Email purporting to be from PayPal claims that your account has been closed because the company is concerned that someone has been using the account without your knowledge.
The email is not from PayPal and the claim that your account has been closed is untrue. The message is a phishing scam designed to trick you into divulging your PayPal account login details to online criminals. (Detailed analysis included below).
This email, which at first glance looks like it was sent by online payment company PayPal, claims that your PayPal account has been closed. Supposedly, PayPal is concerned that someone has been using your account without your knowledge so the company has closed it as a precaution.
The email explains that you can activate your account by clicking a button and logging into PayPal. It includes the PayPal logo along with other graphics and links designed to make it seem more legitimate.
However, the email is not from PayPal and your account has not been closed as claimed. In fact, the email is a phishing scam designed to steal your PayPal account login details.
If you click the link in the email, you will be taken to a fraudulent website that contains a bogus PayPal login box. Like the email, the fake website includes the PayPal logo and secondary links to make it appear genuine. If you enter your PayPal email address and password and then click the ‘login’ button, the fake page will simply reload.
Meanwhile, however, your login details can be collected by cybercriminals and used to hijack your real PayPal account. Once the criminals have gained access, they can use it to conduct fraudulent transactions in your name.
PayPal phishing scams like this one are very common. Remember that genuine PayPal emails always address you by your full name. They will never use greetings such as ‘Hi [email address], or ‘Dear Customer’. Always login to PayPal by entering the address into your browser’s address bar or via an official app rather than by clicking a link in an email.
You can report PayPal phishing and learn more about these phishing scams via the information published on the PayPal website.
Last updated: March 7, 2016
First published: March 7, 2016
By Brett M. Christensen