Beware the PayPal Email Scams!

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Looking at my SPAM filter, I notice that nearly a quarter of my emails appear to be from PayPal. Of course, these are all spoofed to appear that way.

If you get an email from PayPal, DO NOT CLICK ON ANY LINKS IN THE EMAIL!

Instead, fire up your browser of choice, and type in www.paypal.com in the address bar. Nearly all of these emails are fakes. Here’s an example of a particularly tricky one that raised alarms and almost caused a knee jerk reaction till I realized it was a fake. It played upon a simple fear.

You have added

brian12313@yahoo.com

as a new email address for your PayPal account.

 

If you did not authorize this change or if you need assistance with your account, please contact PayPal customer service at:

https://www.paypal.com/row/wf/f=ap_email

Thank you for using PayPal!\ The PayPal Team

Please do not reply to this e-mail. Mail sent to this address cannot be answered. For assistance, log in to your PayPal account and choose the “Help” link in the header of any page.

—————————————————————-\     PROTECT YOUR PASSWORD\

    NEVER give your password to anyone and ONLY log in at

https://www.paypal.com/.

Protect yourself against fraudulent websites by opening a new web browser (e.g. Internet Explorer or Netscape) and typing in the PayPal URL every time you log in to your account.

 


PayPal Email ID PP007

This is a standard notice when adding a new email address to your PayPal account. What caught my attention is that the email address has the name brian. My brother is named Brian, so instinctually I wondered if he made a mistake with his own paypal account, adding me as an address.

But soon, I realized that this has to be a scam, simply because EVERY email I seemingly get from PayPal appears to be a scam.

Notice the URL https://www.paypal.com/row/wf/f=ap_email so helpfully included to ostensibly help you contact PayPal customer service. In my email, this was a link. When I hovered my mouse over it, it’s displays a completely different URL at some server with the IP 220.80.212.211. A quick DNS Lookup shows this is not a PayPal server.

In fact, EVERY “link” in this URL points to that IP address, even the word brian12313@yahoo.com which you would expect to be a mailto: link. Very sneaky.

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Comments

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36 responses

  1. Avatar for jayson knight
    jayson knight June 3rd, 2005

    Yeah, these have replaced all of the "free rolex" emails I was getting. Great. I feel bad for the (probably) countless number of people who actually click the link(s)...worst case they give away their paypal info, best case their email addy gets harvested and sold.

  2. Avatar for Ayende Rahien
    Ayende Rahien June 3rd, 2005

    Maybe PayPal would start an RssFeed for anouncements?

  3. Avatar for Ayende Rahien
    Ayende Rahien June 3rd, 2005

    This has gotten to the point where I cannot believe /any/ mail form PayPal, in fact, I don't think that at this point I /can/ get any mail from them, for the simple reason that my filters will throw it out.

  4. Avatar for Shawn B.
    Shawn B. June 6th, 2005

    Recent I received one from PayPal of a similar (but slightly different nature). Every link went to the correct place. But something kept disturbing me about it. Hover the link? Correct PayPal URL (no spoofing). Peek at the HTML... same thing. Then it hit me, the action attribute of the Form tag in the email pointed to a non-PayPal domain and very sneaky. There was a "Click Here" button to go to the login page if you wanted it.



    Thanks,

    Shawn B.

  5. Avatar for Alan G
    Alan G June 15th, 2005

    I just opened a Paypal email. I have never used paypal before and haven't the slightest on how to but this email, for somereason said some is using MY account, which i don't have to use money. I was about to use the Link to the site, but realising it was a link to www.idenwar.com/xboxmod/....... I immediatly stopped.

    Nearly being fooled from this genuine looking email i have learnt never to trust stuff like that again!

  6. Avatar for jojo
    jojo June 24th, 2005

    I have reieved two of these paypal spoofs in two days. Paypal sent their response after I reported and it only said yes this is a fake.



    it is annoying and worrysome.

