PayPal Scam Survival Guide

PayPal is perhaps the most popular way to send and receive money using the internet. PayPal is owned by eBay and this makes it a very trusted company. Unfortunately, there are some criminals out there who won't rest until they manage to get their hands on the money in your PayPal account.

PayPal Scammers will try to find out your password so that they can login to your account and steal all of your money. This is actually much easier for them than you would hope. Of course PayPal takes security very seriously and is trying to stop these scams dead in their tracks. The problem ultimately lies with the users. There are lots of scams on the internet which you must be careful to avoid.

The Way Most Scams Work

The way that the majority of PayPal scams work is that you receive an email from the scammer telling you that for security details you need to update the details on your account. You might sometimes be told that your account is suspended or that you need to update your details to keep your account secure.

These scams are not from PayPal but are very convincing. You can see why so many people get taken in by these scams. The links in the emails seem to go to PayPal, but in actual fact they go to somewhere completely different.

Spotting A Fake

Learning how you can spot a fake email is important so that you are able to avoid having your PayPal funds stolen. There are a few ways to spot PayPal scam messages before they start ruining your life.

Where the Email is Sent

Scammers don't know who actually has a PayPal account and so they will send the same message out to hundreds of people hoping to find someone that believes it and has an account.

If you receive emails to other email addresses other than your primary account then it is a scam. PayPal will only ever contact you using your primary email address.

The Links are Fake

You should check that the links are real. In the body of the email they might look real, however, if you right click it and click properties you will see where the link is really going to. It should be an address which starts with https://www.paypal.com. If you are at all in doubt then visit the site yourself instead of following links.

English Quality

If the subject or body of the email sounds suspicious or is written in bad English then it is almost certainly a spam. You should be able to identify the type of language that these scammers use because it's not really very good English.

Greeting

When you receive an email it should be addressed to your PayPal username or your name. If it's just a generic user like "Dear PayPal Member" Then it is almost certainly a scam. PayPal is generally much more personal than this.

Scammers send the same email to many people and simply don't bother changing the details.

You might think that your PayPal account isn't as important as your bank account but nothing could be further from the truth. If you're an active eBay user then your PayPal account probably already has all of your credit cards and bank account details saved in it. Make sure you take protection very seriously otherwise you're going to lose a lot of money.

If you are ever in doubt then don't click on any of the links. Contact PayPal for more information and to find out whether or not the email is legitimate. You can forward the email to [email protected] and they will be able to assist you further.

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Spyware has many ways of getting onto your computer, such as:

When you download programs - particularly freeware, or peer-to-peer sharing programs.

More covertly, spyware can install itself just by you visiting certain sites, by prompting you to download an application to see the site properly.

ActiveX controls. These pesky spyware makers will prompt you to install themselves while using your Internet browser