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New twist to fake PayPal emails





Traveller
Perhaps this isn't that new, but just in case...

Tonight, I received a fake email purporting to be from PayPal. It was the usual "we have noticed suspicious activity on your account and need you to verify your account information" scam, complete with a link that, on the surface, appeared to go to email but, upon mouse-over, clearly was revealed as going to an address that really wasn't PayPal.

The new twist that made this email different from the many others I have seen over the years is that this one correctly had my first and last names.

PayPal's help pages state that one way to tell that apparent PayPal emails are fake is that they usually will not address you by first and last name, but just say something like, "Dear PayPal user."

Obviously, scammers are becoming more sophisticated (while many Internet users seem to keep getting dumber - enough to fall for these things), so I not only forwarded this email to spoof@paypal.com, but also called them to tell them about this new twist and to suggest they change their help files to mention that the inclusion of first and last name is NOT a guarantee that the email is genuine.

Always keep on guard with such things, and NEVER click on the links that such emails may contain.
Nameless
I honestly believe anyone stupid enough to fall for a scam/virus/spam e-mail deserves everything they get.
Scorpio
Nameless wrote:
I honestly believe anyone stupid enough to fall for a scam/virus/spam e-mail deserves everything they get.


Stupid Enough?

Hmmm.

How exactly will you know to differentiate between good and bad emails if they are so cleverly disguised?
Bondings
Nameless wrote:
I honestly believe anyone stupid enough to fall for a scam/virus/spam e-mail deserves everything they get.

Not everyone is so computer savvy and you can't expect them to know about every little detail on the internet.

Some people need to make tens of payments with paypal every day. If you would get such an email very early in the morning while you aren't fully awake yet, wouldn't you fall for it once?

You would be amazed how many people fall for them.
http://www.webmasterworld.com/forum9/10227.htm
tidruG
Aha! So it's not only me who's been baffled by suspicious activity in my Paypal account!

The irony and the bafflement in my case is even more pronounced because Paypal are emailing me about suspicious activity in my non-existent paypal account Laughing
Traveller
Update: Fifteen hours after I received the aforementioned email, I received another one! After that, I sent PayPal a message to propose the following two changes to their security policies:
  1. Implement a mandatory, secret phrase for each user to enter as a part of the user's profile, then make it so that genuine emails from PayPal will ALWAYS include the user's secret phrase. The scammers may be able to find a user's first and last names by other means, in order to generate a more realistic fake email, but it would be highly unlikely for them to get the secret phrase unless the user is REALLY stupid.
  2. Change the PayPal emails so that a genuine PayPal email will NEVER include any links or URLs, but will require users to go directly to the secure PayPal login page (also NOT provided in the email as a link nor URL).
DawningLight
These things are becoming more common and more clever every day.

There a lots of people out there who will fall for them as well, and they are not stupid. Many just wont know any better and as they get better at such scams more people will fall for it.

We have had a number of these. My husband gets most, and he doesn't have a paypal account.

We have also had very good spoofs supposedly from ebay and so far from three major UK banks as well.

Thankfully we are not the sort to fall for these, but many will. We did however report each one ot the respective genuine establishmants in the hope it may somehow help to stop such as this. If nothing else they get an idea of how many are reaching people.
tidruG
I've never actually reported these... mostly, I either do not open the mails, or I just delete them the moment I read them.
corey
A good idea from Paypal's own FAQ:

Quote:
If you think you have received a fraudulent email, forward the entire email to spoof@paypal.com and then delete it from your email account.


They also caution that you log in to their site at the secure address https://www.paypal.com instead of the insecure one.
Soulfire
It makes it a lot more believable when you are addressed by first and last name, and people would probably think nothing of it... and fall right into the trap.

Now, this is what I do to prevent Paypal scam to me:
1) I never click on a link in an e-mail from PayPal (fake or not)
2) I just go to the website http://www.paypal.com and enter my e-mail and password.
3) I adjust my account there.

It's MUCH safer.
Bondings
corey wrote:
They also caution that you log in to their site at the secure address https://www.paypal.com instead of the insecure one.

Corey, the http://www.paypal.com/ website redirects to the secure https one. And it's one letter shorter. Cool
webcola
Kinda scary, considering that my grandpa can easily fall for this scam (He's smart, but not internet-smart). Very Happy
Soulfire
webcola wrote:
Kinda scary, considering that my grandpa can easily fall for this scam (He's smart, but not internet-smart). Very Happy
And that's what these predators count on Crying or Very sad
alkady
I had an email like this, Problem was I dont even have a paypal account. I guess I got it from a very unorganized person.
GDG
Actually what is stupid about these emails is that even though I have no paypal account I still got one of them. LMAO I couldn't stop laughing I was like wow this is stupid lol, I knew it was a scam so I auto. deleted it!

Very Happy I doubt it is perfessionaly hackers lol!
710ths
I have received emails like this also and have reported them to PayPal / ebay but still receive them. What steps are PayPal doing to oust these preditors?

Has any one also recieved emails requesting your bank i.e. Barclays / Nat West to verify account details?

I agree the inexperienced interet users could fall for the trick. Its the usual thing hit 1,000 maybe only get 1 or 2 responses but they are quids in. I guess the only thing that would stop them is nobody responding, so presumably people out there are still falling for the scam
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