People who only occasionally use PayPal could be charged under new plans from the payment platform.
If you have money in your PayPal account and you haven't used it or signed in for 12 months or more, you will be charged either £12 or your entire PayPal balance (whichever is lower).
Customers who don't have money in their PayPal accounts won't be charged, no matter how long their accounts have sat dormant.
PayPal will be contacting affected customers ahead of the rule change, which could create an opportunity for scammers who often impersonate the online payments system.
Here, Which? looks at how to avoid the fee and how to tell if an email from PayPal is genuine.
The inactivity fee will only apply to customers with money in their PayPal digital wallets, and this is where the fee will be taken from. PayPal will not take money from a linked bank account.
The first fee will be charged on 16 December 2020.
Those with balances over £12 will be charged the whole fee. So if you have £20 in your wallet, you'll owe £12.
If your balance is under £12, its entire value will be deducted. Say you have £6 in your account, you'll be charged £6.
PayPal did not answer when Which? asked why it was introducing this fee. But it could be down to increased competition at the online checkout from new buy now, pay later payment platforms such as Clearpay and Klarna, and the fact that eBay is set to replace PayPal as its primary payment platform partner later this year.
Avoiding the fee is actually really simple, provided you know your login details. All you have to do is sign into your account on paypal.com. This alone will reset the clock for another year.
If you do have money in your PayPal wallet, transferring it to your bank account or spending it will stop you from having to log in every 12 months to keep the fee at bay.
Scammers are opportunists, and whenever a company launches a mass customer communications campaign, they're quick to jump in with messages impersonating them.
PayPal is already a go-to for scammers to impersonate, as it's a big-name money-related brand. Since online scams are becoming increasingly sophisticated, it's important to make sure any emails you get from 'PayPal' are genuine.
If they're not, clicking any links they contain could be dangerous, as they could install malware or take you to a fake login page to steal your details - known as phishing.
According to PayPal, its genuine emails will always address customers by their first and last names. So anything with a generic 'Dear Customer' introduction is not legitimate.
There are other things you can check if you're concerned:
The police have seen a huge increase in scam reports as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.
Fraudsters capitalising on the virus have run phishing and malware scams, but some have also knocked on doors pretending to offer to buy groceries for people self-isolating.