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PayPal ‘Unknown Device or Location’ Phishing Email

by Brett M. Christensen

Because PayPal conducts almost all of its activities online, phishing scammers constantly target the company’s customers.

The cover stories used in these scam campaigns vary considerably.

In this version, the fake PayPal email claims that your PayPal account was recently accessed from ‘a computer, mobile device or other location you’ve never used before’. But, claims the email, you can take care of the problem by clicking a link and viewing your recent activity.

If you do click the link, you will be taken to a fake PayPal webpage and asked to log in. After you log in on the fake site, you will be automatically redirected to the genuine PayPal website.

Meanwhile, the scammers can collect your login details and use them to hijack your real PayPal account. 
Remember that genuine PayPal emails will ALWAYS address you by name. If you receive an email claiming to be from PayPal that asks you to click a link to rectify a supposed account problem, do not click.

Instead, log in to your PayPal account by entering the address into your browser’s address field. If there really is a problem, you should be alerted when you log in to your account.

Example

Subject: Unknown device or location #PP738491096 – View your recent activity

—————————————————————————————————————————
Your Paypal account was recently logged into from a computer, mobile device or other location you’ve never used before.

—————————————————————————————————————————
It’s usually pretty easy to take care of things like this. Most of the time, we just need a little more information about your account or latest transactions.

View your recent activity.

Yours sincerely,
Paypal Customer Service Centre

 

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,
Hoax-Slayer