More and more frequently, we open up our email accounts and see that we have received an email from a well-known company such as PayPal. Typically, the emails are supposed to come from a company that we deal with on a regular basis stating that there is some sort of problem with our accounts. The big question is – is the email genuine, or is it a fake?
While nobody wants to become the victim of a phishing scam, nobody wants to ignore a situation that could be a potential problem on their account. PayPal is one of the big companies that are now the target of many of these types of scams. Every day, countless PayPal users are receiving messages which purport to be from PayPal customer service themselves asking them to supply information or take action because of an account problem. So how can you spot a fake PayPal email from a genuine one?
Here are some tips for you to follow:
How Are You Addressed?
Does the email address you by your name or does it simply refer to you as “Dear PayPal Member” or something similar? This is the first clue as to whether or not the message is genuine as PayPal will never send you an email simply saying “hello” or addressing you as anything other than your name.
Check the sender’s email address and this may give you a clue as to whether the sender was genuinely PayPal or not. If the email address is obviously forged or from a non-PayPal address, then you can be fairly sure your message is from a third party. When in doubt, PayPal contact is recommended.
Call to Action
A phishing email will always try to prompt you to take urgent action by leading you to believe that your account is under threat for some reason. If you are in any doubt as to whether or not your account has been compromised in some way, log into your PayPal account by typing https://www.paypal.com into a new window and check your account from there.
Never click on any link in an email without checking where it will take you. If you move your mouse over the URL, you will be able to see the address where you will be taken and if it doesn’t match the one you would expect, then you can be fairly sure that you are being scammed. Make sure that the URL actually is the correct PayPal one and not just one with the word PayPal in it. There can be fraudulent sites with similar names to the one that you would expect so you need to be vigilant. Also look for @ signs in the middle of a URL as this is a giveaway.
Other things to look for include poor spelling and attachments. If the quality of grammar or spelling is poor then it is not going to be a genuine email. If the email that is supposed to be from PayPal customer service has any kind of attachment do not click on it. PayPal never attach documents to emails. If you are in any doubt about whether an email is from the actual company or not, call the PayPal contact number to discuss the issue.