subject line of a charge doesn't necessarily mean that it is legitimate. When a merchant sets up their payment processing they are given the option for what they want to be placed in the subject line of the charge. This is meant to allow a merchant to put something that will help you the buyer recognize them so that you won't charge back the purchase. While this is all well and good for those merchants that are scrupulous the ones that are not can try and use this knowledge to trick you into thinking it is a valid charge. 

    Another thing to be aware of is that just because you receive a call from 402-935-7733 doesn't necessarily meant that it is from PayPal customer service. When a company makes an outbound call and they have a sophisticated phone system they actually have the ability to put whatever ANI they want as their caller ID. Again the intentions were pure in its inception in that it was meant to allow call centers with handling multiple different businesses calls to set their caller ID to the appropriate number for the business they were currently making the call for. But again this allows scammers to be able to "fake" their caller ID so that they can impersonate someone else. A security measure that I always follow is that if I get a call from an unknown number whether they are trying to validate a purchase or validate some of my information, I always tell them I will call them back and then I call back a number that is publicly listed and have more confidence that I can trust. 

    The number one weakness in security whether it is in a home security system, network security, or personal security is the human element. For all the hacker news you hear that makes it sound like its these complex systems breaking into each other more often that not it is what is referred to as Social Engineering where someone who is trying to breach security uses an "innocent bystander" to give away crucial information which they can then use to break into the larger system as a whole. 

    With all this being said one investment that I recommend everyone make is in identity theft protection. It is a nominal fee and for those of you have gone through some form of identity theft you know that it is worth its weight in gold. There are few things that make you feel more violated then someone gaining access to your bank accounts, credit cards, and personal information. Hopefully you will never have to go through the experience, but if you do then you want to make sure you have someone experienced on your side to help you. 

    The one I personally use is life lock, but I encourage you to do some research and decide which identity theft protection company best suits your needs.