Email with the subject line “Notification PayPal : Suspicious Activities” claims that you have sent a payment of $863.98 USD for an iPhone 6 to “alie.xyy”. It claims that that you should click a “Resolve it now” link if you did not make the transaction.
The email is not from PayPal. The link opens a fraudulent website that tries to trick you into divulging your PayPal login details, your credit card numbers, your name and address, and other sensitive personal information.
Subject: Notification PayPal : Suspicious Activities
Dear [Email address removed],
We confirm that you have sent to alie.xyy(firstname.lastname@example.org) a payment of $ 863.98 USD via PayPal.
This credit card transaction will be shown on your statement as “PAYPAL * Alie.Xy”.
This Isn’t you ?
Resolve It Now
According to this email, which purports to be from PayPal, you have sent a payment of $863.98 USD for an iPhone 6 to a user named “alie.xyy”. The email, which is supposedly a “suspicious activities” notification, advises that if the transaction described was not something you did, you can click a link to “Resolve it now”.
However, the email is not from PayPal and the suspicious activities claim is untrue. The transaction described in the email never took place. Instead, the email is a phishing scam designed to steal your personal and financial information.
The criminals responsible for this phishing attack hope that at least a few recipients, panicked into believing that their PayPal account has been used to conduct fraudulent transactions, will click the link in the hope of resolving the issue.
If you do click the link, you will be taken to a bogus website that has been built to closely emulate the genuine PayPal website. The page asks you to login with your PayPal email address and password.
If you do “login” on the fake site, you will be taken to a second page that explains that your PayPal account has been limited and what you must do to restore access:
If you click the “Continue” button, you will be taken through a series of fake forms that ask for your name, address, and contact details, your credit card numbers, and other identifying information such as your driver’s licence number and your mother’s maiden name:
At the end of the process, you may see a final notification that claims that your account access has been restored.
But, alas, the criminals can now use the information you submitted on the fake site to hijack your PayPal account and use it to conduct fraudulent transactions. They can also use your credit card for further fraudulent transactions. And, they may have enough of your information to allow them to steal your identity.
PayPal phishing scams are very common and take many forms. Keep in mind that genuine PayPal emails will ALWAYS address you by name. They will not use generic greeting such as “dear customer”. Nor will they use your email address as a greeting. PayPal will NOT send you an email that demands that you click a link to resolve an account problem, deal with a security issue, or update account details.
It is always safest to login to your PayPal account by entering the address into your browser’s address bar or via a trusted app.
PayPal includes information about phishing and how to report scam messages on its website.
Last updated: October 18, 2016
First published: October 18, 2016
By Brett M. Christensen
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Importance NoticeAfter 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 YouI 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 DateHoax-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!