  7. Avatar for Fiona
    Fiona June 8th, 2006

    Beware of the any buyers on ebay offering you to buy the item via email (eg 000_roland@fastermail.com) and then sending you payment emails claiming to be paypal (paylink@consultant.com) saying “payment has been deducted from the buyer's account and has been "APPROVED"but will not be credited to your account until the shipment reference/tracking number is sent to us for shipment verification so as to secure both the buyer and the seller” which is crap. I fell for the scam when I was selling a mobile phone on ebay and half way through the transaction when I realised it was a scam I had fallen for after having sent the item.
    I lost the phone without any payment of the phone and send the item to him which cost me £12 out of my own pocket. As I realised after sending the item I thought I could redirect the item back to England however royal mail would not allow that to happen as they said they have no control over the parcel after it left England.
    He gives a long sob story how he is a doctor called “Dr Roland Jones based in the UK and needs immediate purchase of the phone needs it for one of his church sector in Africa. I will like to know the condition of the item, does it has its box and the accessories. I will offer you GBP --- plus GBP 20 for postage Via royal mail service, to West Africa because it is needed urgently. I would have loved to receive the shipment here and later send it but due to my kind of job, I travel a lot and that is why I need you to send straight to him. I will be making payment through (Paypal)
    and so i will want to complete the transaction in a timely manner and ship out immediately after you are been notified of the payment Approval.”
    Paypal nor ebay can do anything regarding this and nor was I expecting to do anything as they are crap like that. I also know a friend of a friend who has fallen for this scam who was also selling a mobile phone on ebay as well.
    I wanted to others aware of this scam and to prevent others falling for the same scam as this is still going on and hopefully you should have better luck then I did in being able to identify a scam when you see on.

  8. Avatar for Gromykgo Rumph
    Gromykgo Rumph October 27th, 2006

    My situation is similar to the one above. I received an email from paypal, so to speak, and it said that I needed to send the tracking number for verification of the phone i had sold on ebay. I just feel stupid because it took me 3 weeks to finally figure out that this was a clever fraud to get my phone for free. Don't let that shit happen to you.

  9. Avatar for dorothy
    dorothy November 1st, 2006

    I did not request this second id and never have used PayPal in my life. How do I fix this and can they get into my account and get my account information on my card?
    dorothy

  10. Avatar for doug watts
    doug watts November 6th, 2006

    I too received a paypal email response from someone who wanted to receive some merchandise from me by paying through paypal but after doing some much needed research on the internet I came accross your website. After stating clearly that I preferred to do business in person via Craigslist with the buyer, I was told by the buyer that they would even pay more for the merchandise. I agreed at first but started to have my doubts. Here is an example of the scam after I received the below email (receipt number 3514-0043-2038-8866) stating that the funds had been credited into my account, with stipulations of course. I smelled a rat. Mind you, the response was on what would easily be considered official paypal letterhead. Sellers please beware!

    Receipt Number: 3514-0043-2038-8866

    Keep your Receipt Number (shown above) for future reference. You will need to refer to this number if you need customer service from P.A, Inc. or from PayPal.

    This PayPal® payment has been deducted from the buyer's account and has been "APPROVED"but will not be credited to your account until the shipment reference/tracking number is sent to us for shipment verification and this is done to secure both the buyer and the seller against any fraudulent activities. Below are the necessary information requested before your account will be credited. Send tracking number to us or email us through this mail online.paytransfercentre@accountant.com and our customer service care will attend to you. As soon as you send us the shipment's tracking number the money will be credited to your account and this is done for security purposes and the safety of the buyer and the seller.
    This payment is approved but it will stand as payment pending until we receive the shipment reference/tracking number from you.

    **PLEASE NOTE**
    Once shipment has been verified and the tracking number sent to us,
    You will receive a "CONFIRMATION Email" from PayPal® informing you that the Money has been credited

    Thank you for using PayPal!
    The PayPal Team.

  11. Avatar for Linda
    Linda November 16th, 2006

    I received a message saying that my order was confirmed. I have never had a PayPal account. I have never even bought anything on Ebay. Am I going to receive some kind of bill? I have checked my credit card, and there has been no charge.

  12. Avatar for Haacked
    Haacked November 16th, 2006

    Linda, that is most likely a scam message. Do not click on any of the links.

