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How to Recognize a PayPal or Other Phishing Scam

How to Recognize a PayPal or Other Phishing Scam


If you're like me, and you've been buying and selling on eBay and using PayPal for years, you're bound to come across a PayPal or other "phishing" scam.  This is when someone is trying to trick you in to giving them your PayPal login id and password, or login and password for other sites.

Some of the "phishers" have become very sophisticated, including graphics, logo, and legal language in the email that looks legit. Here are a few tips for recognizing these kinds of evil emails:

- Check for any sort of incorrect grammar or punctuation. I've noticed some will put a space in between a word and the followup punctuation, such as, "Your account has been limited ,"  Other times the punctuation is wrong, such as a comma instead of a period, in that example.

- Hover your mouse over the link in the email, and see what url pops up when you do (if one does). Most times you will then see the url of the phony site and it will not look like the legitimate PayPal or other site login.

- Watch for scare tactics like "Your account has been limited."  There were reports of such an attack in March of this year. The email then has an html attachment that launches the victim onto a page where all sorts of personal data can be collected.

My favorite tip for checking emails is the hovering of the mouse one.  But the best rule of thumb you can probably keep to avoid these scams altogether is to never login from the email; always type in the url of the main site and see if there are any notices or messages there on which you need to act.

Have you been the victim of a phishing scam? What was it that pulled you in? What are your tips to avoid these kinds of scams? Post a comment here!