PayPal - received an e-mail saying my account could be suspended
Thread poster: Ivana de Sousa Santos

Ivana de Sousa Santos  Identity Verified
Portugal
Local time: 01:09
French to Portuguese
+ ...
Oct 3, 2005

Hello!

I signed in for PayPal last Thursday to receive a payment of a Canadian client who's going to pay me through PayPal from now on.

Last night I received an e-mail saying that my account could be suspended:

"Your Billing Information!

Dear PayPal Member,

It has come to our attention that your PayPal Billing Information records are out of date. That requires you to update the Billing Information.
Failure to update your records will result in account termination. Please update your records within 24 hours. Once you have updated your account records, your PayPal session will not be interrupted and will continue as normal. Failure to update will result in cancellation of service, Terms of Service (TOS) violations or future billing problems.


You must click the link below and enter your login information on the following page to confirm your Billing Information records.

Click here to activate your account

You can also confirm your Billing Information by logging into your PayPal account at https://www.paypal.com/us/.

Thank you for using PayPal!
The PayPal Team"

When I log in to their site I've got the following message:

"Security Measures Enter Your Information

We are currently performing regular maintenance of our security measures. Your account has been randomly selected for this maintenance, and you will now be taken through a series of identity verification pages.

Protecting the security of your PayPal account is our primary concern, and we apologize for any inconvenience this may cause."

The problem is that they do not accept my telephone number and say that there is a mistake and, worse than that, they ask me for my "Credit Card Information", when I've got a "Personal Account", which is not supposed to be atached to any credit/debit card.

I've wrote them an e-mail but I've got no answer until now.

What can I do? Can my account really be suspended?

Thank you very much in advance for any help.
Ivana


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Ralf Lemster  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 02:09
English to German
+ ...
Are you *sure* this message was from Paypal? Oct 3, 2005

Hi Ivana,
Fake e-mails pretending to be sent by Paypal are among the most frequently-used variants of phishing.

In fact, I believe this is fake:
"Your Billing Information!

Dear PayPal Member,

It has come to our attention that your PayPal Billing Information records are out of date.

Have you checked the Security Tips and Fraud Prevention posted on the Paypal website?


Email Security

Look for a PayPal Greeting: PayPal will never send an email with the greeting "Dear PayPal User" or "Dear PayPal Member." Real PayPal emails will address you by your first and last name or the business name associated with your PayPal account.


You must click the link below and enter your login information on the following page to confirm your Billing Information records.

Click here to activate your account

You can also confirm your Billing Information by logging into your PayPal account at https://www.paypal.com/us/.

Did you check the URL that the link really pointed to? (Store the message as an HTML file, and open it in a text editor. Search for the "a href" tag - I'm certain the target URL was not Paypal's US site.

When I log in to their site I've got the following message:

Which details did you enter? If it was your user ID and password, I very strongly suggest getting in touch with Paypal, and changing your password immediately.

What can I do?

Read the safety notices before using an online account...

Can my account really be suspended?

Probably not - but if you shared your user ID and password with a fake site, they can - and probably will - take advantage of that.

Best regards,
Ralf


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cendrine marrouat
English to French
+ ...
Be careful! Oct 3, 2005

Well, you are the victim of phising, I am afraid. If you read the Paypal instructions careful they will tell you that you should only log on if the message they sent you has your name in it, such as: "Dear Jennifer Priser", for example. Otherwise, it's another website trying to get your info.

You should contact the real paypal website right away!


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Lars Jelking  Identity Verified
Israel
Local time: 03:09
Member (2006)
English to Swedish
+ ...
Don't fall into the trapp! Oct 3, 2005

It seems a lot of us have received "reminders" from PayPal and the subject has been discussed over and over again in the Fourm.

The fact that the reminder was addressed to "Dear ... Memeber" and not to uour name is the first warning flag. The URL with /US in the end is the next.

To verify your account status log in to www.paypal.com and you will most likely find everything OK with your account. Also without verification.


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Ivana de Sousa Santos  Identity Verified
Portugal
Local time: 01:09
French to Portuguese
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
I read the instructions carefully before signing in Oct 3, 2005

There's a lot of information and although I read the frauds part their e-mail seemed very realistic for me, since the whole site features were just the same as PayPal's.

I only found it suspicious because they asked me for my credit card details (which I haven't, that's why I chose a Personal Account).

I got in touch with them and I'm waiting for their answer now.


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Ivana UK  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 01:09
Member (2005)
Italian to English
+ ...
so long as you didn't click or copy the link...you should be okay... Oct 3, 2005

First and foremost: how did you log in?

