How To Avoid Email Scams

It bugs me to get email spam, but I really get upset when it’s more than just selling the latest in male enhancement products. I’m talking about the emails that try to fool you into thinking your bank account is on the verge of being closed or that someone has hacked into it.

I just received one such email earlier this week. Very cleverly written, it was trying to warn me that suspicious activity was taking place on my PayPal account. At first, I thought, “Oh no!” because I’ve actually been doing some things with my account recently. But then I read on and applied my checklist to spot a scam.

Here’s what the email said:

Dear PayPal Member,

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

If you recently accessed your account while traveling, the unusual log in attempts may have been initiated by you. However if you are the rightful holder of the account, click on the link below to log into the account and follow the instructions.

[link removed]

If you choose not to complete the request, you give us no choice but to suspend your account temporary.

It takes at least 72 hours for the investigation in this case and we strongly recommend you to verify your account at that time.

Thank you for using PayPal!
PayPal Account Review Department

—————————————————————-

PayPal Email ID PP232

Like I said, pretty sneaky, yet sounds very plausible. But here’s how I determined it was bogus and this is something you can do as well:

What could have happened had I clicked on the link? I probably would have seen a site looking very much like PayPal. And it might have encouraged me to login to what I thought was PayPal. That would have been bad because the criminals would have then have my login.

Or just as bad, I could have been infected just by visiting the web page. Yes, that’s possible.

So please be careful when you receive this sorts of messages. If in doubt, then contact the company it purports to be directly and ask them to confirm the message.



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Comments

Thanks for the post. It´s so hard to trust e-mails these days. Before it was hard to trust those from the people we didn´t know; now they use the names of people and companies we do trust. It´s hard, man!!

@Gabriel
Yes, indeed it has become harder and required us to be a little more cautious.

Welcome to Family WebWatch!

That was very sneaky indeed. But what about those unfortunate heirs who just need a small amount of your money. This might be bad of me but I just love to mess with them when I get an Email like that. I act interested and then just say something like “joke is on you”:)

@The Basement Man
I know the temptation you speak of, I do. :) Thanks for commenting.

Is very hard to believe how many people fall for this. And for the people sending the emails is a very cheap method with nothing to lose. Just like email spam actually :sad:

Yes rolling over all links in emails before clicking is a good habit to develop. But even if you type the address in the address bar, you’re not 100% safe. If you have a keylogger installed on your PC, you can go to the legit Paypal site(or other site) and your account will still be hacked.

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