Criminals are again targeting PayPal users via bogus account notification emails. This incarnation, which claims that the company has noticed an issue with your account, demands that you click a link to check the account information that belongs to you.
To create a false sense of urgency, the fake email purports to be a “final reminder” and claims that you need to check your account details “now”.
An example of the scam email:
Fake PayPal Website Steals Your Personal Information
If you fall for the ruse and click the log in button, a “verify account” message will open in your browser. The web page includes the PayPal logo and seemingly legitimate PayPal navigation links:
Clicking the “Continue” button opens a second page that asks you to log in with your PayPal email address and password. Next, the following credit card update form will appear:
After you supply your card details and click the “Select a billing address” drop down, the following address update form will load in your browser:
Next, a supposed credit card confirmation form will appear. The form asks for your name, date of birth, “driver lience” (sic) number and 3D secure password:
A final message will then inform you that you have successfully updated your PayPal account before redirecting you to the genuine PayPal website.
Criminals Can Use Stolen Data For Fraud and Identity Theft
The criminals can now collect all of the information that you supplied on the fake website. Armed with this information, they can:
- Hijack your PayPal account and use it to conduct fraudulent transactions.
- Use your credit card to conduct further fraudulent transactions.
- Attempt to steal your identity.
PayPal Phishing Scams Are Very Common
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 rectify a supposed account issue, lift an account suspension, or update personal details. PayPal will never send you an email that demands that you click a link or open an attachment to log in to your account.
And, genuine PayPal emails will always address you by name. They will never omit this greeting, nor will they use generic greetings such as “Dear customer” or “Dear [your email address]”.
It is always best to login to your PayPal account by entering the address into your browser’s address bar rather than by clicking a link in an email.
The PayPal website includes information about recognising and reporting phishing scams.