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Beware- PayPal Scam!

Cactus Flower
May 26th, 2005, 02:36 PM
I recently created a PayPal account, and just received the following email:

" Dear valued PayPalŪ member:

PayPalŪ is committed to maintaining a safe environment for its community of
buyers and sellers. To protect the security of your account, PayPal employs
some of the most advanced security systems in the world and our anti-fraud
teams regularly screen the PayPal system for unusual activity.

Recently, our Account Review Team identified some unusual activity in your
account. In accordance with PayPal's User Agreement and to ensure that your
account has not been compromised, access to your account was limited. Your
account access will remain limited until this issue has been resolved. This
is a fraud prevention measure meant to ensure that your account is not

In order to secure your account and quickly restore full access, we may
require some specific information from you for the following reason:

We would like to ensure that your account was not accessed by an
unauthorized third party. Because protecting the security of your account
is our primary concern, we have limited access to sensitive PayPal account
features. We understand that this may be an inconvenience but please
understand that this temporary limitation is for your protection.

Case ID Number: PP-040-187-541

We encourage you to log in and restore full access as soon as possible.
Should access to your account remain limited for an extended period of
time, it may result in further limitations on the use of your account.

However, failure to restore your records will result in account suspension.
Please update your records on or before May 29, 2005.

Once you have updated your account records, your PayPal session will not be
interrupted and will continue as normal.

To update your Paypal records click on the following link:

Thank you for your prompt attention to this matter. Please understand that
this is a security measure meant to help protect you and your account. We
apologize for any inconvenience.

PayPalŪ Account Review Department "

I clicked on the link, and it took me to a page that looked EXACTLY like the PayPal website. It asked for my credit card number and social security number (among other things) to "verify" my account, for security purposes. I called PayPal instead, and they said THIS IS AN IDENTITY THEFT SCAM.

PayPal will ALWAYS use your first and last name to address you, not "valued customer" or anything else.
They had me forward the email to them, and are investigating it. In the meantime, I deleted my PayPal account- just too scary to me to keep it.

Be careful!

May 26th, 2005, 02:40 PM
I get those emails all the time! Thanks for the reminder, Cactus Flower!

A good way of spotting the fake sites is in the address: Because you are talking about personal information the site should be SECURE

it should start with:

https://www. . . instead of just http://www. . .

Cactus Flower
May 26th, 2005, 02:53 PM
Aha! Didn't I tell you you're brilliant?

I had no idea about the "https".

THANK YOU for that!

May 26th, 2005, 02:56 PM
I get those a lot..and the funny thing is, I don't have a paypal account anymore! I closed it down!!

I think you just forward them to, and they will send something back saying whether it is true or not. If you can forward them the complete "header" info for the mail, that helps a lot as they can track down and charge who sent it.

May 26th, 2005, 03:41 PM
Wow it is crazy what people can do now day! That is awful that is why I never open anything like that. Some people would never know and give out all that info and who knows what would happen. Thanks for the reminder! :D

May 26th, 2005, 03:47 PM
Oooh, that's scarey. I got that e-mail when I signed up.

May 26th, 2005, 03:53 PM
I received that email too about a year ago!
As soon as someone asks for your SIN BEWARE. the only people you are required to give your SIN to are CRA and your employer, that's it! No one else .

I cancelled may paypal after that.

May 26th, 2005, 04:06 PM
Another hint...if you get a site that looks exactly like the official site, check the website address at the top of your browser. For example, there was a scam going with fake AOHell...I mean, AOL ;) ...sites. It looked IDENTICLE. But if you looked at the address, it wasn't an AOL address. Dead give away.

May 26th, 2005, 05:57 PM
I got one email message like that the other day, I do have a paypal account but this seemed fishy I did put in a passcode but when they asked for my credit card number I just deleted it. A few days later I got ten more messages saying exactly what you said in your thread I hope I don't have a virus. I never gave out my ccn so hopefully I am okay.

May 26th, 2005, 07:56 PM
NEVER click on an url included in an email!! Always type it in - this is a more secure way of accessing the internet. For example, if you recieve an email claiming to be from your bank - it probably is NOT - but to access your bank, type it in your browser! I actually use MailWash so none of these things gets to my server or Gof gorbid an actual hard drive!

May 27th, 2005, 11:15 AM
Also if you right-click on the link and look at the property, you'll be able to see the real webpage it's redirecting you to.

I've first got the similar paypal scam almost 2 years ago on Yahoo, and immediately reported to spam control. Since then it's been filtered to the Yahoo spam guard junk box.

May 27th, 2005, 11:56 AM
This practice is called phishing (fishing) and is becoming a very large problem. Anytime you get an email saying that your account needs to be verified, yada, yada, yada and click here to fill in your information - you can safely assume that its fake. I get messages all the time from different banks telling me that they need to verify account information - when I've never even dealt with that bank! It's not Paypal that is doing this, they provide a good service - its the con man trying to get your personal information by impersonating a reliable company. Rule of thumb - when in doubt, delete!

Cactus Flower
May 27th, 2005, 12:06 PM
Lots of tools and good advice! Thank you, everyone.

I've actually never gotten an email like that before. I guess because I don't do much on this computer, such as online purchases. I don't have "accounts" anywhere. Setting up that PayPal was a first. Probably a last, too....

May 27th, 2005, 12:13 PM
Online shopping is great! I buy all sorts of stuff online - do most of my christmas shopping, order flowers, etc. It is actually a very convienent and secure way to shop! You just have to be aware of things like phishing. I would say just in the past month, I have ordered pet stuff from 4 different online places, books from, some clothes and some new sheets - all online. I have been ordering stuff online for quite a few years, and have only ever had one bad experience (it was with a seller on ebay). I've never had my identity stolen (although why someone would want to be me is beyond my comprehension) and I have never had my bank account wiped out. If you are nervous about giving your credit card number online when shopping, you can normally call them with your information - or if you have a citibank card, you can have a virtual account number to give for online purchases so you aren't giving out your real number. I would die if I couldn't shop online anymore! I love it! My only problem is remembering all the logins and passwords! :D

June 2nd, 2005, 06:27 PM
WEll I got antoher wierd paypal email saying that I have added someone as an email contact that I don't even know, I forwarded the email to the paypalspoof address.

Cactus Flower
June 2nd, 2005, 07:08 PM
Sheesh, will it ever end?

June 2nd, 2005, 07:21 PM
The email I got was not from paypal and they are investigating it the other ones probably were not either that I got asking for credit info so they could update my account that is scary. :confused:

Cactus Flower
June 2nd, 2005, 09:19 PM
Yes, that IS scary. That's why I pulled my PayPal account in the first place. I just panicked. I bet PayPal really hates people like this. They are losing business because of them.

June 3rd, 2005, 11:49 AM
I even get those phishing emails at work and I don't use my work email address for any online ordering! Every time you get one of those, forward it to the actual company whether it be paypal or ebay or whoever so that they can investigate it. They will respond to let you know if it was bogus or not (I've never had one be real yet). I wouldn't let it keep me from shopping online.