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PayPal ambushes users with mystery Skype charges

Glitch or breach?

Vulture Central is keeping its eyes peeled for some sort of PayPal glitch or security breach, following reader reports their accounts were debited overnight to pay for Skype services they never ordered.

Both readers are UK residents and longtime PayPal users. Both logged in yesterday to find their accounts had been charged to secure accounts with Skype.

"I doubt it's a phishing attack," reader Neil Lucock writes. "I download all email to a Linux box, don't view mail as html, don't click on links unless I've looked at the code to see where I'm going and turn the machine off unless I'm using it."

And yet there he was staring at five charges for £11.50 that were made the previous night, while his computer was switched off.

"Once I'd confirmed it was real, I spoke to First Direct bank who said they'd had other customers report Paypal/Skype fraudulent usage," he added.

John Marriott was hit with a bill for £93.12, even though he's never ordered any Skype services. "Please warn other users of this fraudulent activity," he says.

The reports come as eBay takes heat for its plan to require Australian customers to use PayPal for transacting payments. The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission has told eBay to temporarily rescind those plans while the commission has had more time to study whether the PayPal-only move passes legal muster.

An eBay spokesman said the company's security team was looking into the reports, but had no other information. If you've found strange charges on your PayPal account, please notify us here. ®

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