  13. Avatar for Chris
    Chris November 28th, 2006

    Yea, i got the same email saying to send the transaction number for the paypal payment to be confirmed. I never did paypal before so i supposed thats how it worked, check on the internet and saw this site, found out it was fake, tried stopping the package right as it was getting picked up. Guy from kinkos said they couldn't stop it while they were scaning the boxes, now i have to pay an extra 350 to get it back on top of the 350 i already paid shp/h.
    > This PayPal® payment has been deducted from the buyer's account and
    > has been "APPROVED"but will not be credited to your account until
    > the shipment reference/tracking number is sent to us for shipment
    > verification and this is done to secure both the buyer and the
    > seller against any fraudulent activities. Below are the necessary
    > information requested before your account will be credited. Send
    > tracking number to us or email us through this mail
    > online.paytransfercentre@accountant.com and our customer service
    > care will attend to you. As soon as you send us the shipment's
    > tracking number the money will be credited to your account and this
    > is done for security purposes and the safety of the buyer and the
    > seller.
    >
    > This payment is approved but it will stand as payment pending until
    > we receive the shipment reference/tracking number from you.
    p.s.
    Guy was on craigslist too, don't trust people from ireland. this guy went by john jamesimi... googled it and got this guy off myspace http://profile.myspace.com/... could be him but not sure. oh yea and send all the hatemail you can to 4b belgree house dublin 15, dublin ireland.

  14. Avatar for OneEngnr
    OneEngnr December 14th, 2006

    12/15/06

    I am currently selling a gold necklace on ebay and I got this email today:
    I'M INTERESTED IN BUYING THIS SOLID 14kt Yellow Gold Cuban Curb HEAVY Chain Necklace FOR MY FIANCE AS A GIFT TO HIM FOR THIS XMAS.I WOULD HAVE LOVED TO BID ON THIS ITEM, I'M JUST BEEN CONCIOUS OF TIME BECAUSE I'LL BE OFF TO MY WORK. AS A MARINE ENGINEER, WE USUALLY GO FOR HOLIDAYS IN EVERY 2WEEKS AND I HAVE FEW DAYS BEFORE LEAVING BACK TO MY WORK SO IF THIS TRANSACTION IS NOT COMPLETED WITHIN 72 HOURS,I MIGHT NOT BE AROUND TO REPLY TO YOUR MAILS THEREFORE I'M WILLING TO PAY $1,410.00 USD FOR THIS ITEM INCLUDING THE SHIPPING COST. I WILL ALSO PAY THE VAT PLS NOTE: I AM PAYING THIS AMOUNT BECAUSE, 1. I WANT TO BUY IT OUTRIGHTLY AND 2. BECAUSE I HAVE JUST FEW DAYS TO LEAVE HERE TO RESUME WORK ON SEA AND ALSO DO NOT HAVE TIME TO GO ON SHOPPING PHYSICALLY. I AM PAYING THROUGH MY PAYPAL ACCOUNT AND I AM READY TO PAY HE 4% PAYPAL CHARGES. AS WELL. SO PLS , SEND ME YOUR NAME IN FULL AND PAYPAL ACCOUNT EMAIL ADDRESS. SO AS TO HAVE YOUR ACCOUNT CREDITED.
    REGARDS,
    AMJAD
    I wrote them back this:
    Hello AMJAD,
    First I would like to thank you for your interest in my listing. I understand your situation so I have added a Buy It Now option to the auction. You are able to buy the item outright and I will send you an invoice that will include shipping to your location. I hope this helps you.
    Thank you,
    Antonietta
    They answered with this:
    Hello Mate,
    Thanks for your email...I do not have that time to wait for me to buy it now.. I have offered you what i intend paying you... If you want me to commence payment i suggest you end the auction and get back to me with you name in full and your paypal email id.Get back to me asap so to effect payment. Hope to read from you soon. Nice doing business with you...
    Regrds,
    Amjad.
    So, after reading this website's posts I wrote them:
    Sorry, that's my offer. Nice try though... I'm from NY.
    Needless to say they aren't getting shit from me.


