I've been a user of PayPal since the very first days, enjoying how easy it is to send and receive money by email using my credit card or bank accounts. With success comes imposters who want to trick you into believing that they are PayPal, when in fact they are scammers sending out official-looking emails that look a lot like a real PayPal message. Here's an email that I received today from a scammer:
The logo looks official, but there are a few things that stand out to tell me that it's a phishing scheme instead:
- The from address should be firstname.lastname@example.org, but it isn't.
- The first letter in the first sentence isn't capitalized.
- The spacing on the sentences and paragraphs aren't right
- They don't showÂ my first and last name.
The final two clues that this is a fake are the From email address:
And the hyperlink in the email is not going to any secure paypal.com address:
So the moral of this story is to continue using PayPal, however just double check any email from a financial institution like PayPal before blindly clicking the hyperlink. If I were to click this phishing hyperlink I'd end up at a site that would request my login credentials, giving them directly to the bad guys, who would then probably lock me out of my PayPal account and siphon off any of my PayPal funds or worse yet, get into my linked banking accounts.