I received an email today that was structured to look as though it came from PayPal.
Here’s a screen shot (click on the photo to see it larger):
Fortunately, I’ve heard enough warnings about “phishing” emails to be on the lookout for messages like this one, that try to trick recipients into clicking on bogus links that will harm your computer and/or attempt to trick you into giving a 3rd party website your PayPal password and account info.
A few tip offs that this one was a fake:
— It wasn’t sent just to me, but to “undisclosed recipients”
— They did not address me by my first and last name anywhere in the email
— The return address appears to be from “Service@PayPal.com”, but if you click “Show More” for the Sender, the full email address is revealed as firstname.lastname@example.org
— If you hover over the links embedded in the email, you’ll see that they won’t take you to a secure page on the PayPal website. Instead, they direct you to another website entirely–one that will likely harm your computer the minute you click the link.
What really annoys me about this email is that they have the nerve to include “helpful” information on how to avoid fraud–and the link they provide to show you their Security Tips takes you right to the same bogus website as all of the other links.
If you receive an email like this, and you aren’t sure whether or not it is from the real PayPal site, follow these simple steps:
1. DO NOT CLICK ON ANY OF THE LINKS IN THE EMAIL
2. Forward the email to email@example.com Don’t send the email as an attachment, and don’t change the Subject line….just forward it to PayPal and they will contact you as to whether or not the email is legit or a spoof/scam.
3. Delete the email
You can read more about how to avoid Phishing scams at the real PayPal site HERE