  15. Avatar for Shahid
    Shahid December 26th, 2006

    WOW, nearly was scammed. I got that message today -- like everyone is talking about here- tracking number then payment will be provided. I just wanted to say-- also check out www.paypalsucks.com. Both this and that site- were very useful. Be aware people- I'm your average person-- and was nearly frauded out of $2000 like other people on this page. Never would have realized it. Paypal and ebay were reported of my problem (well if it would have taken place) they did nothing-- YOUR ON YOUR OWN-- KEEP WARY WHEN DOING THINGS ON THESE SITES.

  16. Avatar for haydn
    haydn March 14th, 2007

    i got an email today asking would i be end an auction early so they could buy a ps2 off me for 450. and i also got an email saying that when they get the tracking number thwe payment would clear. DO NOT SEND ANYTHING TO NIGERIA

  17. Avatar for Snake
    Snake March 16th, 2007

    hi I have just recieved an email alike to the other here so i would like to share new info of a new threat.
    details of email
    cincor_10@yahoo.com
    Rommel Cinco
    Hope this can help a lot of people
    bye

  18. Avatar for anon
    anon March 19th, 2007

    I just got this message and after reading these postings I'm not sending nothing to this person... Thanks for posting your experiences.

    Hello there,
    I'm impressed with the advert of the item and i will like to make an instant purchased of the item for my husband who is presently one of the contractors of Ratcon constructing company in west Africa.
    I will offer you £650 for the item and £150 for postage via first class royalmail, the transaction will goes through Paypal .Reply asap with your email and send paypal email ID ,so that i can go ahead with the payment. As soon as you see your payment you get to end this auction .
    Feel free to ask me any question about this offer.
    I await your Prompt response.
    Regards
    I will be very happy if am considered to buy your item for my husband who is in west africa.

  19. Avatar for Suzi Belton
    Suzi Belton March 22nd, 2007

    I am so glad that I found this website. I was literally in the middle of being scammed! Had a bit of a gut feeling someting was dodgy so decided to google shipment tracking number and this website came up, i couldn't believe I had caught the little a**holes trying to scam me out out of £400! This con artist bid on my item on ebay in the last minute. They totally ignored the fact I had said I would only post to the U.K and asked me to send it to NIGERIA! This rung alarm bells straight away. He/she then proceeded to tell me she was sending the xbox to a student of hers for a bday present who was on a work placement in Africa! also they could'nt decide what sex the student was, one minute referring to the student as a he then the next a she. Serious alarm bells started ringing after that!
    I then recieved an e-mail from 'paypal' telling me a payment has been made into my account hmdhvball1@aol.com, it then said the money would not be credited into my account until I provide paypal with postage proof i.e shipment tracking number for verification and asked me to e-mail the number to shippingprove@usa.com. This person tried every trick in the book, they even asked me to fork out £120 of my own money so that I could send the package in the morning so it would get there for a birthday surprise. Another thing was that any e-mails that were sent from this person went straight to my yahoo e-mail account and not through ebay which I thought was funny as usually a copy goes to both. Do not trust the user id hdmvball on ebay and whatever you do do not send anything to nigeria before checking its legit! Hopefully this will help other people from falling for this bullshit scam!

  20. Avatar for nells
    nells April 3rd, 2007

    again I was nearly caught out by this. I recieved the old, send tracking number before your payment can be credited. THey demanded to me that I use a fifty pounds tracking service as the phone was to be an easter gift for the buyers "fiance". The user was taken off ebay when I reported the original bid of over 4000 pounds...to secure the phone she said.....but still I recieved emails from "paypal" and "ebay" straight to my aol email account. This is what set bells ringing for me as I had already a genuine email from ebay telling me my fees had been refunded. THe buyers name was kate odimalju and she was supposedly on busines in nz. yeah right. But if it wasnt for the legit emails from ebay by hubby would have been willing to send this item.....so easy to get sucked in with an official lookin email. :)

  21. Avatar for Vinnie
    Vinnie May 13th, 2007

    Chris,
    John Jamesimi did the same thing to me and used the same address. I sent him 4 PS3's. The same thing happened with the paypal too. I thought that paypal was a middle man who held funds and waited for proof that the items were shipped just so that people can't scam anyone. I was wrong. I lost $3630 that was supposed to be sent to my account. I never saw a dime. What is this world coming too?

