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8 years ago
I got an email from PayPal today telling me that I need to update my account by providing a debit/check card account number. However, the email has a couple of misspelled words in the first paragraph. That made me suspicious at first. On further investigation, the email
to be legitimate and the links it forwards you to
to be to the real PayPal website. (Though I don't know how to tell for sure). I find it pretty incredible that a company like PayPal would misspell words in an official correspondence concerning a serious matter like financial accounts. Like I said, from what I can tell this does appear to be really from PayPal but I am leery because of the misspelled words. From what I know about phishing, misspelled words are a tipoff that something is amiss. With the clients I sometimes interact with in my job misspelled words on official documentation are a HUGE no-no, so I can pick them out at the blink of an eye. I am not going to be updating any account information with PayPal until I actually make a transaction using them (which is very rare). Maybe I'm being overly careful because I got one of my credit cards stolen a couple of days ago.
After all this, my questions are: 1) Do you know anyone who has fallen for a phishing scam? (Would you admit it if you have?) The phishers must be hoodwinking at least a few people because phishing is not abating. 2) How can you tell if you are being phished? I would think that a link to a "http" web page rather than a "https" web page would be a clue but that's not always the case. Phisherman can be pretty smart in building a clone web page.
FYI, below is the first paragraph of the email from PayPal. I have boldfaced the misspelled words ("attion" should be "attention" and "non existant" should be "nonexistent").
Dear valued PayPal? member,
Due to recent fraudulent transactions, we have issued the following security requirements.
It has come to our
that 98% of all fraudulent transactions are caused by members using stolen credit cards to purchase or sell
items. Thus we require our members to add a Debit/Check card to their billing records as part of our continuing commitment to protect your account and to reduce the instance of fraud on our website. Your Debit/Check card will only be used to identify you. If you could please take 5-10 minutes out of your online experience and renew your records you will not run into any future problems with the PayPal? service.