PayPal has always been a target for cyber criminals. If you were to look into the dark web you’d find hacked PayPal accounts for sale. The account owners have no idea that they have been compromised. The scammers also sell access to the accounts with instructions on how to ‘safely’ withdraw money.
Within this context PayPal account holders need to be aware of these scams. Of course, there are always scam PayPal phishing mails circulating but below is an example of the most recent.
The scam email claims that ‘Your PayPal account has been temporarily restricted’.
Signs of a PayPal scam email
- A common tactic of phishing emails is to panic the recipient into taking immediate action. However, the page this email linked to was had nothing to do with PayPal. It was rather an attempt to steal your PayPal account information.
- PayPal phishing emails are nearly always after the same thing, access to your account and personal information.
- Some of them have email addresses that contain ‘PayPal’ in the domain, which makes them seem more legitimate.
- PayPal usually addresses customers by name when it contacts you. A generic greeting in an email, such as the ‘Hello Customers’ is a cause for suspicion.
- Spelling and grammatical errors, including missing punctuation.
- It’s also very rare for a company to email you threatening to close your account if you don’t take immediate action. Scammers use this tactic to prompt people into doing something, which unfortunately often successfully leads to the response they’re looking for.
If you receive a similar email and you’re unsure if it’s genuine, contact PayPal directly via its legitimate channels.
Another one to watch out for
Texts from 07956 313673 PayPal have also been hitting people’s phones recently. The message says ‘We have detected unusual activity on this account. Please sign in to confirm the transactions.’
The link in the text is: https//login74848-PayPai.com
It’s a scam and yet one more way to try and get you to part with account information.
Have you clicked through on a scam PayPal email?
It’s unlikely there’s anything to worry about if you’ve only opened the email or clicked the link, but if you’ve entered any of your account details, such as your password, or given out your payment details, you must take precautions to protect yourself as soon as possible.
- First, report what’s happened to both PayPal and the bank your account may be linked to.
- If you do have credit or debit cards linked to your PayPal account, your bank will be able to make sure your money is protected.
- PayPal should be able to secure your account, and its payment policy promises to protect its users from fraud.
- If any money has been taken from your account because of these phishing emails, you should be reimbursed.
Following a spate of Omicron related phishing emails at the beginning of December last year fake text messages are now being sent, using similar tactics. The scam message says:
- “NHS: You have been in close contact with someone that has been tested for Omicron. You must order a Test Kit: https://nhs-pcr-testkit.com”
- The message urges you to click on ‘OPEN LINK’ which is accompanied by a symbol of the Google Chrome browser
This text, and others like it, link to sites that have nothing to do with the NHS. They’re just trying to get your personal information, for use in other scams.
Never follow the links in unsolicited texts or emails. If you get a message claiming to be from the NHS, check the details with your GP surgery or NHS service.