It is one of the ongoing missions of this blog to alert readers to dangerous scams by identity thieves. This one ALMOST got me, because it came in two stages, one last week and one today. It purported to be from PayPal, the first one saying they’d be in touch soon to help me set up an email based monthly account information report. Okay, I thought, but I don’t like doing banking online as it’s too vulnerable to hacking.
Then today, I got the second announcement, looking for all the world like an authentic PayPal communication, because they had copied PayPal’s graphics–easy enough, as anyone can do it with a simple right click. It contained several links that I was to click on to set up the account statement mailings. I ALMOST bit because it looked so real. Have a look at this screen shot:
I ALMOST did what it asked because it looked so real and because the earlier email had said to expect it this week. But every time my house hovered over those links, I kept remembering that PayPal’s security center explicity had warned long ago NEVER EVER to click on an email link and give out any information, but instead to click the email off and to go directly to my account and sign in.
(PayPal is a safe, reputable company and works hard to keep members from falling for frauds like these.)
So I went to the site directly, wrote to their fraud division, and got back the following email:
Dear Donna Cunningham,
Thanks for forwarding that suspicious-looking email. You’re right – it
was a phishing attempt, and we’re working on stopping the fraud. By
reporting the problem, you’ve made a difference!
Identity thieves try to trick you into revealing your password or other
personal information through phishing emails and fake websites. To learn
more about online safety, click “Security Center” on any PayPal webpage.
Every email counts. When you forward suspicious-looking emails to
firstname.lastname@example.org, you help keep yourself and others safe from identity
Your account security is very important to us, so we appreciate your
Note for more scams to beware of, see the posts in this category: FRAUD ALERT