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{ 43 comments… read them below or add one }

101 Centavos December 13, 2010 at 6:40 am

Paypal, and Ebay, and Amazon, I’ve received this kind of phishing emails from all three. Maybe the Nigerians and Russians have figured out that offering small finder’s fees of a multi-million oil contract in exchange for temporary use of your bank account doesn’t generate the returns it used to.

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Kris December 13, 2010 at 7:46 pm

101- I have only gotten emails from Paypal. I must not be ‘big time’ enough. (Watch, tomorrow I will hear from all the others.)

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Money Reasons December 13, 2010 at 6:46 am

Great instructions Kris!!!

I’ve received such scams in my email account, but I didn’t know what to do with them other than tell my family and friends to beware!

Thanks for provideing instructions that will help a larger audience!!!

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Kris December 13, 2010 at 7:45 pm

MR – Well, I hope people become aware of it. The social security number made it really obvious, but if they had asked for less info, I might have fallen for it myself.

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retirebyforty December 13, 2010 at 6:57 am

You’d better run the virus checker just to make sure there are no further problem. I have received paypal phishing email before and I caught it as I read the mail. We’re not even suppose to open the email at all in these cases, especially if you use Outlook. Don’t open any attachment unless you trust the source 100%. Even then be careful, my wife’s Hotmail account was hacked and it sent out a bunch of junks to everyone.

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Kris December 13, 2010 at 7:44 pm

I have run security since, and everything seems ok, but who knows. A friend of mine refuses to do any online transactions. I used to think she was crazy, but maybe not…

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Kaycee December 13, 2010 at 8:11 pm

My Aunt is/was the same way. She is/was tres paranoid about buying anything over the internet. And she STILL had her credit card info stolen. @@

It was either when she bought airline tickets (over the phone), rented a car (over the phone) and/or rented a hotel room (over the phone).

So she was, IMNSHO, OVERLY cautious for no reason.

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Kris December 14, 2010 at 2:32 pm

Oh I had my credit card numbers stolen at a gas station I think. (I had to go inside to pay). I never lost my card, but someone was running around Detroit and charging like crazy on my card. So I figure if it can happen in ‘real life’, then the internet isn’t any more risky. Plus I love the convenience.

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Molly On Money December 13, 2010 at 7:56 am

I have received these type of emails but I just delete them. I guess we can all help out. When my Grandparents were alive and elderly they would get all sorts of phone scams. It drove me crazy!

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Kris December 13, 2010 at 7:43 pm

Oh I feel awful for the elderly and how scammers take advantage of them. By the time we are elderly, we should be more savvy than the previous generation though since we were ‘raised’ with technology. Or at least I hope…

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Nicole December 13, 2010 at 8:14 am

There’s been a very clever one recently about some game account being changed… it’s especially clever because it says that the email address has been changed from the actual email to some other email that’s partially obscured. It was also clever enough to have the mouse-over point to the correct link rather than the spoof link. Before letting it out of the junk mail filter, I copied a bit of text from it and googled it and found that yes, it is indeed a spoofed email (and clicking on the links will indeed take you to a spoofed link despite the clever mouse-over).

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Kris December 13, 2010 at 7:42 pm

Nicole – wow, that is pretty darn clever. I figured with all the online business that is done that there would be security lapses sooner or later. I know it has been going on for some time, but this is my first experience with it.

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Moneycone December 13, 2010 at 8:27 am

You’ll need to send the header of the email – most email clients have a ‘show original’ option, copy paste that to Paypal. That’s what contains info on the originator.

I never respond to online requests for action when it involves bank accounts.

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Kris December 13, 2010 at 7:41 pm

Moneycone – I just forward the whole email on to Paypal. They say they will let me know what is up with the email, but we will see…

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DoNotWait December 13, 2010 at 8:35 am

Well, I am very curious about it because I too had this sort of email but my Paypal account did have a problem and did not work. I called at Paypal to resolve the problem but now you guys make me wonder!

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Kris December 13, 2010 at 7:41 pm

DoNotWait- my Paypal account has been working fine. However, when checking things out on the Paypal website, they say they will not ask for any confidential info in emails, so that helped me realize this was totally phishing. Did you provide any confidential info?

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The Financial Blogger December 13, 2010 at 8:38 am

That’s crazy! I got the same email for my Paypal account but the one I have received was legitimate. They were asking me to login my Paypal account (with the regular url, nothing provided in the email I have received) and I even called Paypal to make sure.

Those “phishers” are pretty good as they are using the very same email layout than Paypal does!

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Kris December 13, 2010 at 7:39 pm

FB – did they ask for important information too, or was it just a ‘hey, go check out your account’ type of email?

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The Financial Blogger December 14, 2010 at 9:26 am

Well, they were not asking for personal info in the email, but did when I was trying to log in ( I did not follow any link, just went to try log in in my account). This is why I called them instead to make sure. Everything got fixed up a day or 2 after I talked to them. It really was a problem, but I got surprised that some received the almost exact same email! It looks very similar.

