Home ScamsPhishing Scams PayPal ‘Your Account Has Been Closed’ Phishing Scam

PayPal ‘Your Account Has Been Closed’ Phishing Scam

by Brett M. Christensen

Outline:
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.



Brief Analysis:
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).

Example:
Subject: Final reminder : Your Account has been Closed!
PayPal Account Closed Scam Email





Detailed Analysis:
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
About Hoax-Slayer

References
PayPal Report Phishing
‘Confirm Your New Security Question’ PayPal Phishing Scam
Phishing Scams – Anti-Phishing Information




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