I Almost Fell for a Bogus PayPal Scam - Don't You!

It's really easy to get caught off guard when you're not paying attention. I got an email that at first glance looked like it came from PayPal, asking me to confirm a purchase that I had supposedly made. Neither I nor Ron recognized the payment. Oh darn, what now!  But no worries, there's a nice big button at the bottom of the email that would allow me to cancel the transaction. It was late and I was tired so without another thought, of course I clicked it. A page that looked like PayPal's home page opened, asking for my login info. I was about to type in my info when something stopped me.

So I opened up a new PayPal page by directly typing the address into my browser. Checking my account, I could see no payment to Camfrog for $100. Suspecting that the email was fraudulent, I checked it again and compared it to previous bona fide emails I had got from PayPal. This time I noticed that it had come from service*paypal.com and started 'Hello Member'. Real PayPal emails come from sercive@paypal.com and include my PayPal business name. And I realized that real PayPal payment confirmations don't have a 'Cancel Transaction' button.

 Anyway I figured out that what this scammer wanted wasn't that bogus $100 payment - after all, they knew I would click on the 'Cancel' button - what they wanted was my login info so they could have access to my account and go shopping! Well not today, not from my account!

Fraudulent email from a bogus PayPal site

Bona fide email from PayPal

Over the years I've got many scam emails from people pretending to want to buy my art and I recognize those immediately. This is the first one of this type, though.

The lessons I learned:

  1. Read all money related emails very carefully.
  2. Never click-through from an email to a financial website.
  3. If you do, check the address bar in your browser window to make sure it's the address you're used to seeing for that site (I didn't do this).


Thanks for reading today and be careful in cyberspace!

Have you ever got sucked into an internet scam?