PayPal Phishing Scam Email on Tablet Screen
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PayPal ‘Changes to User Agreement’ Phishing Scam

by Brett M. Christensen

According to this email, which purports to be from PayPal, the company is making changes to the terms of its user agreement. 

It instructs you to click a button to check your information and update your account. The email, which features the PayPal logo, has the subject line “Account Closure” along with a supposed case number.

However, the email is not from PayPal and the claim that you must click the button and update your account is untrue.

Instead, it is a phishing scam designed to trick you into giving your personal and financial information to criminals.

Clicking the button opens a fake website that looks like the real PayPal login page. After you enter your PayPal email address and password on the fake site, a bogus “account update” form will open. The form asks for your name and contact details, your credit card numbers, and other personal information.

After you complete and submit the form, you will be redirected to the real PayPal website.

The criminals can use the information you supplied to hijack your PayPal account and conduct fraudulent transactions in your name. They can also commit further fraud with your credit card and may be able to steal your identity.

PayPal phishing scams are very common and take many forms. Be wary of any email or text message that claims to be from PayPal and demands that you click a link to deal with a supposed account issue.

Companies may sometimes send notification emails about terms of service or privacy policy changes. In some cases, you may need to agree to the changes to continue using the company’s services. However, genuine companies are very unlikely to send a message insisting that you  click a link to login and supply sensitive personal and financial information as a means of agreeing to such changes

It is always safer to access your PayPal account by entering the address into your browser’s address bar or via an official PayPal app. Genuine PayPal emails will ALWAYS address you by name. They will NEVER use a generic greeting such as “Dear Customer”.

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

A screenshot of the scam email:

PayPal Phishing Scam Email

Transcript of the scam email:

Dear Customer,
We’re constantly working to make safer, simpler and more convenient for our customers Thismeans that from time to time we have to make changes to the terms of our User Agreement
To make sure you are always informed we have posted recent updates on our website.
To update your account please enter the link below and check your account information.Login Now

Yours sincerely,

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,