Sometimes it is important to remember that scam artists are the only criminals we refer to as artists and in the case of a PayPal invoice scam presently circulating, their art is impressive – criminal, but impressive nevertheless. I have warned you numerous times about scams in which you receive a phony invoice that appears to come from a company you do business, but if you look at the email from which it is sent, you will see that the email was sent from someone who has no relation to the company it purports to be. However, in this new scam, you get a phony invoice that not only appears to come from PayPal, but actually does come from PayPal and a link in the email to “View and Pay Invoice” that actually would take you to PayPal and an active invoice. The email has a phone number for you to call if you have a question about the invoice and if you do call the phone number, a scammer will promptly answer the phone where you will be advised to download a remote administration tool that gives the scammer access to your computer purportedly to help find the problem, but in actuality what you will have done is give the scammer access to your computer and all of the passwords to all of your accounts.
The truth is that the scammers open PayPal Business accounts which enables them to be able to send invoices from PayPal which makes them appear legitimate when they indeed are sent to you by PayPal. The customer service number that they provide in the invoice does not, however, take you to PayPal, but rather to the scammer who then asks you to give them remote access to your computer to straighten the matter out.
Whenever you get an email or invoice such as this which appears to come from a legitimate source, don’t click on links or call the phone numbers in the invoice. Rather call the real customer service number which you can get online. It is also interesting to note that if you call the real customer service number for PayPal, you will have to go through a number of prompts before you get to speak to a real person, however, the scammers customer service number is immediately answered by a person.
This scam and many tech support scams ask you to give remote access to your computer which is something you should not do under almost all circumstances. Giving someone remote access to your computer gives them access to everything on your computer and can lead to serious identity theft.
If you are not a subscriber to Scamicide.com and would like to receive free daily emails with the Scam of the day, all you need to do is to go to the bottom of the initial page of http://www.scamicide.com and insert your email address where it states “Sign up for this blog.”