Here is another good example of a phishing email that is presently being circulated. It was sent to me by a Scamicide reader who received it. It makes for compelling reading, but it is a scam. Phishing emails, by which scammers and identity thieves attempt to lure you into either clicking on links contained within the email which will download malware or providing personal information that will be used to make you a victim of identity theft, are nothing new. They are a staple of identity thieves and scammers and with good reason because they work. As always, they lure you by making it appear that there is an emergency that requires your immediate attention or else dire consequences will occur.
Copied below is a phishing email presently being sent to unsuspecting people that appears to come from PayPal. It contains a PayPal logo, but that is easy to counterfeit. It also contains the email address of the recipient in the salutation, but the grammar is faulty in the first sentence where it appears to tell you that a new credit card was added to your account. Another telltale sign that this is a phishing email is that the email address of the sender was one that has nothing to do with PayPal and was most likely part of a botnet of computers infected by scammers and then used to send out the phishing email in a way that is not readily traceable back to the scammer.
Here is the email. I have removed the link where you are asked to verify information. I also have removed the name of the person to whom the email was sent.
Legitimate emails from a company with which you do business would include the last four digits of your account and include your name rather than just your email address. This email had neither. Often such phishing emails originate in countries where English is not the primary language and the spelling and grammar are poor. This email did have faulty grammar. Obviously, if you are not a PayPal customer, you will recognize immediately that this is a scam. As with most phishing emails, they lure you into clicking on a link by attempting to trick you into believing there is an emergency that you must deal with. However, if you hovered over the “Here” link in the email, you would see that it would not send you to PayPal.
As with all phishing emails, two things can happen if you click on the links provided. Either you will be sent to a legitimate looking, but phony webpage where you will be prompted to input personal information that will be used to make you a victim of identity theft or, even worse, merely by clicking on the link, you will download malware such as keystroke logging malware that will steal all of your personal information from your computer and use it to make you a victim of identity theft. If you receive an email like this and think it may possibly be legitimate, merely call your bank or other institution from which the email purports to originate at a telephone number that you know is accurate and you will be able to confirm that it is a scam.
For those of you receiving the Scam of the day through an email, I just want to remind you that if you want to see the ever increasing list of Coronavirus scams go to the first page of the http://www.scamicide.com website and click on the tab at the top of the page that indicates “Coronavirus Scams.” Scamicide was cited by the New York Times as one of three top sources for information about Coronavirus related scams.
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