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Mercedes December 13, 2010 at 8:45 am

I remember getting e-mails liek this one before. Any time I get something that says there is an issue with an account I immediately log into it and see if I have issues with that. So far there has never been an issue, and with that the e-mail gets sent to spam and deleted!

I hope that there really aren’t people out there that actually respond to stuff like this!

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Kris December 13, 2010 at 7:38 pm

Mercedes, the spammers are getting so good that their emails look really official. I am sure some people fall for it unfortunately. This was my first ‘phishing’ email, and my eyes will be open wider when the next one shows up. I will make sure i don’t open any attachments.

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Squirrelers December 13, 2010 at 12:16 pm

It’s always wise to be very careful when receiving such emails. I would do what you did, and try to reach out to them directly, instead of responding to something like that. Also, don’t give out such information such as SS#, mother’s maiden name, etc.

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Kris December 13, 2010 at 7:36 pm

Squirrel- I was so surprised when I saw the request for SS number and mother’s maiden name. They can go way beyond accessing your paypal info with that type of info, they can steal your whole identity I am sure.

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Aloysa December 13, 2010 at 3:49 pm

Scary! I totally understand you. When I am busy, I don’t put too much thought sometimes in what I read. But as soon as I see emails from financial institutions asking to provide certain information, I always say to myself that it is a scam. I did get emails from Citi Bank and Bank of America asking to verify info. We don’t even have an account with them.

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Kris December 13, 2010 at 7:34 pm

Aloysa – It is amazing that you got emails from companies you don’t even do business with. I just wonder how people that do these scams live with themselves.

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Cole Stan December 13, 2010 at 9:20 pm

I’m glad you’ve shared this information to us because I haven’t got any email like this one. I also read another paypal scam. In this scam, somebody will send you a paypal link which you will assume that it will direct you to paypal site, but the truth is… the site is a different one. Not really sure if its’s a clone.

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Kris December 14, 2010 at 2:31 pm

I am sure there are many different varieties of scams. Scammers probably try one method then just move onto the next one as the first one gets ‘old’.

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Suba @ Wealth Informatics December 13, 2010 at 10:17 pm

May be I am too cynical, I almost always assume it is a scam 😉 Paypal and ebay seems to be the worst type of scam emails. Most of the time I get these emails in an account that doesn’t have paypal/email. The most recent trend I have seen is a facebook email that my parents/aunt are getting. The email shows the profile pics of their relatives and ask them to sign up, but the sign up link is not facebook. I am still trying to figure out how they are extracting the correct relatives profile pics. I hate it when they do this to elderly folks. But the elders are much more careful than us I suppose.

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Kris December 14, 2010 at 2:30 pm

Isn’t it funny when you get the scam emails and you don’t even have that account at all? I wish I could see what percentage of these scams actually succeed. I can’t imagine it would be worth the prosecution if you were caught. How aren’t these people caught I wonder?

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The Grouch December 14, 2010 at 9:02 am

I hate PayPal because of all the scams and rip-offs surround it. I refuse to use it.

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Kris December 14, 2010 at 2:22 pm

Biz – This little phishing email was my first negative experience, and it wasn’t Paypal’s fault I suppose. So far, Paypal has worked out real well for me. I hope it continues!

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Invest It Wisely December 14, 2010 at 7:58 pm

Asking for sensitive info via email is the #1 red flag that should set you off. Any reputable site will have you go to a secure page on their server before entering any confidential or sensitive material. Good job on reporting the phishing attempt, Kris!

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Evan December 14, 2010 at 9:38 pm

Great PSA!

I think the trickier ones are the emails that are just a link to a site that looks exactly like the one you think you are going to! I really think it fools 92% of the people over the age of 59….scary stuff

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Kris December 16, 2010 at 8:10 pm

I like the 92 percent fool rate. That makes it sound very scientific!

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Roshawn @ Watson Inc December 15, 2010 at 12:34 pm

Thanks for the heads up! It is quite unfortunate that these scams are so prevalent. Now, I know how to report future scams, but hopefully I won’t encounter any myself.

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lyn March 19, 2011 at 11:06 am

just reading all these posts a friend of mine just got hit by the email scam on paypal so annoyed with it too he was nearly out of pocket $1000 lucky they asked me for help …I dont trust pay pal or any other site that says you can transfer money threw.. if people cant put it directly into your bank account by walking down to there bank whats the use.. todays technoligy is not whats it,s cracked up to be .. to many idiots out there always trying to find a way to rip off someone .. but then again they pay people to hack into peoples accounts and other things so us silly buggers will go and bye some new fang dangle spy ware or virus protection or firewall stuff so they make money… we are the ones loosing out all the time… typical the crooks get ritch and we get the raw end of the stick…

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Alpine October 1, 2011 at 3:08 pm

Bank of America is ripping people off all the time. This is another reason why prepaid debit cards are becoming so popular – because of banking fees. Its all a hustle scam to rip people off. Banks are corrupt these days and this is why there are so many protests going on. Resist and you go to jail. This is nazi America at its finest.