  22. Avatar for Sandra Madera
    Sandra Madera May 25th, 2007

    Thank you for posting your experiences, I smelled a rat from the beginning and did some research.
    I received the following email in response to my craigslist posting for a powerbook I am selling for $1050. It was sent by "Matina Andre" <matinaandre@yahoo.co.uk>:
    Hello there,I'm impressed with the advert of the item and i will like to make an instant purchased of the item for my husband who is presently one of the contractors of Ratcon constructing company in west Africa.
    I will offer you $1070 and $150 for postage via USPS GLOBAL EXPRESS MAIL, the transaction will goes through Paypal .Reply asap with your email and send paypal email ID ,so that i can go ahead with the payment. As soon as you see your payment you get to end this auction .
    Feel free to ask me any question about this offer.
    I await your Prompt response.
    Regards.
    I will be very happy if you sell this item to me for my husband who is in west africa.I do hope am considered.

  23. Avatar for Jowell
    Jowell June 10th, 2007

    I am longer in possesion of the email I reviced as I have deleted them all but I too was targeted by this scam. Luckily by nature I am a very cautious person.
    The base of the email was something like those above. Saying that I would recive funds once tracking number was given. Then I recived another e-mail saying it needs to be sent to Nigeria for a business client.
    Furthermore when clicking on thier ebay profile I discovered they had been banned from ebay and when I clicked on their feedback option it read 'Cannot view this page due to difficulties'
    I then recived an email that read 'We are pleased to announce 'X - username' account has been reinstated and you should commence any trade you are doing with them. When I saw the email address 'e_bays@usa.com' I 100% new it was fruad.
    These are ways I have been able to spot fraud. The most basic one is
    -spelling and grammar. In this email there was a numerous amout on spelling mistakes and capital letters in the middle of sentences.
    -Urgency. You would nver be asked by ebay or paypal to send or do anything withing 24/48/72 hours.
    -A Sob Story. Dont believe any story given especiallly about sending goods to africa
    for security i also changed my paypal and ebay passwords immediately after

  24. Avatar for Ann
    Ann August 7th, 2007

    I received an email thought it was from paypal asying they had accepted payment for a subscription to some nudist thing, checked with hubby as he has been using ebay but it was addressed to me he had know idea. Without thinking I clicked the link, it took me to BBC website. Is anything likely to happen because I clicked the link? I've run all my virus protectors etc is there any more I can do??

  25. Avatar for joce
    joce August 11th, 2007

    Well I've been scammed. My email came right after I added a second bank account to my paypal (as in 1 day later), explaining that my account had been edited and that I needed to verify the information. without a second thought I added all my information, seeing as I HAD just edited my information. Now I cannot log in, I cant access my history, and customer service (since I'm assuming its out sourced) cant even understand my plain English!
    I really dont know what I'm to do now, besides change my bank account information again (I had a similar thing happen with amazon a year or so ago). But what about the money in my paypal account? where will that go???

  26. Avatar for scott
    scott September 13th, 2007

    looks like those nigerian mother fuckers are hitting the smaller sites too now. I was trying to sell my gf's cell phone and i got one from boa (bank of america) and paypal saying that i would get my payment as soon as i send them a tracking number but thats another version of an escrow account scam. Paypal can suck in many ways. Luckly i have never got into any of that. If i am the seller i have the right to refuse the buyers offer if i don't like him cuz IT is from nigeria. I have never been ripped off and personally i kind of feel you deserve to if you don't know better. But i don't want to be mean it's just americans should be smarter and not trust other countries. we have enough problems here.

  27. Avatar for Arlene
    Arlene September 19th, 2007

    Nigerian fraud alert!! My daughter received the same message after a buyer purchased an expensive item from her on ebay. It was her first ebay sale (and new to PAYPAL as well), so she shipped the package out to Nigeria, since PAYPAL verified the transfer of funds.... WELL, that paypal email was a FAKE, the money never appeared in her account and she received horrible taunting emails from these crooks telling her there is nothing she can do about it, the merchandise was GONE. All in all, she is definitely out of $$$$. Ebay and Paypal can't do anything.... There has got to be some type of action that can be taken against these CROOKS!! Anyone out there had a positive outcome from reporting the same type of fraud to Paypal?

