Urgent scam warning: Fraud email from PayPal imposters – check for four tell-tale phrases

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Many of you may use PayPal and are very familiar with the company. Criminals rely on this familiarity and send emails that appear to be from PayPal, they fake the friendly name. The email may look like it’s from PayPal Services. These are usually phishing scams, looking to get your personal information or payment details so that money or information can be stolen from you.

If you hover over the email address or push reply to check it, you will be able to see if it’s from an unknown address like vgdhsgt@noemail.com.

Examples of these emails include:

  • “Your account has been suspended”
  • “Your account is about to be suspended.”
  • “You’ve been paid.”
  • “You have been paid too much.”

The email will ask you to enter your password on a spoofed web page.

Be careful; PayPal will never ask you to enter your password unless you are on the login page.

The criminals also send fake links in emails, asking people to click them to report frauds or stop a transaction you haven’t authorised.

This will send you to copycat or fraudulent websites, again to steal your information and ask you to provide payment details.

If you receive an email that says that you’ve received a PayPal payment, log in to your PayPal account before you send any goods.

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Make sure that money has actually been added to your account and that it isn’t just a scam asking you to click on a link to again gather information or payments.

The safest way to access your account is always to use the internet or the app and go to the official PayPal.com, and enter your login info.

Criminals may also use disasters to try and get you to donate via PayPal to fake criminal charities.

This usually happens when there is a refugee crisis, a terrorist attack, or a natural disaster (like an earthquake, flooding, or famine).

Make sure you check whom you are donating to via web searches, not the links in any emails or texts. If the charity doesn’t have a website this could be a warning sign.

Scambusters Mail bag – answering your scam questions

Q1 I think I may have fallen for one of these scams

Check the email address that sent the message. You can do this by clicking on the email address – this will not put you at any risk. The sending email address should come from an email that includes the company address.

If you believe you’ve fallen for a scam, contact your bank immediately on a number you know to be correct, such as the one listed on your statement, their website or on the back of your credit or debit card.

Report any suspect email by forwarding it to spoof@paypal.com.

Report it to Action Fraud on 0300 123 2040 or via actionfraud.police.uk. If you are in Scotland, please report to Police Scotland directly by calling 101 or Advice Direct Scotland on 0808 164 6000.STOP others being a cybercrime victims by reporting scams and suspicious emails. Forward the scam email to report@phishing.gov.uk. Use Rightly to stop fraudsters from sharing your data and exposing you to scams.

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Tip of the week

To learn more and to join the fight against scams do the free training on www.friendsagainstscams.org.uk.

The more we talk about scams the more we take away the shame.

Remember: If you have received a text you think is a scam then you can forward to 7726 or take a screenshot and send it to report@phishing.gov.uk.

If you are receiving lots of unwanted phone calls or text messages you can also consider removing your details from data brokers, ensuring that you use a right to object to the processing of your data.

You can learn more about this on Rightly to stop the sharing of your data exposing you to scams.

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