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.
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 ?
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
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