Home ScamsPhishing Scams PayPal ‘Final Reminder’ Phishing Scam Email

PayPal ‘Final Reminder’ Phishing Scam Email

by Brett M. Christensen

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:

PayPal Check Account Information Scam

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:

PayPal Fake Verify Account Page

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:

Update Credit Card Scam Page

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:

PayPal Update Address Scam Page

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:

Bogus credit card confirmation form

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.

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,