Saturday, January 22, 2011

PayPal scam

I wanted to share a PayPal scam email that I found in my inbox, and how you can tell that it is a scam.

Dear PayPal customer,

Our company has intended a new feature that will improve the Online Banking security. Upgrading our systems will help protect our customers accounts from 3rd-party access and reduce fraud. This process has started on 14th January, 2011 and will be closed on 19th January, 2011.

All our members are required to update their account profile for the new databases. Filling our online form will take about 3-5 minutes from your time.

To access our profile update form click on the following link to login to your account:

Click here to go to the online form

Please note that failure in updating your profile will result in account suspension.

Alison Grudzinski,
IT Assistant Manager,
PayPal Inc.


Now . . . how to tell that this is a scam email

First, companies like PayPal or credit cards will NEVER send you and email asking you to update your information.  

Second, if there was a new PayPal feature upgrade, there would be information on it when you logged into your account.  No need for an email if you just tell people about it when they log in.  

Third, the window of when it started to when it ends is VERY small.  They do this to make you want to rush and go and update your account right away, instead of keeping the email in your account for months.

Fourth, the click here to go to the online form.  Again, if there really was an upgrade, they would ask you to log into your account, and you would already know how to do that and where to go, so no need for a link.

And last, the link itself.  I have removed the link from the "Click here" wording so that no one will go there, but when it was active you could hover your cursor over it, and you would be able to see where it REALLY points to, and it is NOT a PayPal site.  

Here is an image of what the site would look like if you would have clicked on the link.

They make it look like it really is PayPal, but the URL address is not PayPal.

These types of scams are called Phishing scams (pronounced Fishing)

1 comment:

  1. Shawn, Paypal sent out a "scam alert" email a few years ago. The very first thing they stated was whenever they semd out an email, it will ALWAYS have your registered name in the greeting.
    So if you see, "Dear PayPal User" at the beginning of the email, it's a scam.