I’m going out on a limb to warn you about what is most certainly a PayPal phishing scam that arrived in my inbox this morning.
The subject line of this email is:
The message tries to strike fear in you by warning that automated payments paid through your PayPal balance will fail if you don’t act soon.
The message then tells you to do the following if you want to continue using your PayPal balance for automatic payments:
Although the email looks like an email you could expect to receive from PayPal, there are some tell-tale signs it’s a fake:
- I logged into my PayPal account to find no notifications of any kind.
- The Web address for the link was not PayPal. It looked a little like PayPal, but it wasn’t.
Here is my advice for protecting yourself against phishing scams:
- Always suspect (and do not click on) links in emails that appear to be from online accounts of yours. Most online businesses will advise you to log into your account and follow a set of instructions to take whatever action is needed.
- If you do click on such links, don’t provide any information. Leave immediately.
- Always inspect the destination Web addresses of links in emails. Hover your mouse over the link and look at the Web address in the “status bar” of your email window. (On smart phones, you can usually see the Web address by pressing and holding the linked text until the link information pops up in a window.)
For more information about “phishing” and how to detect fake emails from PayPal (and other online accounts), check out this article at PayPal.
Update as of Sunday, October 14, 2018
Apparently, the need to update PayPal in order to continue using one’s PayPal balance for automatic payments is a real thing.
This doesn’t change the fact that the email I received on October 11th was a phishing scam.
This morning I logged into my PayPal account and was met by this notice:
There was also a notification attached to my profile:
By the way, I have not received an email from PayPal itself, telling me to update my business info.