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PayPal “We Need Your Help Resolving an Issue With Your Account” Phishing Scam

by Brett M. Christensen

Email purporting to be from PayPal claims that your account has been temporarily limited because the company needs your help to resolve an issue with the account.

Brief Analysis:
The email is not from PayPal and your account has not been limited.  The message is a phishing scam designed to trick you into divulging your PayPal login details and other personal and financial information to Internet criminals.

Dear Customer,We need your help resolving an issue with your account. Thus, we have temporarily limited what you can do with your account until the issue is resolved.We understand it may be frustrating not to have full access to your account. We want to work with you to get your account back to normal as quickly as possible.

How can you help ?

It’s usually quite straight forward to take care of these things. Most of the time, we just need some more information about your account or latest transactions.Log In To My AccountPayPal Help Resolving an Issue Phishing Scam

Detailed Analysis:
According to this email, which purports to be from online payment service, PayPal, your account has been limited because the company needs your help to resolve an account issue. The email claims that you can help PayPal resolve the issue – and lift the imposed limitations – by clicking a “Log In To My Account” button.

However, the email is not from PayPal. Nor has your account been limited as claimed. The message is just one more fraudulent email in a continuing barrage of phishing scams that target PayPal users. Those who are taken in by the ruse and click the link as instructed will be taken to a bogus webpage made to look virtually identical to the genuine PayPal website. Once on the fake page, they will be prompted to log in with their username and password combination. After “logging in”, victims will be asked to provide detailed personal and financial information.

All the information submitted via the bogus login screen and via the fake “Account Update” form can be collected by the criminals running the scam and used to hijack your PayPal account as well as to commit credit card fraud and identity theft.

Because it conducts its business primarily online and communicates with customers extensively via email, PayPal has long been a primary target for phishing scammers. Be very cautious of any email purporting to be from PayPal that asks you to click a link or open an attachment to supply account information. Watch for fake links disguised as genuine PayPal addresses. And PayPal emails will never include attached forms.

Moreover, genuine PayPal emails will never use generic greetings such as “Dear Customer”. They will always greet you by your first and last name. PayPal has provided information on its website that helps people to recognise and report phishing scams.

Last updated: February 2, 2017
First published: May 14, 2012
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,