PayPal "limited account access" scam
Thread poster: Sarah McDowell

Sarah McDowell  Identity Verified
Canada
Local time: 12:15
Member (2012)
Russian to English
+ ...
Jan 28, 2013

This is probably old news but I received an e-mail supposedly from PayPal but it came from a hotmail addess. They claim that my account has limited access but it seems to be a real scam.

I am posting a copy of the e-mail that I received here.
---------------------------------------------------------------------
Notification of Limited Account Access


As part of our security measures, we regularly screen activity in the PayPal system. We recently noticed the following issue on your account:


Unusual account activity has made it necessary to limit sensitive account features until additional verification information can be collected.

We have been notified that a card associated with your account has been reported as lost or stolen, or that there were additional problems with your card.


Case ID Number: PP-xxx-xxx-xxx (there were numbers here, I deleted them)


Please fill in all the details that are required to complete this verification process.


To do this we have attached a form to this email. Please download the form and follow the instructions on your screen. NOTE: The form needs to be opened in a modern browser which has javascript enabled (ex: Internet Explorer 7, Firefox 3, Safari 3, Opera 9)


Please understand that this is a security measure intended to help protect you and your account.
We apologize for any inconvenience.


If you choose to ignore our request, you leave us no choice but to temporary suspend your account.


Sincerely,
PayPal Account Review Department.


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Alina - Maria Chiteala  Identity Verified
Romania
Local time: 20:15
Member (2011)
English to Romanian
+ ...
New scam Jan 28, 2013

I got this today. As I do not know this company and never once paypal asked to confirm a payment I can only deduct that this a scam.
Please be aware


株式会社アクティブゲーミングメディア sent you ¥1,000 JPY
Dear XXXXXXXX,


This email confirms that 株式会社アクティブゲーミングメディア has sent you ¥1,000 JPY with PayPal.

To complete this payment, you must accept or deny it within 30 days by clicking here.



If you do not accept or deny this payment within 30 days, it will be cancelled and the funds will be returned to 株式会社アクティブゲーミングメディア's account.

Payment Details


Amount: ¥1,000 JPY

Transaction ID:



View the details of this transaction online


This payment is pending because it was sent in a currency in which you do not currently hold a balance.

Yours sincerely,
PayPal


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Tony M  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 19:15
Member
French to English
+ ...
To Alina: not necessarily a scam Jan 28, 2013

This is a standard message that PayPal send out; the key clue is if they addressed you correctly by your name, as registered with PayPal? This is one way they ensure it is a genuine message, instead of the generic scammers who have to resort to "Dear PayPal user..."

This is a standard message I get all the time, it arises when someone you know sends you money 'between friends', in which case, you do have to accept or refuse the payment. Normally, this wouldn't be used by companies paying you, but some do so, as using the 'between friends' payment option enables there to be no charges to the recipient, so it means they can send you and you get exactly the sum wanted, without deduction of fees.

Before clicking on the link, it would be a wise precaution to hover your mouse over it to see where the link actually points to (look at the address bar, usually at the bottom left of your screen) — if the link seems to be consistent with some kind of PayPal address, then it's probably OK.

[Edited at 2013-01-28 09:56 GMT]


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Alina - Maria Chiteala  Identity Verified
Romania
Local time: 20:15
Member (2011)
English to Romanian
+ ...
@Tony Jan 28, 2013

Yes I just got a message from the company that they changed the name and paypal account. Thank you for all the support.

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Hin und Wieder  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 19:15
Member (2012)
German to Dutch
+ ...
Don't follow a link Jan 28, 2013

but log in to your account as you always do. Then you can verify the payment. I use a hotmail address for Paypal and their emails always appear with a green V. As in verified.

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EvaVer  Identity Verified
Local time: 19:15
Member (2012)
Czech to English
+ ...
I got that several times about a month ago, Jan 28, 2013

I logged in and found no issues, asked PayPal support about that and got no reply. What told me this must be a scam is that it was about a "suspect transaction on a credit card linked to the acocunt", but I have no linked credit card.

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Sarah McDowell  Identity Verified
Canada
Local time: 12:15
Member (2012)
Russian to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
I do believe that it is a scam Jan 28, 2013

Yes, it is most definitely a scam because the e-mail was not addressed to me personally. Also, the e-mail was sent from a hotmail address. When I receive regular notifications from PayPal about payments, etc., the e-mail address always ends in @paypal.com.

Sarah


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David Hayes  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 19:15
Member (2009)
French to English
Scam Jan 28, 2013

I am certain that it is a scam. My reason for thinking this is that I have been getting several of these messages every week for the past couple of months. They do not ring true for the simple reason that I do not have a PayPal account. I just ignore them.

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José Henrique Lamensdorf  Identity Verified
Brazil
Local time: 14:15
English to Portuguese
+ ...
Beware! It IS a scam! Jan 28, 2013

If you read the PayPal pages on security, here are their general instructions on security:

1. They'll NEVER send you messages starting with Dear User, Dear Customer, Dear (your e-mail address), nor Dear (part of your e-mail address before the @ ). They'll ALWAYS use Dear (your FULL name, as you registered it with them).

2. They'll NEVER ask you to click on anything, nor provide any links. They'll ALWAYS tell you to login to your account there and provide instructions on what you should do there.

3. They ask you to forward any messages that don't comply with the two items above to spoof@paypal.com . They'll thank you and take steps against this specific scammer to prevent them from sending such messages again.

Watch out!


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Thayenga  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 19:15
Member (2009)
English to German
+ ...
No direct/personal address Jan 28, 2013

Anything I receive from PayPal or my bank or any other site that does not properly address me ends up in "File 13". Especially when such an email contains any threats, e. g. your account will be frozen if you don't...bla bla bla (shrug) Nice pishing attempt and... better luck next time.

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Tony M  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 19:15
Member
French to English
+ ...
Two different issues here! Jan 28, 2013

José Henrique Lamensdorf wrote:

It IS a scam
...


I think we are getting confused by the two separate issues here.

Yes, the original message posted by the thread starter clearly IS a scam; my reply was concerning the subsequent quite separate issue raised by Alina, which I believe is probably NOT a scam.


2. They'll NEVER ask you to click on anything, nor provide any links. They'll ALWAYS tell you to login to your account there and provide instructions on what you should do there.


Here is a copy of my own perfectly genuine message I received from PayPal on this very subject just the other day:


Dear XX XXX,

This email confirms that YY YYY has sent you €xxx EUR with PayPal.

To complete this payment, you must accept or refuse it within 30 days by clicking here.

If you do not accept or refuse this payment within 30 days, it will be cancelled and the funds will be returned to YY YYY's account.
Payment Details
Amount: €xxx EUR
Transaction ID: **************

View the details of this transaction online

This payment is pending because it was sent in a currency in which you do not currently hold a balance.

Yours sincerely,
PayPal



Note that contrary to their stated policy, as quoted by José above, they DO in fact invite you to click on a link. When you mouseover this link, it gives you an https address that is clearly identified as being from paypal.uk.


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José Henrique Lamensdorf  Identity Verified
Brazil
Local time: 14:15
English to Portuguese
+ ...
They may have changed procedures... Jan 28, 2013

... since I last receive a clarification e-mail from them.

Anyway, here is the link to PayPal's help page on phishing:
https://www.paypal.com/br/webapps/mpp/security/general-recognizephishing


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PayPal "limited account access" scam

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