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Saturday, April 01, 2006

Watch out for fake Paypal e-mails!

This is nothing new, but since it's a clever one, I thought I post it to the world!

Here's how it goes:
- Mr X receives an email from a Paypal email address telling him about an unauthorized access to his account.
- He freaks out, and clicks on the login icon to fix the issue ASAP without checking where the link points to is not One of the links even reads "" but if you move the mouse over the actual link, of course it's not
- They ask him for his Paypal login (which of course, they store and use later to take money out of his account!)
- Then they log him in and ask for his credit card info: Credit card number, expiry and even The PIN and the security code. Now at this point Mr X should realize what has happened and change his Paypal password ASAP. But if he's stupid enough to give his PIN to a company (you shouldn't even give your PIN to the bank) then he really deserves what's coming!
- Finally they log him in to the real Paypal web site. Since Mr X typed in his real PayPal login, he's now logged into PayPal. Once he's into his normal PayPal page he looks up sees the PayPal domain on top of the browser and doesn't even know what hit him until the credit card statements come in!

Here's a copy of the e-mail itself (Paypal's really fast in taking these fake sites down, so don't expect the links in this sample to work):

----- Forwarded Message ----
From: "" <>
Sent: Friday, March 31, 2006 8:57:52 AM
Subject: PayPal Notification: Re: Unauthorized Use of Your PayPal Account !


Unauthorized access to your PayPal account!

We recently noticed more attempts to log in to your PayPal account from a foreign IP address.

If you accessed your account while traveling, the unusual log in attempts may have been initiated by you. However, if you are the rightfull holder of the account, please visit Paypal as soon as possible to verify your identity:

Click here to verify your account

You can also verify your account by logging into your PayPal account at

If you choose to ignore our request, you leave us no choise but to temporaly suspend your account.

We ask that you allow at least 72 hours for the case to be investigated and we strongly recommend to verify your account in that time.

Thank you for using PayPal!
The PayPal Team

Please do not reply to this email. This mailbox is not monitored and you will not receive a response. For assistance, log in to your PayPal account and choose the Help link located in the top right corner of any PayPal page.

To receive email notifications in plain text instead of HTML, update your preferences here.

PayPal Email ID PP468