Email purporting to be from PayPal claims that you have just received a $3,722.96 USD payment. It claims that you must click a link to login to your account and accept the pending payment.
The email is not from PayPal and you have not received the specified payment. Instead, the email is a phishing scam designed to steal your PayPal login, your credit card details, and other personal information.
Subject: You just received a $3,722.96 USD payment and is pending in your account
You just received a $3,722.96 USD payment and is pending in your account.To accept the pending payment, you are required to login with your email below;Log in to your Account .Your funds will be transferred to your account within a few minutes.For more information on how to accept the payment, follow our secure web server link below;
It may take a few moments for this transaction to appear in your account.
View the details of this transaction online
Once the money’s there you can:
Spend the money online at thousands of stores that accept PayPal.
Transfer it to your bank account (takes 2-3 days).
Get a PayPal Debit MasterCard.
Don’t see the money in your account?
Don’t worry – sometimes it just takes a few minutes for it to show up after you accept the payment.
According to this email, which appears to have been sent by PayPal, you have just received a $3,722.96 USD payment. The email claims that, to accept this pending payment, you are required to click a link to login to your PayPal account. The email includes the PayPal logo and other PayPal related graphics, and, at least at first glance, may seem to be a genuine PayPal payment notification.
However, the email is not from PayPal and, alas, the claim that $3,722.96 has been sent to your account is a lie. In fact, the email is a phishing scam that is designed to steal your PayPal login credentials, your credit card details, and other identifying personal information.
If you click the link in the hope of accepting your unexpected payment, you will be taken to a fraudulent website that has been made to look almost identical to the genuine PayPal login page.
After “logging in” on the fake website, you will be redirected to a bogus “verification” form that claims that you must confirm your personal and financial details before the funds can be credited to your account. The form will ask for your credit card numbers, your name and contact information, and other sensitive personal details .
Once you submit the form, the scammers can then harvest your information and use it to hijack your PayPal account, commit credit card fraud, and steal your identity.
PayPal scams like this one are very common and take many forms. Keep in mind that genuine PayPal emails will always address you by name at the top of the message. They will not omit this greeting. Nor will they use generic greetings such as “Dear Customer”.
It is always safer to login to your PayPal account by entering the address into your browser’s address bar or via a trusted app.
PayPal has published information about such phishing attacks and how to report them on its website.
The following Hoax-Slayer YouTube video covers a similar PayPal phishing attempt:
Last updated: October 9, 2016
First published: October 9, 2016
By Brett M. Christensen