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Updating PayPal account - providing PIN
Thread poster: Kim Metzger

Kim Metzger  Identity Verified
Mexico
Local time: 04:42
German to English
Jun 8, 2004

I just received the message below from a source purporting to be PayPal and promptly went to the link they provided. I'm a little suspicious, not only because the English is flaky, but also because I was asked to provide my ATM PIN number - the 4 digit code used in ATMs. Does providing a PIN seem OK?

Dear PayPal valued member,
Due to concerns, for the safety and integrity of the PayPal community we have issued this warning message.

It has come to our attention that your account information needs to be renew due to
inactive members, spoof reports and frauds.
You must to renew your records and you will not run into any future problems with the online service.
However, failure to update your records will result in account deletation.
This notification expires on June 10, 2004.

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

Please follow the link below and renew your account information.



[Edited at 2004-06-08 16:03]

[Edited at 2004-06-08 16:04]

[Edited at 2004-06-08 19:19]

[Edited at 2004-06-08 19:20]


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vixen  Identity Verified
Greece
Local time: 12:42
Member (2002)
English to Dutch
+ ...
Check web address Jun 8, 2004

Hi Kim,

Check the web address that is displayed. It should read www.paypal.com and not something that is vaguely similar. I remember having received a similar message recently and found that the website address was incorrect. In addition, make sure that it is a secure site (the lock sign at the bottom).

Of course, you can also log into your Paypal account in the regular way. If you need to check your info, it will say so on the login page.

BTW, the Paypal organization also warns against this type of abuse. Check the info on the website.

HTH,
Marianne


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Eva-Maria King  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 05:42
German to English
Hi Kim, Jun 8, 2004

I have received these type of emails before and was just as perplexed. After checking PayPal, I found the following:
Protect Yourself from Fraudulent Emails and Websites




At PayPal, protecting your account's security is our top priority. Recently, PayPal members have reported suspicious-looking emails and fake websites. These emails are not from PayPal and responding to them may put your account at risk. Please protect your PayPal account by paying close attention to the emails you receive and the websites you visit.

Please use the following tips to stay safe with PayPal:
Safe Log In: To log in to your PayPal account or access the PayPal website, open a new web browser (e.g., Internet Explorer or Netscape) and type in the following: https://www.paypal.com/


Greeting: Emails from PayPal will address you by your first and last name or the business name associated with your PayPal account. Fraudulent emails often include the salutation "Dear PayPal User" or "Dear PayPal Member".


Email Attachments: PayPal emails will never ask you to download an attachment or a software program. Attachments contained in fraudulent emails often contain viruses that may harm your computer or compromise your PayPal account.


Request for Personal Information: If we require information from you, we will notify you in an email and request that you enter the information only after you have safely and securely logged in to your PayPal account.

Often, fraudulent emails will request details such as your full name, account password, credit card number, bank account, PIN number, Social Security Number, or mother's maiden name.
If you think that you have received a fraudulent email (or fake website), please forward the email (or URL address) to spoof@paypal.com and then delete the email from your mailbox. Never click any links or attachments in a suspicious email.

To learn more about protecting your PayPal account, please review our Security Tips.

I have also received this type of email from Earthlink. When I called them, I was told that the email was a fraud. It is unfortunate that people do this.
Good luck,
Eva

[Edited at 2004-06-08 16:22]


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Graciela Carlyle  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 10:42
English to Spanish
+ ...
Updating PayPal account - providing PIN - NO WAY!!! Jun 8, 2004

Kim Metzger wrote:

Does providing a PIN seem OK?



No way Kim!!! Do not follow any link from an email, let alone enter you ATM pin number.

If PayPal needs to tell you something they will ask you to go to the homepage (not follow a link) and you'll be informed there of any changes or requirements (if any).

Similar to this, I have been receiving emails as sent from all the major banks in the UK, asking to follow links for this or that. They are either virus or scams.

If you're not 1000% sure, an email is safe, just delete it without opening.
Curiosity killed the cat!!!

Best,
Grace.


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Edward Potter  Identity Verified
Local time: 11:42
Member (2003)
Spanish to English
+ ...
Providing your PIN Jun 8, 2004

Does providing a PIN seem OK?



No, it doesn't.


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Jeremy Smith  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 10:42
French to English
+ ...
never never never give PIN numbers away Jun 8, 2004

I get a variation of this e-mail at least twice a month.

There is a little button to click somewhere on the paypal site to report abuse (they ask you to copy + paste the message, and probably the full headers - that way they can pursue these scammers).

Alternatively, just delete messages like this. Asking for a PIN number makes it an obvious scam.


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Heike Behl, Ph.D.  Identity Verified
Local time: 02:42
Member (2003)
English to German
+ ...
more refined scams Jun 8, 2004

Never enter any personal information directly upon an e-mail request or via a link provided by that e-mail. If it's a genuine e-mail, they will ask you to go to their regular url and log on as usual and then there will be instructions to follow.

