April 17, 2013
There is an email scam doing the rounds which pretends to be an email from Paypal, and is designed to get your Paypal details from you. It appears in your inbox as being from “Pay Pal ” and is a receipt for something purchased, often for a Skype service. The email looks very official, with a table detailing unit price, quantity and amount. It then offers you a link to click on if you wish to dispute this payment, which of course you will do , as you have not made it in the first place. Once you click on the link to enter your personal details the scammers will then have captured all of them too and you will have to go through a lot of security resetting to be able to activate your Paypal account again.
Paypal are aware of this problem, and ask that you email any suspicious email to them at firstname.lastname@example.org. They also encourage service users to ring immediately if they receive any suspicious emails purporting to be from them. There are some pointers which can help you identify these fake emails. Firstly , look carefully at the email address – is it actually from Paypal? One fake email received was listed as being from “Pay Pal ” instead of the usual email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org. Also, the scammers use generic greetings such as “Dear user” or “Dear member” instead of using your full first and last name. Genuine Paypal emails will never ask you to give your personal and financial details in an email, offer you free software updates or offer a link for you to click on. You will normally have to go to their website separately to log in properly. Look carefully at the way the email is written – are there any spelling mistakes? One fake email received had the words “paypal dispue centre” to click on, which unfortunately was not enough to deter the recipient. Also, real Paypal emails have the full Luxembourg address at the bottom of them, which is several lines long.
If you do click on a link which turns out to be from a scammer, and give out your details, you must act immediately, If you gave out personal details, change your Paypal password and security questions as soon as you can. If you gave out any financial details, contact your bank and credit card issuer immediately. Also, check your bank and Paypal accounts to review your recent payment history and make sure that it is correct. Unfortunately, the ease of online transactions comes with a need to be hyper vigiliant.