Home ScamsPhishing Scams PayPal “Your Account Will Expire in Less Than 24 Hours” Phishing Scam Email

PayPal “Your Account Will Expire in Less Than 24 Hours” Phishing Scam Email

by Brett M. Christensen

Outline:
Email purporting to be from PayPal claims that your account will expire in less than 24 hours unless you click a link to update your account information.


Brief Analysis:
The email is not from PayPal. It is a phishing scam designed to steal your PayPal account login details, your credit card numbers, and other identifying information.

Example:
PayPal Your Account Will Expire Phishing Scam



Detailed Analysis:
According to this email, which claims to be from PayPal, your PayPal account will expire in less than 24 hours. The message claims that your PayPal account was used to make purchases via a new web browser. Thus, suggests the message, someone may have accessed your account.

It instructs you to click a “Check My Account” button to confirm that you are the only user of the account. It explains that, after clicking the link, you will be asked to re-authenticate your account details just to make sure that you are the real account holder.  The email warns that, if you do not update your information as instructed, your account will be permanently banned.

However, the email is certainly not from PayPal and the claim that you must update your details or risk an account ban is a lie. In fact, the message is a typical PayPal phishing scam designed to steal your account login credentials, your credit card numbers, and other sensitive personal information.

If you click the “Check My Account” link, a fraudulent website will open in your browser.  It will closely resemble the genuine PayPal website. The fake site will first ask you to login with your PayPal email address and password. After you do that, it will take you to a fake “account update” form that asks you to provide your credit card numbers, your name, address and contact details, and other identifying information. All of the information you supply on the fake website can be collected by cybercriminals and used to hijack your PayPal account and conduct fraudulent transactions. They can also make purchases using your credit card. And, if they have collected enough of your personal and financial information, they may be able to steal your identity as well.

Keep in mind that PayPal will never send you a message that demands that you click a link to update account details or risk an account ban. And, genuine PayPal messages will always address you by name. They will never use generic greeting such as “Dear Customer”.

The PayPal website has published information about how to recognize and report such phishing scams.

The following Hoax-Slayer YouTube video covers a similar PayPal phishing attempt:




Last updated: October 27, 2016
First published: October 27, 2016
By Brett M. Christensen
About Hoax-Slayer

References
PayPal ‘Your Account Has Been Closed’ Phishing Scam
Scam Email Threatens PayPal Account Closure Within 72 Hours




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