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PayPal ‘We Couldn’t Verify Your Recent Transactions’ Phishing Scam

by Brett M. Christensen

Image ©: stevanovicigor /

Online criminals continue to target PayPal customers via scam emails and text messages

One version of the scam, which is currently being distributed via email, falsely claims that PayPal couldn’t verify your recent transactions. The message, which includes the PayPal logo, asks you to click a button labelled “Verify Information Now” to rectify the supposed problem.

The email claims that this verification is required because PayPal has noticed some changes to your usual selling activity. It also asks you to confirm that you’ve changed your password.

The idea here is to panic you into clicking the verify button in the mistaken belief that your account has been compromised and the password changed.

If you do click as instructed,  you’ll be taken to a fraudulent website that has been built to mirror the genuine PayPal home page.  Once on the fake site, you’ll be asked to log in with your PayPal email address and password. Next, a fake account update form will open in your browser.  The form will ask for your name and contact details, your credit card numbers, and other identifying personal information.

After you submit the completed form, you may see a final message claiming that you have successfully verified and protected your account.

But, now, the criminals can use the information you provided to take control of your PayPal account, commit credit card fraud, and attempt to steal your identity.

If you receive a message like this one, do not click any links or buttons that it contains. Remember that genuine PayPal emails will always address you by name.  They will never use generic greetings such as “Dear Client” or “Dear Customer”.  Nor will they omit this greeting or use your email address in place of your name.

The PayPal website includes information about how to recognize and report such phishing scams.

An example of the scam email:

Subject: New Transaction Statements – we’re letting you know : We couldn’t verify your recent transactions

PayPal Verify Transactions Phishing Scam

This video from the Hoax-Slayer YouTube channel discusses a similar PayPal phishing attack:

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,