I quite like PayPal. Through PayPal I can receive payment for my services, spend that money on the Web; transfer those funds to my bank account, and complete a host of additional financial transactions.
But (there’s always that “but”), PayPal is one online service that’s constantly targeted by email scammers and fraud artists. PayPal email scams have been with us virtually since PayPal came on the scene in 1999.
This morning I received the following email, purportedly from PayPal, in which the spam scammer attempts to convince me that this is the genuine article.
Just like most of these type of emails, this one contains the usual misspelling, grammatical, and punctuation errors.
“Very important message from PayPal! Please download the attachment and read and complete the form to avoid suspension.
PayPal protects its community and sometimes we verify information that we “belive” does not match credit card billing address or another IP has been used to login into your “paypal” account.
PayPal is an “Ebay” company.
Thank you. PayPal ID: 7622”
But, as the following screen capture shows, the reply form looks very professional.
It looks convincing enough, that some new PayPal users might easily be taken in. I know that you won’t be deceived by this type of clumsy attempt to defraud, but you would be surprised how often reasonably intelligent people are.
In this case the following issues raised immediate questions.
No personalized greeting. What – they forgot my name?
The reply form asks for information that I initially supplied to PayPal when I activated my account. What – they lost this information?
The reply form asks me to provide my password. Isn’t this supposed to be kept secret even from PayPal?
Common sense advice: If you have any doubts about the legitimacy of any email message and its attachment, delete them.
Be kind to your friends, relatives, and associates, particularly those who are new Internet users, and let them know that there is an epidemic of this type of scam on the Internet. In doing so, you help raise the level of protection for all of us.
Ask your friends, relatives, and associates to keep the following tips in mind while on the Internet:
Don’t click links in emails or social networking sites. If they come from a known source, type them on the browser’s address bar. If they come from an untrusted source, simply ignore them.
Don’t open emails that come from untrusted sources.
Don’t run files that you receive via email without making sure of their origin.Keep your computer protected.
Install a security solution and keep it up-to-date.
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