Here we go again...
Last week I received an email purporting to be from PayPal. I've placed a copy of the email at the bottom of this post. Like the Better Business Bureau email from earlier this month, this email looks legit on the surface. But when you take a moment to read it (actually read it, not skim it) the grammatical errors leap right off the screen at you. Again, the graphics used in the email are accurate even the color scheme and font type and size are good. If you only give it a quick glance or only skim the email, it looks legit.
But don't judge a book by it's cover! (Or an email by it's pretty colors and fonts!)
I've said it before and I'll say it again, and again, and again.... you are your own best protection when it comes to avoiding scams, phishing and keeping your computer and personal information safe. You have to THINK before you click! So, think about this email.
First, this email doesn't show the address of it's intended recipient. Would PayPal send an email that doesn't show your email address in the header? Of course not! And why would you be blind copied on an email that's intended for you and you alone? That makes no sense, right?
Read the actual text in the email. "We have faced some problems with your account. Please update the account within week. If you do not update will be limited."
While we've all sent out an email with a grammatical error in it, or posted a blog with a spelling error, what are the chances that PayPal - an international financial services company - would send an email that is just chock full of grammatical errors? Pretty slim, I'd guess.
How 'bout the link that you're directed to click on? If this were in your inbox you could use your mouse to hover over it and see it's destination in the lower left corner of your browser window. I've posted a picture of the email so it hovering over it here doesn't show anything. But take my word for it, the link It doesn't (shockingly!) go to PayPal. Instead, an IP trace shows that it belongs to a company named Brain Trust and the IP is in Kansas.
Remember: NEVER, NEVER, NEVER click on a link if you're not 100% sure of it's legitimacy. You can right click and copy it on notepad or a word doc or use Google to search on it. It's better to take a few moments and research a link than to expose your computer to an unknown entity or virus.
If your computer has been exposed to a virus or if you're concerned about an email you've received contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
From: "email@example.com" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Sent: Wednesday, March 28, 2012 10:29 PM
Subject: Notice of Update Your Information