Might this be a PayPal scam?

I keep getting this recurring e-mail, purportedly from PayPal:


Dear PayPal Member,

Your account has been randomly flagged in our system as a part of our routine security measures. This is a must to ensure that only you have access and use of your PayPal account and to ensure a safe PayPal experience. We require all flagged accounts to verify their information on file with us. To verify your Information at this time, please visit our secure server webform by clicking the hyperlink below

With all the bad publicity PayPal has gotten, I’m really averse to clicking on the link.

Does anyone know if this is just another internet scam?

It is a scam. Log onto your PayPal account, and you’ll find a fraud report link, where you can email them with the poseur email attached. I sent them a similar one week before last.

I agree that it is a scam.
I had an e-mail like that sent and the biggest red flag was that it had a date in the future (“Mysterious activity with your account on 2-16” when it was only 2-10)

I don’t have a link handy, but I’m fairly certain that PayPal notes on their site that any legitimate mail sent to you will include the first and last name you used to register your account. “Dear PayPal Member” is a clear giveaway.

Hope this helps :slight_smile:

Never ever click on a link in e-mail. Unless it’s just chock-full of correct, up-to-date information (i.e. a message from Amazon about the order you’ve just placed, listing the items, the shipping address, etc., etc. etc., with a link to their site for online tracking) it’s almost certainly a redirect to a fake site.

If you think the e-mail could be legit, then, bring up your browser and type in paypal.com. Log into your account. If for some reason you really do need to verify your information, then that will come up as soon as you log in.

This goes for any mail, not just those purporting to be from PayPal. Sometimes legitimate emails do include a real link, but always it’s better to be safe than sorry. No business is every going to do anything that requires you to click a link in e-mail. If there’s a problem with your account, they’ll ask you for information when you log in. If they were telling you where to go for some information, then you can always find that by just logging into the site, then going to, say, the “My Account” section.

Oh, crap. That i.e. should be an e.g. That’s one of my pet peeves, too. :smack:!

I’ve gotten these a few times, and the funny part is I don’t have a PayPal account at all. Neither do I have one at Washington Mutual, who according to an email I got today wants all my information. I have gotten one of these purportedly from a bank I DO have an account with, but it was an obvious scam.

In my experience, these things are never legit.

Never, ever go to Paypal, or any other secure banking website, by “clicking on the hyperlink below.”

The ease with which these can be forged is why no secure website would ask you to access their login page this way. So the email is a scam.

Either use your own bookmark or type in the address yourself.

Thank you all!

Because of previous SDMB advice, I haven’t - and will never - click on a strange email link.

I’d like to get rid of my PayPal account but when I asked for Help on how to dissolve the account, I got an error message to try again later. I have heard this is SOP for PayPal. True?

Rule of thumb for all e-mails one believes may be scams:

If you have to ask, yes.

I had to cancel a previous PayPal account for e-mail conflict problems, and it went through fine (this was about 3 weeks ago).

Log in, click “Profile” under My Account, and under Account Information on the left, click “Close Account,” verify one of the options, and click Submit. Voila!

You’re too smart, caphis! :slight_smile:

Did as you said and I closed it. Thank you.

It did, Merhouse.

I just got my account cancellation acknowledgement from PayPal.

Essentially you’re correct. The e-mail was addressed “Dear <e-mail-address>” which is far different from Dear PayPal Member.

Thank you.

More important than closing one is to avoid giving them your checking account number. PayPal is not a financial institution and is not governed under any banking rules. They can freeze your account with thousands of dollars in it and you can’t do squat about it. There is a class action suit against them.

I still have an account with them but I can’t use it anymore because I’ve gone through their original $2000 limit. I don’t mind securing it with a credit card because of the rights afforded credit card users. Checking accounts are not so easy to correct if there are problems so my PayPal account sits unused. I asked if I could cancel it and start over and they blew me off.

I’ve been getting about one Washington Mutual one per day for a couple of weeks. Thing is, I do have an account there. When I go to the link, the web address, so far as I can tell, is identical to the actual site, yet I always found the whole thing fishy.

I’ve received those e-mails too, NOT from PayPal. One way to distinguish between the e-mails NOT from PayPal is the “Dear PayPal valued member,” and in the subject line it usually says, “PayPal notice #…”

Once I caught on to this, I contacted PayPal and they advised that I forward the e-mail to this specific address. ( spoof@paypal.com ) This gives PayPal a chance to investigate.

I got one of those emails too, it had other email addresses in the CC box so I took it to be a spoof :rolleyes:

Call or email the bank and ask them about it if you’re concerned it might be legit. Personally, I doubt it – like I said, I got one, and I don’t have an account there at all. The one I got that was supposed to be from my own bank had screwy grammar (dead giveaway) and when I moused over the link, it showed what I damn well know is not their site address. I didn’t click on it.

People must fall for these things, but I can’t figure out why, once you know about them. And how could you be online for any length of time and not know?

Length of time on the intarweb is no indicator of saavy.

An otherwise very smart friend of mine who’s been using the intraweb for a years who fell for a phishing scam, and gave his business’s bank account information to Og knows who . . . then suddenly realized that maybe he had done something stupid. There was much wailing and gnashing of teeth and changing of account numbers. My husband said, “Don’t know that you should never click on a link in an e-mail?” He insisted, that, no if it really was an OFFICIAL e-mail from the who it claimed to be from, he would have had to click on the link, or he would be in breech of contract or something . . . and he could not be dissuaded from this.

This is the same guy who got an older computer for cheap and then drove it into the ground because he ended up with so much spyware on it. The hubby tried to show him how to install and use Ad-Aware &c., and he just said, “Nevermind. I’m just going to buy a better computer.” So he happily puts up with spyware because his computer is fast enough that he can still use it even though it’s contaminated out the ying-yang.

Something about proximity to a computer monitor just makes some people dumb.

I have an account with WaMu as well, and I’ve been getting the same email. It does go to the real website–I installed the plugin for firefox that shows you the true url, and sure enough, it was the wamu home page. However, I keep getting this email at an account that a)Has no spam protection so it gets every stupid thing going around the Internet and B) has nothing to do with my online account. I used my husbands email to sign up for the account, and he’s not getting a similiar email.

I have no idea what the hell is going on with that email, but so far, I’ve had absolutely no problems with my account. Maybe the person running the scam messed up and put the wrong URL in the email…

I’ve also been getting the same Paypal email. You can tell it is fake ifyou look at the full header and compare it to the full header of legit emails from Paypal.