Man holding phone with PayPal phishing email displayed
Home ScamsPhishing Scams PayPal ‘Account Has Been Suspended’ Phishing Scam

PayPal ‘Account Has Been Suspended’ Phishing Scam

by Brett M. Christensen

According to this email, PayPal has temporarily suspended your account ‘due to some issues in the automatic verification process”. 

The message, which includes the PayPal logo and footer links, urges you to click a button to complete a verification process and unlock the account.

It warns that, if you do not verify your account, your PayPal funds will be lost permanently.

However, the email is not from PayPal and your account has not been suspended as claimed. Instead, the email is a phishing scam designed to steal your personal and financial information.

If you click the “Unlock Account” button, you will be taken to a fraudulent website that has been built to look like it belongs to PayPal.

Once on the fake site, you will first be instructed to log in with your PayPal email address and password. Next, you will be asked to complete a series of forms that request a large amount of your personal and financial information.

At the end of the process, you may see a final message that informs you that your account has been unlocked.  You will then be automatically redirected to the genuine PayPal website.

Meanwhile, criminals can collect the information you supplied on the fake site and use it to hijack your PayPal account and commit fraudulent transactions. They can also use your credit card to conduct further fraud outside of PayPal. And, they may use the information they have collected to steal your identity.

PayPal scam emails like this one are very common and take many forms. Always login to your PayPal account by entering the site address into your browser’s address bar or via a trusted app rather than by clicking a link in an email.

Note that genuine PayPal notification emails will ALWAYS address you by name.  They will NEVER use a generic greeting such as “Dear Client” or “Dear Customer”.  Nor will they use your email address as a greeting. 
PayPal phishing scams are distributed via SMS as well as email.  If you receive one, do not click any links that it contains. Do not open any attachments that may come with the message.

PayPal has information about phishing scams and how to report them on its website.

A screenshot of the scam email:

PayPal account suspended phishing email