How to Spot a PayPal Phishing Scam
In the past several days, I’ve seen several friends on social media mention that they’ve received an email from PayPal telling them that their account has been suspended. I didn’t think much of it until I received the same email in my inbox.
Coincidence that an increase in people are getting emails from PayPal about account suspension? I think not. If it were only a small handful of people getting this sort of email, I might not have thought anything of it, but it is clear that scammers are hustling. Don’t fall victim!
If you receive an email from PayPal telling you that your account has been suspended, even if it comes with a fancy reference number like mine did be very leery of clicking on the provided link in the email and giving away your banking information. When a scammer tries to get you to give them personal information, this is called phishing (think of it like this- they’re “fishing with a ph” for your personal info).
Take a look at the photos of the email above. The one to the left looks legitimate, right? Now, look at the photo to the right. Can you see the website address that showed up when I hovered over the link included in the email? Clearly, the link, had it been clicked on, would have taken me right to a scammer. Even if the link looks real, if you hoover of it and it looks strange or has a different website, do not click on it! If you do and if you fill out the info, you will absolutely be handing your personal info straight into the hands of the bad guys.
If you get an email that you’re not sure about, the very best thing that you can do is to forward it to firstname.lastname@example.org. Once you’ve forwarded the email in question, delete the email right away. Do not click on any links or attachments. If you’re still not sure about the legitimacy of the claim that your account has been suspended, you can go directly to the PayPal website and check your messages to confirm whether there are or are not issues with your account.