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Paypal scam: Your Paypal account has been suspended

Updated on April 10, 2013

I received an email today supposedly from Paypal. It really looked authentic but I wasn't quite sure what I'd done to have been suspended by Paypal.

The email read thus;


Dear Customer,

This is an automated message by the system to let you know that your account has been temporary suspended due to different login attempt from different ip location.

Please click the link below to enable the verification process

http://www.paypal.com/security/profile-update

Yours sincerely,

Paypal.


When I first read the email from my mobile device, I wasn't really able to see the full headers or really understand what it really meant for a Paypal account to be suspended. Anyway, I thought about it and simply proceeded to read the full headers of the email to ensure that it really came from Paypal.com

When I now read the email using a full desktop browser, I noticed that the originating sender was not even paypal.com but rather update@alertedmail-security.com which gave me a sigh of relief as I immediately suspected this to be a scam. At least my paypal account is not really suspended as I originally thought

A lot of people may have been already caught in this scam email since it lures recipients with Paypal accounts into clicking a link to paypal and make updates to their account on a fake paypal page. The email came with a link displaying as paypal.com but was really pointing to another page at howdenblog.co.il which already looked like a fraudulent link.

Ordinarily, users who know about internet security are always urged not to click links in their email since they can be hacked through that. I however clicked the link out of curiosity and with confidence that I already have an anti-virus on my system.

The link then took me to a paypal look alike page but it was really hosted at another url. Anyone who knows about web design as I do would agree that a naive Paypal user could easily be hacked using this method if he falls for the trick and tries to log into Paypal.

There are lots of various ways by which hackers have tried to trick Paypal users into giving up their login details and making use of fake websites is one of such ways. Different browsers have different ways of identifying hacking attacks such as these and after trying out Firefox and Chrome, it was only Firefox that alerted me that this was a fake Paypal account but Google chrome just took me to the fake landing page.

Don't always believe every message you receive in your inbox that says it comes from Paypal but simply try to verify it by looking at the email headers and always login to paypal by first typing the address correctly in your browser or even Googling for it. At times typing wrongly into the browser can also lead you to a fake page where you could be hacked. Imagine what would happen if a fake paypal page existed at paypai.com?

Tips to keeping your Paypal account safe

  1. Create a bookmark for Paypal and always use it if possible
  2. Don't follow links to paypal from your email box
  3. Avoid typing erros if you are bad at typing paypal.com by using a search engine or bookmarking

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