Did you

1) click the link provided in the email or paste the link into your browser? If so you could be in trouble.

or

2) type Paypal's standard url (www.paypal.com) into your browser and access the site that way? If so you would have reached the genuine Paypal site.

Supposing you followed opton 1 above, you should immediately log onto www.Paypal.com and forward them a copy of the email (report spoof email/fraud) - the contact details are available on the site. The next step is to change you password straight away and to check that your Paypal balance is correct.

There are lots of spoof emails going around, I get them about once every two months and always forward to Paypal for verification (just in case). And each time, Paypal get back to me saying that it is a con...

Paypal never ask you to click an email link and never ask for your password and username. So if you ever receive any similar emails delete them straight away!

This is from the Paypal site:

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.



[Edited at 2005-10-03 13:28]


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Kathi Stock  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 19:09
Member (2002)
English to German
+ ...
Received the same thing Oct 3, 2005

My policy is: never respond to emails of this type and never click on any link such email provides.

Unfortunately, the internet gives thieves and marauders a great opportunity to mislead people.

Therefore...even though I receive such emails...my only action is: instant deletion.

Best regards,

Kathi


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Ralf Lemster  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 02:09
English to German
+ ...
Don't wait - change your password straight away Oct 3, 2005

Hi again, Ivana,
I got in touch with them and I'm waiting for their answer now.

I wouldn't wait. If I were you, I'd change my password straight away.

Best, Ralf


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Robert Tucker
United Kingdom
Local time: 01:09
German to English
+ ...
Virus Oct 3, 2005

I agree that you should probably get a new password, but after you have reported/forwarded the email somewhere appropriate and done a virus scan.

Many of these phishing emails have viruses attached (the ones I've received only "leak out" if you try to save them in a folder on your email client) which can send out information you have stored.

I note there is a virus which installs itself from the site to which you link from the fake email, then waits until you log into a particular site (such as PayPal), records the information you use to log in and then finally sends the information on to the fraudster. Thus if it's still on your computer when you get a new password it will still be able to send on your new password.

I get several of these phishing emails a week and if it as much as mentions my account details I report it immediately and then delete it.

If I got an email I thought was actually from PayPal I would still delete it completely and then go to PayPal by typing in the URL for PayPal in the URL box on my browser.

Previous forum on phishing:

http://www.proz.com/topic/36875


[Edited at 2005-10-03 18:33]


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Jeremy Smith  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 01:09
French to English
+ ...
I reiterate what everyone else has said Oct 3, 2005

Never ever click on a link sent to you in an email like that again.

They ARE realistic-looking - they are designed to be like that by the crooks that run them.

Paypal - or indeed any financial instution of any description - will never send you an email with a link to click on. They would only send an email asking you to go to the website as you normally would (entering the right URL manually, as per normal).

Change your password immediately. If you have already linked the Paypal account to your bank account, inform your bank IMMEDIATELY.

I do not wish to alarm you - if you didn't enter any information on the fake Payapl website, then you'll most likely be OK. But better safe than sorry. Instruct your bank not to accept any transactions from that Paypal account. I recommend closing down the paypal account you opened and starting afresh. Again - it may be that the crooks cannot do anything without the details they wanted you to give, but...rather go through this rigmarole than lose all your money.

Also run a full computer virus and spyware scan.


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Ivana de Sousa Santos  Identity Verified
Portugal
Local time: 01:09
French to Portuguese
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
I've already received an e-mail from PayPal Oct 3, 2005

They asked for the e-mail details.

I immediately changed my password too and I got another mail from them saying that the password was changed and that I should also report it if it wasn't me who had done so.

Thank you for your answers and advices.


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John Walsh  Identity Verified
Italy
Local time: 02:09
Member (2004)
Italian to English
Happens frequently Oct 4, 2005

Ivana Micheli wrote:



This is from the Paypal site:

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.



[Edited at 2005-10-03 13:28]

Never reply to such emails and above-all NEVER click on links contained in the email. Forward it to spoof@paypal.com. They'll answer.


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tectranslate ITS GmbH
Local time: 02:09
German
+ ...
"a href" no secure indicator Oct 4, 2005

Ralf Lemster wrote:

Did you check the URL that the link really pointed to? (Store the message as an HTML file, and open it in a text editor. Search for the "a href" tag - I'm certain the target URL was not Paypal's US site.


Don't get fooled by the URL in the "a href=". The latest trick is to include a proper link and place an imagemap OVER the link, pointing somewhere else. So unless you're an elite IT professional, don't try to determine the legitimacy yourself by looking at the source code.

The best thing is really to contact their fraud department and if the e-mail should in fact be legit, they'll certainly let you know.

Regards,
Benjamin


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