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Re: Pay Pal Scam

by Heather Jackson (Age: 39)
copyright 11-26-2003

Age Rating: 1 +

Today, I recieved the email from Bob warning us about the PayPal scam. I wanted people to be aware that this is a real problem, not an urban legend.

There is a website that I visit to check on the status of urban legends, and my husband is a network engineer; he sometimes has to deal with these problems at work. We had seen that there was a virus out that puts up a fake paypal site to "confirm credit card information". I guess I hadn't given it any thought beyond "gee, that's slimy", but now that Bob's seen it, I want to be certain that the community here is aware that this is a very real problem.

For more information on this virus warning, you can visit

I do want you to be reassured, however, that anti-virus software programmers are aware of the problem; from the snopes site above, you can follow a link that will take you to McAffee's patch for this problem. It also contains a link to an article in PCWorld about this PayPal ripoff.

I want to point out that this is NOT Paypal. They are not putting this out, they are not responsible for this scam operation, and work to protect your privacy.

Thanks all!

Bob's note:

It is NOT PayPal that is Scamming
it is an imitator scamming

The scam Heather describes is also real but it is a different one from the email that I got.

If you did fall for this scam don't be embarassed; it is REAL slick. If you did enter information in the site linked to: (changed slightly so no one goes there)

BE CERTAIN to inform any institutions (banks, credit card co's , etc.) that might be affected. You will likely be safest by cancelling the card and getting a new one.


Paypal answered my email and as you can see, they are quite concerned and will investigate. This is their email:

Dear bob,

Thank you for contacting PayPal.

Thank you for bringing this suspicious email to our attention. We can confirm that the email you received; was not sent to you by PayPal. The website linked to this email is not a registered URL authorized or used by PayPal. We are currently investigating this incident fully. Please do not enter any personal or financial information into this website.

If you have surrendered any personal or financial information to this fraudulent website, you should immediately log into your PayPal Account and change your password and secret question and answer information. Any compromised financial information should be reported to the appropriate parties.

If you notice any unauthorized activity associated with your PayPal transaction history, please immediately report this to PayPal by following the instructions below:

1. Go to
2. Click on the Security Center at the bottom of the page
3. Click on "Report a Problem"
4. Select the Topic: Report Fraud
5: Select the Subtopic: Unauthorized use of my PayPal Account, and click Continue.
6. Follow the instructions to access the appropriate form

If you have any further questions, please let us know.


The PayPal Team

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        08-13-2005     Angela Toshner        

man its a good thing I saw this because I have a paypal account and I mean I don't want my credit card # getting stolen or anything. that would not be

        12-16-2004     Andrew Findlay        

Thanks for the info. I use Paypal regularly and have found them to be very safe and reliable. I don't think I was ever contacted by the scammers. Does it only come in E-mails?

        08-14-2004     Kevin (Buddy) Ales        

Yes, this is still a big problem today even. There are little things you can look for to see if it is really a paypal website. If you get the link please click View> Source and if anything with href=" " has something OTHER THAN in it it is fake for sure. This is the best way to figure out if it is fake or not, but do NOT take this advice as everyday, it is just telling you if something IS NOT paypal, or could be programmed to appear as paypal. I dont really wanna be sued x,x

        07-26-2004     Paula Tsvayg        

Thanks for warning me. I would have opened it if you didn't warn me. Thank-you.

        11-28-2003     Debra Rose        

Thank god for all of this warnings. I've sent this page to almost all of my friends, and have emailed them the link as well. We all use paypal. I think most of us would have fallen for this if not for the warning. Thank you.

        11-27-2003     Robert Betts        

One other thing... I did send a copy of the email I received to spoof They replied and confirmed that the email did NOT come from them. They assured me that they will investigate the matter thoroughly.

        11-26-2003     Robert Betts        

Thank you Heather,
I emailed the warning because it looks so legitimate that it almost fooled me. When I called PayPal, I was given signs to look for. They (a recording) said that they will always address you by first and last name. That helps because most scammers would not know that.
I then tracked the IP using special software and discovered it originated from Korea. That was a total tip-off.
I try to avoid spamming but I wanted to be sure our members were duly warned of this one.
PayPal I have used for years and never had a problem with them. These scams are not their fault.

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