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PHISHING SCAM – ‘Receipt For Payment to Apple Store’

by Brett M. Christensen

Outline

Message purporting to be from PayPal claims to be a receipt for a recent payment to the Apple store. The email includes a ‘dispute transaction’ link that you can click if you did not authorize the charge. 

Brief Analysis

The email is not from PayPal. It is a phishing scam designed to trick you into giving your PayPal account login details and credit card information to criminals.

Example

Subject: Receipt for your payment to Apple Store Australia

Apple Store phishing Scam

 

Detailed Analysis

This email, which claims to be from PayPal, is supposedly a receipt for a recent $158 payment to Apple Australia.

The email includes a ‘Dispute Transaction’ link that you can click if you did not authorize the listed transaction.

The message is designed to emulate a real PayPal message and includes the PayPal logo.

However, the email is not from PayPal and the listed transaction is fake. The email is a phishing scam designed to steal your PayPal login details. 
The criminals realize that many people who receive the email will quickly click the ‘dispute transaction’ link in the mistaken belief that their PayPal account has been misused.

The link opens a fake PayPal website that asks you to log in with your PayPal email address and password. Once you have ‘logged in’, you will be taken to a second fake page that asks for identity details and credit card information. Providing the information supposedly verifies your identity so that the payment can be cancelled.

After you supply the information and click the ‘Cancel Payment’ button, you will receive a final message claiming that the transaction has been successfully cancelled.

Meanwhile, the criminals behind the scam can hijack your PayPal account and use both the account and your credit card to commit fraudulent transactions in your name.

Note that the details in these scam emails may vary. Other versions may have different transaction amounts and name different vendors. But all are designed to trick you into submitting your personal and financial information to criminals.

Be wary of any email claiming to be from PayPal that asks you to click a link to verify account information or update details. Always login to PayPal by entering the account address into your browser’s address bar rather than by clicking a link in an email.

Remember that genuine PayPal emails will always greet you by name. They will not use generic greetings such as ‘Dear Customer’. Nor will they use your email address as a greeting.



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