Update: This article was first written more than 8 years ago, and people are still finding mystery charges associated with the phone number 402-935-7733. You would think that by now Paypal would have gotten the message, but hey, they didn’t ask us.
If you have been reviewing your bank records or credit card statement, and have found what you believe to be an unauthorized charge or charges that shows “Paypal” and the phone number 402-935-7733, take a deep breath, and relax. It may not be what you think, especially if what you think is that someone has hacked your bank account, or stolen your credit card.
You know that you either didn’t conduct such a transaction with your Paypal account – or maybe you don’t have a Paypal account at all! But it’s ok, because almost certainly what it means is that someone with whom you did business – such as a merchant, or a seller, or maybe an eBay vendor – does have a Paypal account, and they have run your transaction through their Paypal account, even if you don’t have your own Paypal account.
This is also how it appears on your bank statement or credit card transactions when you do have a Paypal account, and when you pay for something via Paypal, or something is otherwise charged to your Paypal account (such as through an automatic transaction, or using your Paypal debit card, for example), and you don’t actually have enough in your Paypal account to cover the charge.
(Relatedly, here’s how you can find and cancel all of the automatic payments that come out of your Paypal account.)
If you do have a Paypal account, remember way back when, when you signed up for Paypal, and you had to provide a bank account or credit card as a backup billing method? That’s what that charge is. It is Paypal using your backup billing method to cover the shortfall because you don’t have enough in your Paypal account.
If you don’t have a Paypal account, then the odds are very good that the charge that reads something to do with Paypal, and that has the phone number 402-935-7733 associated with it, is a charge from that vendor or merchant who uses Paypal to run their own charges through.
We agree that they do a poor job of making that clear (and to be fair, it may be out of their hands in terms of how it shows up on your statement). But that’s what that charge with the phone number 402-935-7733 is.
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Now, all that said, if you don’t have a Paypal account, or have not used it during the time that the transaction occurred, and you also don’t recall making a purchase that correlates to that entry (i.e. the date and amount) on your bank statement, by all means you should contact your bank, as it’s still possible that it is a fraudulent charge. You may also find it reassuring to know that, as the overwhelming majority of comments below demonstrate, you’re not alone in having been concerned, and the odds are very good that it’s a legitimate charge.