I feel sick to my stomach.
Have you ever had a great day – everything is going right:
The weather is seasonably warm
The shine is shining (In Ohio this is a rare treat)
The kids behave
Your customers place new orders
You spend a lovely evening with friends
The stars are aligned.
And then you receive an email that says "You have been a victim of Internet fraud. We can see that you responded to a fake request for personal information and now everything you hold dear is in the hands of criminals."
Well, that's enough to take the frosting right off the cake.
That just happened to me.
And I thought I was so smart. When I received an email from Paypal asking for an update to my account information I looked for misspellings, I checked the URL the email link led me to – it looked real. It felt real. And so I treated it as if it were real.
And provided all my personal information.
So here are the tips to look for from Paypal to know that you are responding to a legitimate account update request:
1. If you receive an email and are unsure whether it is from PayPal, open a new web browser (e.g., Internet Explorer or Netscape) and type in the following: https://www.paypal.com/ Do not click on any link in an email which seems suspicious to you.
2. Some spoof websites will send emails that pretend to come from PayPal to entice you to log in at the spoof URL. Be extremely cautious of emails that direct you to a website that asks for sensitive information.
3. Stay safe; don't respond to emails asking for any of the following:
· Your password and email address combination
· Credit card numbers
· Bank account numbers
· Social security number
· Drivers license number
· First and Last Names
If you have surrendered financial or password information to a suspicious email or website, promptly report this to the issuing institution as well as change your password and security answers on your PayPal account. This can be completed in the Profile section of your account.
Email Greeting –
· PayPal will never send you an email with the greeting "Dear PayPal
User" or "Dear PayPal Member." Emails initiated by PayPal will address you by your first and last name, or the business name associated with your PayPal account.
· Please note that the automatic response you get from us may not
address you by name.
Always log into the PayPal site
· PayPal will only ask for information after you have securely logged
Don't be naive like I was.