A reader is worried about a possible PayPal scam:

“I need help.   You have “talked” about fake emails so much I clicked on the restore now button and, of course, I signed in.  I stopped there.  I don’t use PayPal a lot but I did use it a couple of days ago.  I don’t know what to do except to maybe not do anything at this point.  I think this will be ok because it doesn’t show anything personal other than my email.

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Actually, just signing in can cause you a world of trouble if this is a phishing attempt, because you’ll have given a scammer your username and password.  The best thing to do if you receive an email like this and believe it could be legitimate is to not click on any links in the email but instead open your browser, go to PayPal.com and log onto your account there.

If there’s something about your PayPal account that needs attention, you’ll see an alert in your notification center at the top right. The icon for notifications is shaped like a bell.

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The same holds true for any type of account. Skip clicking on the email, go directly to the site, and check for any alerts there. Or go to the website on your own and look for proper contact information to inquire about any issues.

PayPal even has a dedicated email address where you can forward suspected scams: spoof@paypal.com.