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Beware fraudulent emails

I got an email in my inbox today that looks like it's from PayPal, it looks like a legitimate security email, saying that someone tried to access my account from a foreign IP address. I was worried for a while, so I went to paypal and logged in. Thank goodness I didn't log in from the link they provided in the email. I saw no new activity on my account, and so thought, "Why would they send me an email about *attempts* to access the account if they weren't successful?" So I was suspicious, and went to the help section to find out how to see if a message was genuine or fake. Two things made me realize it was a fake. Here, then, is the answer:

* PayPal email always addresses you by first name, last name, or business name, and NOT by Dear PayPal User or Dear PayPal Member. (Just verified this - while I was in PayPal, I withdrew some money. Just got an email about it, and the first line is "Dear Tristan Arts". The email is in plain text.)

* If you click a link included in an email that you're not sure is from PayPal, make certain the address at the top of the browser window that appears reads exactly www.paypal.com/us. (The link the spoof provided goes to some place called shepit.org)

* If you are ever uncertain about the validity of the email or the email links, open a new browser window and type in www.paypal.com/us.

Thank goodness my password is not in any language most people would know. It's in Trai'pahg'nan'nog. And with something like 1,500 words in my TPNN dictionary to choose from, with numbers and special characters added for extra protection, alternate spellings, and not all the TPNN words are in the dictionary... I feel secure. And I can change it whenever I want. And then, I can always use Yahgahnii or Dvencoilii words. Plus, I LOVE codes... so I could easily throw in, say, a +1 code just to keep things interesting. Would slow down progress into my account, but it would be secure. Heh heh heh. :-)


( 12 comments — Leave a comment )
Jan. 20th, 2007 06:44 pm (UTC)
In some mail programs, if you move the mouse cursor to a link, but don't click, it'll display *somewhere* on the screen the *actual* URL the link will take you to (as opposed to the one it claims it'll take you to).

This is better than checking the url after clicking, since clicking on some links is enough to steal info about you, or at the very least, confirm that the address they sent the message to is a "live" address.
Jan. 22nd, 2007 06:53 pm (UTC)
Yeah, the status bar. Wish I'd thought about that beforehand.
Jan. 22nd, 2007 07:45 pm (UTC)
I'd been looking at the raw message source for *months* before I finally noticed that feature of my mailer. So don't feel bad.
Jan. 22nd, 2007 08:25 pm (UTC)
Well I knew about the status bar already and wasn't suspicious enough to check it first before clicking.
Jan. 21st, 2007 05:12 am (UTC)
Common sense lessons! XD Seriously, you didn't know about these scams? Pretty typical, and they catch a lot of people unawares I guess, or they wouldn't keep doing it.
Jan. 22nd, 2007 07:13 pm (UTC)
I didn't know about one pretending to be PayPal. They were very convincing, too. Almost fooled me.
Jan. 22nd, 2007 07:52 pm (UTC)
Distrust *anything* that purports to be from any outfit you do business with.

And if you check it out and it is real, but asked you to click on links in the message rather than just *telling* you "go to our website and use the links there to..." call them up and rant at them about poor security.

Doing that sort of thing trains their customers to be vulnerable to phishing scams.
Jan. 22nd, 2007 08:24 pm (UTC)
Jan. 23rd, 2007 05:40 pm (UTC)
Have you got an internet connection at home yet? I have a little something Star Trek related that kicks ass to send you. Unless you can DL mp3s on the library computer.
Jan. 23rd, 2007 05:41 pm (UTC)
Ah but I suppose they wouldn't have a CD burner anyway.
Jan. 26th, 2007 08:38 pm (UTC)
Jan. 26th, 2007 08:11 pm (UTC)
No, my computer at home does not have the Net. I'm thinking about it, though.
( 12 comments — Leave a comment )


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