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PayPal ‘Changes to Legal Agreements’ Phishing Scam

by Brett M. Christensen

According to this email, which purports to be from PayPal, the company is making changes to its legal agreements and you therefore need to click a ‘Confirm Account’ button to accept the changes. 

However, the email is not from PayPal. It is a phishing scam designed to steal your PayPal account login details and other personal information. Clicking the ‘Confirm’ link will take you to a fraudulent website that has been designed to emulate the genuine PayPal home page. If you click the login button on the fake website and supply your account login details, you will be taken to a bogus web form that asks you to ‘confirm’ your account by supplying your credit card numbers and other personal information.

But, all of the information you supply on the fake site can be collected by online criminals who will hijack your PayPal account and use the account and your credit card for fraudulent activities.

At first glance, the email may seem genuine. It includes the PayPal logo and colour scheme. Moreover, PayPal does email customers to inform them of changes to legal agreements. However, a closer look reveals that the message contains grammatical errors that are unlikely to appear in a genuine PayPal email.

And, genuine PayPal messages will always address you by your first and last names. They will never use greetings such as ‘Dear Customer’. Nor will they omit the greeting. Furthermore, genuine PayPal emails will never instruct you to click a direct link to confirm your account or update account information. Genuine PayPal policy update emails will usually include a notice such as the following:

To stay safe from phishing, we recommend you always type our URL into your browser address bar instead of clicking links in emails.

PayPal customers are almost continually targeted via phishing scams like this one. Be very wary of any email that claims that you must click a link or open an attached file to provide account information. As PayPal advises, it is always safest to enter the company’s address into your browser’s address bar rather than by clicking a link in an email.

The PayPal website includes an email address that you can use for reporting such scam attempts.

An example of the scam email:

We wanted to inform you…

We’re making some changes to the Legal Agreements PayPal and wish to inform you.

We’re making some changes to the Legal Agreements PayPal, documents that govern our relationship with you. You can see the dictate the details of the changes in the page Policy Updates, which can also be accessed on Click Here by clicking “Legal agreements” in the lower part of the page, then “Policy Updates”.

What should you do?

Visit our Policy Updates to make sure you are together with the changes. If you are satisfied, you do not have to do anything. If you do not want accept the changes, follow the procedure described on page Policy Updates.

Confirm Account

PayPal Changes Phishing Scam

Importance Notice

After considerable thought and with an ache in my heart, I have decided that the time has come to close down the Hoax-Slayer website.

These days, the site does not generate enough revenue to cover expenses, and I do not have the financial resources to sustain it going forward.

Moreover, I now work long hours in a full-time and physically taxing job, so maintaining and managing the website and publishing new material has become difficult for me.

And finally, after 18 years of writing about scams and hoaxes, I feel that it is time for me to take my fingers off the keyboard and focus on other projects and pastimes.

When I first started Hoax-Slayer, I never dreamed that I would still be working on the project all these years later or that it would become such an important part of my life. It's been a fantastic and engaging experience and one that I will always treasure.

I hope that my work over the years has helped to make the Internet a little safer and thwarted the activities of at least a few scammers and malicious pranksters.

A Big Thank You

I would also like to thank all of those wonderful people who have supported the project by sharing information from the site, contributing examples of scams and hoaxes, offering suggestions, donating funds, or helping behind the scenes.

I would especially like to thank David White for his tireless contribution to the Hoax-Slayer Facebook Page over many years. David's support has been invaluable, and I can not thank him enough.

Closing Date

Hoax-Slayer will still be around for a few weeks while I wind things down. The site will go offline on May 31, 2021. While I will not be publishing any new posts, you can still access existing material on the site until the date of closure.

Thank you, one and all!

Brett Christensen,