I have used Paypal for years, for making small transactions and for receiving small amounts of money ($100 or so). It seems pretty safe to me. Even the manager of the bank branch that I use says he uses Paypal for online transactions. No one else can get into it as long as you GUARD your password. Even the person who has SENT some money to your Paypal account CANNOT get it back once he has sent it.
It is easy to use. Other people who have Paypal accounts can transfer money from their account to yours, and you can deposit money from yours to theirs. People who DON'T have a Paypal account can deposit money into YOUR Paypal account by using a credit card or debit card. All of the instructions for opening a Paypal account can be found at www.paypal.com
There IS one way scammers can get you. It really doesn't involve any fault in Paypal's security. It's a fault in YOUR security. The scam itself is just another variation of the "Nigerian Scam". The difference is that the scammer tries to make you THINK he has paid you via Paypal. Here's how it works: Let's say the scammer makes a deal with you to buy your tractor for $5000. He says he'll deposit $6000 into your Paypal account. He says that after you receive his money, you are to send $1000 to his "shipper", who will then come and get the tractor. You then receive an email from Paypal saying that the $6000 has been deposited. The secret is, this is a FAKE email from the SCAMMER - it just LOOKS like a real Paypal notice. If you go to your Paypal account, yourself, without following any links from the fake email, you'll find that nothing has been deposited.
SO, always check your Paypal account by typing www.paypal.com into your address line, or using google to get there, or using a "favorite" that you have already set up. ALWAYS be suspicious of a deal that sends you MORE money than you asked for, and wants you to forward some of it to "someone else". That "someone else" IS the scammer.
Whenever someone wants YOU to send money when HE is supposed to be buying something, a BELL should ring in your head. There is a 99.99% chance that this is a scam. The only way I would pay money to a shipper is, if it was part of the deal for ME to do the shipping, and I hired the shipper, and I paid him in person. And this, only AFTER the check from the "customer" has cleared my bank. IMPORTANT: "Cleared" doesn't just mean they have accepted the deposit. "Cleared" means that the funds are still in YOUR bank account ten days later.
I'm sure they have many other schemes, so if you see ANYTHING fishy.. DON'T fall for it. Read about the other scams HERE.
And YOU... the scammer.... if you are reading this... yes YOU !!! I'd like you to get in touch with ME because I have this great old bridge in Brooklyn that I can give you a real GOOD deal on.......