Recently, I received another email purporting to be from PayPal requesting information in order to resolve and undisclosed “issue” with my account. The email goes on to provide a link to click on to go to the proper place to provide the information requested to enable me to use my PayPal account. The email indicates that until this information is provided, my use of the account will be limited. Unfortunately, this email is not from PayPal. It is from an identity thief and it follows a common pattern for these types of scams. It carries a sense of urgency such that if I do not respond, I will not be able to have access to my account. This same tactic is used with phony emails purporting to be from your bank or other companies with which you do business. It is important to remember my motto: “Trust me, you can’t trust anyone.” If you click on the link, one of two things will happen, both of which are bad. The first possibility is that you will be taken to a website where you provide personal information that enables the identity thief to steal your identity. That is called phishing. The second possibility is even worse; merely by clicking on the link, you may unwittingly download a keystroke logging malware program that will steal all of the information from your computer, such as credit card numbers, passwords, account numbers and your Social Security number thereby enabling the identity thief to steal your identity and empty your accounts. The email I received is reproduced below. DO NOT CLICK ON THE LINK.
Although as phony emails go, this one was pretty good, there are some telltale signs that it is not a real email from PayPal. The grammar is good and although it does not show it in the copy of the email below, the email to me carried an accurate depiction of the PayPal logo. However, the email is not directed to me individually, but rather to a generic, “Dear Customer” which indicates that it is a scam. A real email from PayPal will use your name in the email and will never ask for personal or account information. As I often say, you can never be sure when you receive an email whether it is legitimate or not so whenever an email asks for information and you have even the slightest thought that it might be legitimate, merely contact the company at a telephone number or email address that you know is accurate. Then you can find out if there really is an issue. In this case, if you need to contact PayPal, its website can be found at https://www.paypal.com. There you can inquire about any emails you may receive that might appear to relate to your account.
We need your help resolving an issue with your account. To give us time to
We understand it may be frustrating not to have full access to your PayPal
What’s the problem?
We need a little bit more information about you to help confirm your
Case ID Number: PP-001-487-280-335
How you can help
It’s usually pretty easy to take care of things like this. Most of the
To help us with this and to find out what you can and can’t do with your