  28. Avatar for Grace
    Grace October 2nd, 2007

    I just received an email from Paypal saying that they noticed I had logged in my account from a different IP address and needed to verify that I was the user of this account. It told me that I had 72 hours to verify this info or my account would be suspended. Anyone heard of this??

  29. Avatar for Nanda
    Nanda October 31st, 2007

    Grace,
    I'm new here and I've just received the very same email. It's another stupid spam, do NOT click on it. I did XP My navigator warned it the page was a FAKE. Beware.

  30. Avatar for OzTart
    OzTart November 18th, 2007

    Glad i found this- just "sold" a £1200 ring on ebay and my fiancee got the same message from paypal about the tracking number!
    So glad i hadnt sent said ring to nigeria already :-(

  31. Avatar for PCS
    PCS November 20th, 2007

    Yep, i just got scammed as well. I didn't think anything of it when they offered me way more than what the product was worth. I made them call me. Guess how they called me? Through a sprint operator for someone who is hard of hearing and the messages were relyed from this guy over the phone. This is smart and also makes the scam even more believable. There is now no phone records of this. They wanted me to ship it to their kid in Nigeria. I wasn't even thinking. I had an ipod docking station listed for $60, and they offered me 200 for it. I accepted it and then the paypal thing came into play, with emails from paypal, payment pending, blah, blahm blah. I totally beleived it. I figured out this was a scam a day after i shipped the item and there was no money in my account. I tried to re-route the package but once it leaves the country that's impossible.
    So for everyone out there on ebay and craigslist, beware of these people and always call paypal directlly if you beleive an email is fake because they can tell you if they sent you anything or if there is any activity in your account.
    This item was being shipped to Nigeria and i was contacted by:
    Jenifer Justin
    goodade2006@gmail.com
    BEWRAE BEWARE BEWARE BEWARE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  32. Avatar for someguy
    someguy November 25th, 2007

    That was pretty close, I have been receiving mails from them for quite a while. I was wondering why they where so persistent and kept bothering me about someone trying to get into my account. Instead of clicking the link they provide, I went to paypal site and log in. There were no notices.
    I recieved more emails from them, so I clicked the link, and saw them asking for a SSN#. i am not dumb, who would want to give out their ssn# to some sites you knew never asked for one.

  33. Avatar for Shellie
    Shellie November 29th, 2007

    Amazing. I just received an e-mail from this Jenifer Justin myself, but through a craigslist offer.
    I was suspicious of this person and googled her e-mail address and found this board! I'll post below the message I received:
    "hi,
    My Name is MRS JENIFER JUSTIN
    I went to an auction site and i came across your item placed here at craiglist.org,and i knew it is a very great item of a good condition, i'm ready to make an early purchase of this item immediately ,cause i have been looking 4 a very good item of this nature before i saw it here and i think it will be very safe to buy, But i need to ask if u can recieve the payment of this item via PAYPAL or via R.B.C home delivery .so if you are willing to recieve the payment via PAYPAL kindly send me an invoice for this item + shipping and handling via usps priority mails, to one of my grandson who went to spend his vacation with her father for christhmas in Nigeria at osun state ile-ife and a nd send me paypal request so as to proceed the payment of this item my own paypal ID is goodade2006@gmail.com, But if R.B.C kindly send an invoice for this item your full Name your valid e-mail and your address so as to deliver the amount to your door step.
    Thanks 4 ur co-operation,
    Cheers.
    Bye.
    Regards,
    MRS JENIFER JUSTIN."

  34. Avatar for Sophie
    Sophie January 31st, 2013

    I just had the same story and lost my expensive item.... Grrrr

  35. Avatar for Thorin Sowter-Croll
    Thorin Sowter-Croll November 8th, 2017

    I just had the same scam attempt on me. They asked me to request money and they sent a email confirmation of receipt that was supposed to look like it was from paypal. the real email it came from was sellercustomerverifys@accountant.com. avoid !!

  36. Avatar for Xander
    Xander February 2nd, 2018

    Just got the scam totdat e-mail:misterx531@yahoo.com