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CalvinContreras March 12, 2012 at 4:54 am

I have also been constantly receiving this type of mail & as you had said the same thing was with me. The mail id has double ll & also it landed in my mail junk folder.

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Kris March 13, 2012 at 9:52 pm

I get constant Paypal emails even still. I hope nobody falls for this scam.

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Nicola March 30, 2012 at 11:19 am

Yea, I got a suspicious looking e-mail today but I’m still unsure whether it’s a scam or not. Here is what it says:
Dear PayPal Member,

Your Due to the high number of fraud attempts and phishing
scams, it has been decided to implement EV SSL.
Certification on this Paypal account website.

Click here to update your account

Thank you for helping us to protect you.

PayPal Account Review Department

Copyright © 2000-2012 PayPal. All rights reserved. PayPal
Ltd. PayPal FSA Register Number: 226055.

also in the top left corner is the PayPal logo. I have not clicked any links. Can anybody confirm if it;s a scam?

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Matt November 20, 2012 at 9:37 pm

Mine was a little different. I had someone contact me about a computer for sale. I told him many times to go to my online store which he never did finally he asked for a paypal invoice which I sent and the email I got looked officially looks it was paypal but a few minor things like bad grammar. So I had Paypal look into it. I’m adding the scam email and the actual email from paypals fraud department. Bare in mind I’m with holding my private information but leaving the criminals addresses so you can be on the look out.

SCAM EMAIL MINUS LOGOS: From: “Service@paypal” Date: Dear Clarence McCall,

You have an Instant Payment of $360.00 USD from Smith Kent

PAYMENT DETAILS Transaction Date: NOV 20 2012

Seller’s Account ID: (silverwolf77563@gmail.com)

Buyer’s Account Number : 5641 2001 0928 XXXX

Sort Code: 07 00 30

Item Title

Quantity Price Subtotal

HP Consumer Refurbished2000-2a

1

$360.00 USD $360.00 USD

Postage & Packing via USPS Air Mail Recorded Delivery : (includes any seller packing fees)

$0.00 USD

Postage Insurance (not offered): —

Total: $360.00 USD

**ATTENTION** You are hereby authorized to ship this item to the buyer and forward the recorded delivery number of item in next 2 hours to us for verification and to enable PayPal Accounts Review Department to credit this fund to your account. PayPal team confirms that the sum of $360.00 USD will be credited into your account immediately in the next 2 hours has if we verify the item been ship to the buyer Please do not go against our policy , as PayPal team will view it as an attempt to cheat the buyer and your account will be BLOCKED in accordance with PayPal Monetary Policy on Fraudulent Act. Due to, PayPal processes thousands of orders daily, PayPal RECOMMENDS contacting the Customer Support Representative that has been assigned to this particular Order directly. This ensures speedy verification of shipment as well as prompt transfer of the funds to your account. Send delivery details to : trackingcode_verify@in.com

PayPal policy to secure your online auction payment .

Buyer’s Delivery Information:

Address:

Verified

Name: Femi Alex Address: 40 Jubrila Street off ijeshatedo City:Surulere State:Lagos Country:Nigeria Zip Code:23401 .

Address Status:

confirmed

Important Note:

This fund has been deducted from (Smithkent4060@gmail.com) and will be credited into your account immediately our database update is completed.Thanks for using PayPal.*CUSTOMER SUPPORT*If you have any question, Please contact the Customer Support Representative that has been assigned to this particular Order : trackingcode_verify@in.com

Copyright © 1999-2011 PayPal. All rights reserved.

PayPal Email ID PP1543 Nov 20, 2012 5:05 AM Subject: Notification of Instant Payment Received From Smith Kent…. To:

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Matt November 20, 2012 at 9:40 pm

Paypals Fraud Departments Email:
Hello Matt (Surname withheld),Thanks for forwarding that suspicious-looking email. You’re right – it was a phishing attempt, and we’re working on stopping the fraud. By reporting the problem, you’ve made a difference! Identity thieves try to trick you into revealing your password or other personal information through phishing emails and fake websites. To learn more about online safety, click “Security Center” on any PayPal webpage. Every email counts. When you forward suspicious-looking emails to spoof@paypal.com, you help keep yourself and others safe from identity theft. Your account security is very important to us, so we appreciate your extra effort. Thanks, PayPal This email is sent to you by the contracting entity to your User Agreement, either PayPal Ince, PayPal Pte. Ltd

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Matt November 20, 2012 at 10:20 pm

My apology I’m using my touch screen and it mistyped some words and left my email address the silverwolf77563 is my email address nor the criminals

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