Paypal phishing email scams always try to imitate PayPal logos, official looking email templates, or scripts that are similar to genuine communications from PayPal. The criminals pretend to be from PayPal. They will always come up with a made-up story designed to lure you into clicking on a link to fake websites or calling a phone number. Nevertheless, there are a number of hints that can help you tell if an email is from PayPal or not.
There are several ways PayPal phishing email scams can be carried out. The fraudulent activity can be perpetrated in person, “spoof” (fake) websites, over the phone (suspicious automated voice call & SMS), and through malicious pop-up windows. The criminals try to get you to reveal sensitive personal information, such as your bank or credit card numbers, Social Security Number, PIN numbers, or account passwords.
How to Spot or Recognize a PayPal Phishing Email
You will be able to recognize a PayPal phishing email if it asks you for any of the following:
- A listing of your full name and email addresses
- Your full bank or credit card number
- Password to PayPal or any other account
- Your debit card PIN number
- A listing of your physical addresses
- Your entire driver’s license numbers
- The answers to your security questions
Note that PayPal will not ask you to install a software update or view an attachment. It’s also true that PayPal may ask you to click on a hyperlink to complete an action but you must have requested for it. This obtains in situations like an email address confirmation and password reset. If you didn’t request any of such actions, do not click any hyperlinks that seem to be from PayPal.
What Do PayPal Phishing Emails Look Like?
A typical phishing email always presents you with a situation that tries to provoke you into immediate action. Most of the time, there’s always a sense of urgency in the message the scammer will send to you. It will either recommend that you click on a hyperlink in the same email to dispute a transaction or provide certain information urgently. For the purposes of illustration, sample copies are as indicated below:
- “This is PayPal calling about a possible fraudulent transaction on your PayPal account. Please enter your PIN now to hear the transaction details. We need your immediate response to block this transaction.”
- “PayPal, US: You spent $1450 on eBay. If you did not make this transaction please login at paypal.mobileservice2019.com/txn?id=198981 to stop this transaction. Thank You.”
- “Your PayPal account has been suspended due to suspicious activity. Please contact us immediately at 1-335-123-4567. It is imperative that we speak to you immediately. …PayPal US”
In any event, you call the number, you’re confirming that you have a PayPal account. Just know that you’ll be talking to a scammer who will probably ask for your PayPal Personal account or PayPal Business account details so he can steal from your account.
How to Report a Phishing Email to PayPal
Here are the steps that you can take when you believe you have received a PayPal phishing email:
- Forward the entire email to firstname.lastname@example.org. When forwarding the email to PayPal, do not copy and paste the email content.
- Do not alter the subject line or forward the message as an attachment.
- Don’t click any hyperlinks or download any attachments within the email.
- Delete the suspicious email from your inbox.
PayPal will review the email and send you a response to let you know if it is really fraudulent.
To report a suspicious website, copy the site’s web address (URL) and paste it into an email message. Then, send it to email@example.com.
For a suspicious SMS, you can report SPAM by simply forwarding the message to “7726“. This is the keys to “SPAM” on most smartphones. You can also check with your service provider to find if this service is supported by the carrier.