Email Phishing Scam
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PayPal “Regular Account Maintenance” Phishing Scam

by Brett M. Christensen

Email purporting to be from PayPal claims that your account has not been updated as part of the company’s regular account maintenance and you must click an “activate” link to confirm your email address.

Brief Analysis:
The email is not from PayPal and the claim that you must click to update your account details is untrue. The email is a typical phishing scam designed to steal your PayPal login credentials, your credit card details, and other personal information.

Dear PayPal User

Our records indicate that your account hasn’t been updated as a part of our regular account maintenance. Our new SSL servers check each account for activity and your information has been randomly chosen for verification. PayPal Member Services strives to serve their customers with better and secure service

Step 1: To UPDATE your account, just confirm your paypal email address. (It only takes a minute.)ACTIVATE

Step 2. Failure to update your account information’s may result in account deletion and limitation at shopping on our portal.

RegardsPaypal Online Team.

Detailed Analysis:
According to this email, which claims to be from the PayPal Online Team, your account has not be updated as required for the company’s regular maintenance procedure. The email instructs you to click an “Activate” link to confirm your PayPal email address and update your account. It warns that, should you fail to update your information as requested, your account may be limited or deleted.

However, the email is not from PayPal and you are not required to click a link and update your account as claimed.  In fact, the email is a phishing scam much like many that have come before it.

If you do click the “Activate” link, you will be taken to a fraudulent website that has been built to emulate the real PayPal login page. After you have “logged in” on the bogus page, you will be asked to complete an “update” form that requests your credit card numbers, your name, address, and contact details, and other identifying information. Next, you will be told that your update has been completed successfully.

Meanwhile, however, the criminals can collect the information you submitted and use it to hijack your PayPal account, commit credit card fraud, and possibly attempt to steal your identity as well.

When sending emails, PayPal will always address you by name, never “Dear PayPal User”, “Dear Customer” or other generic greetings. Be very cautious of any message purporting to be from PayPal that claims that you must click a link or open an attachment to update account details or fix an account issue. If you receive such an email, do not click any links or open any attachments that it contains. It is always safest 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.

You can report PayPal phishing scam emails that you receive via the reporting email address listed on the company’s website.

Email Phishing Scam

Last updated: January 17, 2017
First published: January 17, 2017
By Brett M. Christensen
About Hoax-Slayer

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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,