Scammers get more and more sophisticated. Not too long ago, I got an e-mail claiming to be from my bank (with the official logos and layout, of course) saying that in order to imporve security they were asking their customers to re-enter their information on a monthly basis. They provided the url. The sneaky part is that they first had the official home page of the bank in question pop up, then another smaller window to enter the information.
BUT: anyone can put in a link to any official website on their own site and open that site! One thing that gave them away (an easily avoided "mistake" which shows they were not that clever after all): before the bank's page opened, the title bar of the browser page briefly displayed somebody else's name and website - a clear indication that the bank's page was a redirect from this obscure site.

I am so suspicious that I once spent one hour trying to figure out whether the links provided by Microsoft were actually from Microsoft... ;-(


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Kim Metzger  Identity Verified
Mexico
Local time: 04:42
German to English
TOPIC STARTER
Thank you all very much Jun 8, 2004

The subject of the e-mail I received was: PayPal Service Fraud Warning!

Unfortunately when I woke up this morning I was still tired, groggy with a slight hangover and had a headache and proceeded to do as instructed (including entering my PIN). My only hope is no damage was done because after entering the data I was informed that:

"Your PayPal account information was unavailable to verify or missing.
Please use browser back button to review your information and submit again."


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Henry Dotterer
Local time: 05:42
SITE FOUNDER
You should change your PayPal pin Jun 8, 2004

Kim,

You should change your PayPal pin number, or, if that is not possible, tell PayPal that you have given your Pin number away.

Probably nothing will happen but you should definitely do this just in case.

Henry


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Lucinda  Identity Verified
Local time: 07:42
Member (2002)
Dutch to English
+ ...
Do not give it to them!! Jun 8, 2004

Hi Kim,

A while ago I received a similar request (I think it was also to provide a PIN) and contacted PayPal copying the message to them. They told me to delete all emails from that source (it was a scam) and that they would go after them from their end.

You might want to drop them a line and copy the email so that they can check it out. As far as I remember they got back to me quickly with the response that it was a scam. They always tell you to contact them if you are in doubt whatsoever.

At any rate, I would never give my PIN number to anyone for any reason.

Good luck!
Lucinda


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Graciela Carlyle  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 10:42
English to Spanish
+ ...
same here Jun 8, 2004

Lucinda Hollenberg wrote:
As far as I remember they got back to me quickly with the response that it was a scam. They always tell you to contact them if you are in doubt whatsoever.


...and when copying the message to them, remember to copy it from the properties (i.e., with the full header), so they can track the IP of the crooks!!

Grace.


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Luca Tutino  Identity Verified
Italy
Local time: 11:42
Member (2002)
English to Italian
+ ...
Go to the police and file a report Jun 8, 2004

Did you give them the PIN of the ATM relative to your own bank account? If this is the case you should act immediately!

PayPal has nothing to do with your ATM PIN code, never! You should act exactely as if you discovered that somebody took your ATM and your PIN code. I use PayPal since a few years, and I never gave them my PIN code, nor any info about my ATM.

First phone the emergency ATM customer line and ask to stop your ATM card (right now!), then go to the closest Police office and file a report exactely as you would do if you had you ATM pin stolen from a drawer in your office, then send a copy of your report stamped by the police to your bank.

You will miss your ATM less then the money in your bank account. The request of submitting again is not good news by itself. You know for sure that somebody received your PIN as you entered it in the form and then posted it. Probably your bank account info was available to them from somewhere and with your PIN it should not be too difficult to withdraw money from your account.

There is a good chance the the offenders will not be able to use your PIN immediately, and may-be they will never succeed. However, they probably miss a very little bit of information, and there is a chance that they are managing to forge a false ATM right now.

Good luck,
Luca


[Edited at 2004-06-08 21:49]


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Florence B  Identity Verified
France
Member (2002)
English to French
+ ...
IMMEDIATELY call your bank and the police Jun 8, 2004

I hope that you've done it by now.
The fact that you got an error message only means that they have no way to program their page to get inside your real customer account at Paypal (the access being protected)- but be certain that they have all they need by now and they will attempt at using it very soon - if they haven't already.

Keep us posted and good luck.

ps: If your bank is closed, send them a fax. In some cases the time of the fax will count it there's a withdrawal on your account between this time and the moment they read it (when they open the bank).

[Edited at 2004-06-09 10:00]


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vixen  Identity Verified
Greece
Local time: 12:42
Member (2002)
English to Dutch
+ ...
Agree with Luca and Oddie Jun 9, 2004

I'm afraid Luca and Oddie are right. Of course the scammers were unable to update your PayPal account, but you can be certain that they did receive your personal info and PIN.
So I wouldn't take any chances and report the incident to the bank. I'm not sure the police will be able to do anything, but the bank can make sure that your bank account will be safe again.

Good luck!


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Sonja Tomaskovic  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 11:42
English to German
+ ...
Phishing Jun 9, 2004

For those of you who speak German, there has been a very interesting article on www.akademie.de about what is called "Phishing" (password fishing).

By the way: There is a nice little extension for Mozilla Firefox called SpoofStick. It helps retrieving spoofed websites by giving you detailed information about the URL your are currently browsing.

Sonja

[Edited at 2004-06-09 09:09]


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