Don’t Take The Bait

I have been the lucky recipient of a lot of phishing emails lately. If you aren’t familiar with the term, a phishing email (pronounced like regular old ‘fishing’) is an email where crooks send a message that appears to be from a legitimate company. These fake emails normally direct you to sites that download malware onto your device or prompt you to enter personal information that allows them compromise your account.

Here’s the email I received from “”

It claimed that my PayPal account was used to pay for $403.00 in items from eBay and that my account had been “limited.” I needed immediately take action or my account would be “permanently limited.”

The signed off with a very international “Grazie” from PayPal. This unauthorized charges trick is one of the oldest in the phishing book. Plus with so many people making online purchases these day, it sets off an immediate panic response.

Do not under any circumstance click on the buttons or links in an email like this. If you think an account could be compromised, open up a separate browser page and type in the address for that account. Then check for problems.

I right-clicked on the Activate button and copied the link for that button.

Then I pasted the link in Notepad. That doesn’t look too much like customer service for PayPal to me.

My next step was to click the three-dot menu at the corner of my Outlook email and choose Mark as phishing from the drop-down menu.

The final step is to confirm that you wish to report it.

Stay vigilant.

2 thoughts on “Don’t Take The Bait

  1. It just never hurts anyone to go over these Phishing Scams.
    Even I after seeing all the Scam Emails possible, will Bite when I see that a Service (especially a Financial one) will be closed Due to (whatever reason) the Email says.

    I pause from the initial Panic, Look at the Email once more CAREFULLY.

    A. Look for Common Misspelling of any words to determine its validity. Like these for example;

    absence – absense, absance
    category – catagory
    foreign – foriegn …….etc.

    B. Think about the Company itself & Determine why they would Email this to Me in the First place, especially if it has a Misspellings between the American & English English (better said American & European) versions of spelling certain words, e.g. calendar – calender.

    C. Copy & Paste the Original Email received & send it to Phishing Scams for that particular Company;, e.g. eBay, Financial Institutions, PayPal, QVC, Xoom…

    D. Ignore the Phishing Scam & Report it as SPAM

    So thanks again Cyn for posting

  2. One thing I learned while dealing with these fake PayPal messages is that a legitimate PayPal email will address you by NAME… and not just “customer”. That’s the first dead giveaway for me that this is yet another phishing attempt.

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