‘Dear valued PayPal member’ … Don’t fall for this! (I almost did)

Last Thursday I received this notice in my email:

Dear valued PayPal member,

Identity protection matters. And PayPal works day and night to help keep your identity safe. That’s why it has come to our attention that your PayPal account information needs to be updated as part of our continuing commitment to protect your account and to reduce the instance of fraud on our website. If you could take 5-10 minutes out of your online experience and update your personal records you will not run into any future problems with the online service.

However, failure to update your records will result in account suspension.

Once you have updated your account records, your PayPal session will not be interrupted and will continue as normal.

To login to your PayPal account and update your records click on the following link:

https://www.security-center/paypal/online.com/cgi-bin/webscr?cmd=_login-run

Thank You for using PayPal!

The PayPal Team

Accounts Management will periodically send you information about site changes and enhancements, as outlined in our User Agreement.

————————————————————————————

Please do not reply to this email. This mailbox is not monitored and you will not receive a response. For assistance, log in to your PayPal account and click the Help link located in the top right corner of any PayPal page.

————————————————————————————

PayPal Limited is authorised and regulated by the Financial Services Authority in the United States as an electronic money institution.

PayPal Email ID PP824

I dutifully clicked on the link and started filling out information like credit card numbers, Social Security Number, etc. I almost hit the Submit button, and then it dawned on me that PayPal would have no need to ask me for all this information. I visited the PayPal site and learned that any time the company sends an email to an individual, it addresses the person by both first and last name (“Dear Peter Faur,” for example). I looked at the email address that sent the request for information – lkhfho@departament.com – which obviously is not a PayPal address. This was definitely a scam request.

I closed down the site without sending my personal information. Of course, just by signing into the fake site, I might have given away my PayPal username and password, so I made some modifications there as well. Fortunately, no questionable transactions have occurred on my account.

I usually spot these fraudulent attempts immediately. I trust the PayPal name so much that I was lulled into a moment of false security. It was only when I saw the request for my Social Security Number that my suspicions kicked in. I know you’ve heard it a thousand times, but be wary of these kinds of emails. They’re nothing but trouble.

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4 Responses to ‘Dear valued PayPal member’ … Don’t fall for this! (I almost did)

  1. Glynn says:

    It’s been going on for years. I had a voluminous email correspondence with PayPal about it – I didn’t fall for it, and told them what was happening. They wouldn’t do anything about it. So I stopped using PayPal.

    • Peter Faur says:

      I don’t blame PayPal, and I’m not sure what they could do. I forwarded the scam to PayPal, haven’t heard back. I’ve had similar scams tried under the guise of credit card companies. I think these are a bit like whack a mole … beat one down and another pops up. It’s important to remember that no legitimate company would ask for that kind of information simply to “verify” your account status, and then run away. Thanks, Glynn.

  2. durfus McGrew says:

    regulated by the Financial Services Authority in the United States <—- there’s a real big clue right there!

  3. Simon Beck says:

    PayPal NEVER addresses anyone as “Dear Valued Customer”. In fact, no professional organization in the world addresses anyone in this way, unless they are so arrogant and out-of-touch that they refuse to let a fluent speaker of English check their work. I can think of a dozen ways that a company COULD address an unspecified person and still make it look convincing, but I prefer to let the scammers look stupid.

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