Archive for May 28th, 2012

Fake PayPal emails

28 May 2012

Unfortunately, as we become more reliant on internet commerce, there are an increasing number of fraudulent attempts being made via fake emails.

Fake emails are also called “spoof emails” or “phishing emails”.

The fraudster is trying to get your PayPal username and password so that they can then transmit any funds you might have to a bank account within their control.

They do this by sending out a mass fake PayPal email containing link to a Fake PayPal website.

The email often claims that something is not right with your account or a specific transaction and they ask you to login to your account to review it.

Once you have logged in to the fake account, they capture the details and then immediately login and change your password so that you can no longer access your own account.

Then they work on taking advantage of your account while you are left struggling to regain control of your account.


If you ever suspect that you have received a fake email from PayPal, do not click any link in the email!

  • PayPal will ALWAYS write to you by using your first name and surname.
  • PayPal will also confirm what your email address at the bottom of the email.
  • If there are any links in the email we do not recommend that you click them – but instead just go to your web browser (Internet Explorer, Firefox, Chrome, Safari) and simply type in the address bar at the top to go directly to their website without relying on any links which might possibly be fake.

Simply forward the email to and they will usually respond promptly to confirm if the email is genuine or not. They will also be able to shut down the site very quickly.

Here is an example of a “Phishing” email:


Dear Customer,

PayPal temporarily check your account.
Reason: Billing failure.
We require you to complete an account update so we can be sure your details is correct.
To start the process Click Here.

Once you have completed the process, you can access your account at
any time.

The information provided will be treated in confidence and stored in
our secure database.
If you fail to provide required information your account will be automatically
blocked from PayPal database.
Copyright (c) PayPal Inc., All Rights Reserved


You can see that they write to “Dear Customer”. Also if you read the email carefully you will notice grammatical errors.

Here is a response from PayPal when the email is forwarded to


Hello First and Surname

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, you help keep yourself and others safe from identity theft.

Your account security is very important to us, so we appreciate your extra effort.



This email is sent to you by the contracting entity to your User Agreement, either PayPal Ince, PayPal Pte. Ltd or PayPal (Europe) S.à r.l. & Cie, S.C.A. Société en Commandite par Actions, Registered Office:

5th Floor 22-24 Boulevard Royal L-2449, Luxembourg RCS Luxembourg B 118349.


To read more about phishing you can see read this.

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