|10 ways to recognize fake (spoof)
Many spoof emails begin with a general greeting, such as:
"Dear PayPal member." If you do not see your first and last
name, be suspicious and do not click on any links or button.
- A fake sender's address.
A spoof email may include a forged email address in the
"From" field. This field is easily altered.
- A false sense of urgency.
Many spoof emails try to deceive you with the threat that
your account is in jeopardy if you don't update it ASAP.
They may also state that an unauthorized transaction has
recently occurred on your account, or claim PayPal is
updating its accounts and needs information fast.
- Fake links. Always
check where a link is going before you click. Move your
mouse over it and look at the URL in your browser or email
status bar. A fraudulent link is dangerous. If you click on
one, it could:
- Direct you to a spoof website that tries to collect
your personal data.
- Install spyware on your system. Spyware is an
application that can enable a hacker to monitor your
actions and steal any passwords or credit card numbers you
- Cause you to download a virus that could disable your
- Emails that appear to be
websites. Some emails will look like a website in
order to get you to enter personal information. PayPal never
asks for personal information in an email.
- Deceptive URLs. Only
enter your PayPal password on PayPal pages. These begin with
- If you see an @ sign in the middle of a URL, there's a
good chance this is a spoof. Legitimate companies use a
domain name (e.g. https://www.company.com).
- Even if a URL contains the word "PayPal," it may not
be a PayPal site. Examples of deceptive URLs include:
www.secure-paypal.com, and www.paypalnet.com.
- Always log in to PayPal by opening a new web browser
and typing in the following: https://www.paypal.com/
- Never log in to PayPal from a link in an email
- Misspellings and bad
grammar. Spoof emails often contain misspellings,
incorrect grammar, missing words, and gaps in logic.
Mistakes also help fraudsters avoid spam filters.
- Unsafe sites. The
term "https" should always precede any website address where
you enter personal information. The "s" stands for secure.
If you don't see "https," you're not in a secure web
session, and you should not enter data.
- Pop-up boxes. PayPal
will never use a pop-up box in an email as pop-ups are not
- Attachments. Like
fake links, attachments are frequently used in spoof emails
and are dangerous. Never click on an attachment. It could
cause you to download spyware or a virus. PayPal will never
email you an attachment or a software update to install on
If you receive a spoof email, forward the entire email -
including the header information - to Paypal at:
delete it from your mailbox. Please note that the automatic
response you get from us may not address you by name.