New Clever PayPal Scam

PayPal scam, more on phishing, and overpayment scams: Internet ScamBusters #111

Welcome to today’s Internet ScamBusters Snippets issue. We’ll cover four topics today:

– This Week’s Top Phishing Scam – A New, Clever PayPal Scam

– More on Phishing Scams

– ScamBusters in the News

– The FTC Warning on Overpayment Scams

Before we get going, though, we need your help. We’d like to increase our subscriber base and, as part of this process, we’re creating a list of reasons people should subscribe.

Thanks. Let’s get started…

This Week’s Top Phishing Scam – A New, Clever PayPal Scam

The newest PayPal phishing scam has the Subject: ‘PayPal Flagged Account.’

The email lets you know that your account has supposedly been randomly flagged as part of PayPal’s routine security measures to ‘ensure that only you have access and use of your PayPal account and to ensure a safe PayPal experience.’

The email looks very professional and even includes a ‘Protect Your Account Info’ warning. This warning advises that you ‘Make sure you never provide your password to fraudulent websites.’

Like all phishing scams, it includes a link to the scammer’s website.

Action: Never click on links in these types of emails. If you are unsure if the email is a hoax or legitimate, type the website URL directly into your browser.

For more on phishing scams, visit now.

More on Phishing Scams

Two weeks ago, we predicted that phishing scams would be one of the worst Internet scams for 2005. Last week, a Washington Post article suggested that phishing scams may be growing even faster than we predicted.

The article describes phishing ‘toolkits’ that scammers can now buy that basically remove the technological sophistication required to operate phishing scams.

These toolkits can be as simple as downloadable Web pages and sample emails, or they can include software programs that let scammers customize pages with corporate logos and website designs and run entire phishing scams.

Further, there are underground Internet chat rooms where scammers can convert stolen credit card data into cash and learn more about how to operate phishing scams.

The US Secret Service and international authorities are focused on shutting these scammers down.


ScamBusters in the News

We’ve been getting a good deal of press lately, including in The New York Times, San Jose Mercury News, and InformationWeek. We were pleased to read that New York Times described Internet ScamBusters as ‘one of the oldest and most comprehensive online clearinghouses for information about Internet fraud.’

To read some excellent articles on scams, visit our press page.

The FTC Warning on Check or Money Order Overpayment Scams

Several subscribers let us know about an excellent page on the FTC website that includes advice on check or money order overpayment scams. You can find it here.


In summary, please be careful that you don’t get caught by any phishing scams, such as the PayPal scam we described above. We’ll now call it a day — and we wish you a wonderful week.