Beware Of (Fake) E-mail From Paypal, It’s Not From Paypal, And It Will Cost You Dearly
Paypal is an e-commerce business, a global leader in online payment solutions which allows you to receive and send cash, to pay and get paid online, using your e-mail address.
It serves as an electronic alternative to traditional paper methods such as checks and money orders. Paypal’s website says its services are available in 190 markets and 19 currencies, with over 70 million active accounts worldwide.
It is no wonder then that scammers and hustlers are on the loose, devising clever and innovative schemes to fool unsuspecting Paypal users. This proves once again P.T. Barnum’s famous dictum that there’s a sucker born every minute.
I’ve read of people complaining that their credit cards had been charged through Paypal though they did not purchase the particular goods or services which they were billed for. It is a case of unauthorized transactions, of hustlers successfully hacking Paypal users’ e-mail addresses by accessing their passwords.
Then two days ago, I personally received an e-mail from “service” firstname.lastname@example.org supposedly coming from Paypal.
The e-mail states in part:
“Dear PayPal user,
“As part of our security measures, we regularly screen activity in the PayPal system. We recently contacted you after noticing an issue on your account.
“We requested information from you for the following reason:
“We recently received a report of unauthorized credit card use associated with this account. As a precaution, we have limited access to your PayPal account in order to protect against future
“This is a reminder to restore your account as soon as possible.
“Please download the form attached to this email and open it in a web browser. Once opened, you will be provided with steps to restore your account access. We appreciate your understanding as
we work to ensure account safety.
“In accordance with PayPal’s User Agreement, your account access will remain limited until the issue has been resolved. Unfortunately, if access to your account remains limited for an extended period of time, it may result in further limitations or eventual account closure. We encourage you to restore your PayPal account as soon as possible to help avoid this. We thank you for your prompt attention to this matter. Please understand that this is a security measure intended to help protect you and your account. We apologize for any inconvenience.
PayPal Account Review Department
PayPal Email ID PP89387365″
The e-mail has an attachment which is a form titled Restore_Your_PayPal_Account.html (4KB) which when downloaded, has instruction to fill in all fields — full name, credit/debit card number, card expiration date, CSC , and the ATM PIN.
What? My Palpal account was suspended due to unauthorized credit card use associated with my account? I usually use my account to send payment for this blog (Business Sphere) advertising to Adgitize, Project Wonderful and CMF Ads.
So, what would I do now that my account was suspended and I could no longer access it and pay or send cash online?
My first reaction was to fill in the attached form as instructed. But on second thoughts I decided to go to Paypal website and check my account to know the details why it was suspended.
Presto! I was able to log in to my account, and there was nothing wrong with it. All the transactions that were recorded in My Account were all made by me and nothing was irregular.
To confirm my suspicion that I was nearly victimized by scammer or hustler, I then wrote to Paypal using the Help button, asking if they are sending e-mails such as the one that I received.
After two days came the reply from Paypal, from a certain Angeli of Paypal Resolution Services.
Angeli said that after their review, she confirmed that my account was perfectly in good standing and the suspicious e-mail that I received was not sent by Paypal. She added that any website which may be linked to the suspicious e-mail that I received was not authorized or used by Paypal.
This only goes to show that there are many suckers who are now collecting e-mail addresses and use it to send e-mail to these users, with the sole objective of “extorting” money through credit cards and/or money in the bank which are linked to their Paypal accounts.
How about you? Did you also receive e-mail from “service” email@example.com supposedly coming from Paypal.
To be continued in my next post